Finally, the Dark Avengers meet the New Avengers for the match-up you’ve been waiting for!
Or rather… they don’t. You can colour me slightly miffed that the meeting I was looking forward to – the one that was advertised in all the material and on the cover of the book – DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAPPEN. It makes complete sense, of course, and shows exactly how formidable Osborn is now that he’s in a position of power, but, well, it’s not exactly the comic that was advertised…
That aside, there’s much to love about the issue. The issue does, at least, feature the New Avengers reacting to the first appearance of the “Dark” Avengers, and that scene plays out with some of Bendis’ funniest dialogue for ages – although Phillip Tan’s artwork for the same scene leaves much to be desired. As improved as Tan is, he’s not really in the same league as the book’s previous artists. On a title like New Avengers, readers deserve top artistry.
On some level Marvel do understand that – this issue, extra-sized, has a unique gimmick of having single page character focusses during the big fight scene, drawn by artists associated with that character, including some brilliant spidey art by McNiven and an always-welcome glimpse of Gaydos drawing Jessica Jones. It’s a unique approach to a fight scene, and a welcome “event” to mark the book’s 50th issue – even if that does mean seeing some of Greg “got the” Horn’s laughable attempts at rendering an interior page.
Of course, as good as the plot is, and as special as the extra artwork is, there’s one fact that deeply overshadows this entire issue, and that’s the price. If part of you doesn’t wince at the idea of paying $4.99 for an issue of New Avengers, then, well, you’re lucky that you’re rich enough not to care. I used to pride myself on buying comics with scant regard for how much it actually cost – but when one comic costs almost 4 quid, it’s genuinely hard not to complain. I actually bought a *NEW* TPB containing 8 issues of Fantastic Four for less than twice that price. I don’t want to stop buying singles, I’m sure Marvel don’t want me to stop buying singles, but this is getting ridiculous.