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Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Romita Jr.

When the Avengers are together again and Marvel 616 is as it should be, Kang the Conqueror shows up, a fight happens and now the Avengers have to save the future from their own children. Seems like everything is back to business.

The Story

Steve Rogers approaches several heroes at the Siege after party, recruiting them for various Avengers teams, without saying who is on what team. If the teams weren’t already publicized and on the covers of their respective books already, this would be neat and suspenseful.

But anyway, we have a team, so let’s look at the line up. Thor, Iron Man and Cap (even Bucky Cap) are givens. With Clint Barton back in the Hawkeye duds, he makes sense. Spidey is a good fit, and let’s face it, this IS a Bendis and Romita Jr. book, so what would you expect? Spider-Woman would probably fit better in the Secret Avenger team given her espionage background and probable public image damage from Secret Invasion. Wolverine…could we not have him in three books a week just once? If you really need a mutant on the main, public Avengers team, why not put Beast on that team?

With that said, the team dynamic is working well. Bendis has the newly-formed team mingle and get to know one another, leading to an awkwardly humorous meeting of Thor and Bucky Cap and a spirited debate between Steve and Tony. Bendis is good with his dialog, and it shows here.

As for the story, Kang the Conqueror shows up and starts the Avengers on a quest to figure out how the future is messed up and what their children have to do with it. It feels very Avengery, going off on an adventure in a far-off land (or time) with the fate of the future hanging in the balance. The large scope, classic villain and sense of adventure with the world’s mightiest heroes feel very true to form. It feels like THE Avengers again.

Bringing in the Next Avengers from the animated movie of the same name is a ballsy move on Bendis’ part, but the fact that they’re in there is intriguing and makes me want to learn why in the upcoming issues. It’s got to be better than the movie.

This classic-feeling story with this mostly interesting team is off to a good start, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this story.

8.5/10

The Art

John Romita Jr. does his thing as usual, and it’s what you’d expect. I like his blocky style, and he does a good job on detailing. Facial hair and lining come out nicely. Clothing and armor look as soft, wrinkly, flat or shiny as they should. The coloring is a good match as well.

However, there are some weird quality dips, especially with some female faces. It seems like perhaps the inking or the original penciling went a little too bold on some detail lining. When Spider-Woman and the girl Hawkeye smile, it looks like they’re sucking in their cheeks to show off their jaw structure. Kind of creepy.

It’s not outstanding work by Romita Jr. and company, but it holds up.

7/10

It’s nice to see the Avengers back to the basics, not dealing with drama of super hero politics as they have been for the last few years. I do with this book started back with #504, picking up the numbering scheme where Avengers Disassembled left off, or at least have both the new and old numbering schemes, to show that this is really the return of the Avengers. I’m sure that’ll come later though. Got to make #600 a big deal after all.

Overall (Not an Average) 8/10

The Review
Story 8.5/10
Art 7/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10