Civil War may have shattered the New Avengers, and led to the creation of Mighty Avengers, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Luke Cage and the gang are still fighting the good fight, albeit as fugitives.

While Mighty Avengers sees Bendis playing with the big boys, here in the background of New Avengers, the seeds are set for Marvel’s next big, post-Civil War event.

It’s also a must-read for fans wanting a bit more insight into Hawkeye’s alternate persona in Avengers: Endgame, Ronin. 

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Bendis
Art by: Leinil Francis Yu
Year: 2007

Collects: New Avengers #27 – 32

PLOT: The superhero Civil War is over. But the late Captain America‘s old allies aren’t ready to give up just yet. 

Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Doctor Strange and the new Ronin are now criminals for disobeying the new registration laws, but that doesn’t mean they won’t jump into action and head to Japan after they receive a call for help from Maya Lopez, the former Ronin. But before they can escape the country to fight Elektra and the Hand, they’re drawn into a confrontation with their pro-registration counterparts; Tony Stark and his Mighty Avengers. 

REVIEW: Brian Bendis has tackled a lot of Marvel’s big superhero teams. The Avengers, most famously, but he’s also written extensive runs for the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Generally speaking, his lower-key work – the stuff that involves street-level antics and superheroes are often praised more than his higher-stakes writings. I’m sure there are fans of his X-Men and his Guardians out there, but he has a tendency to feel out of his depth when tackling such characters. 

Here in New Avengers: Revolution though, Bendis is at his best. The run started out solidly, presenting a new take on the classic team, but here, he’s shed the trappings of the old guard completely (well, kind of) and filled out the roster with heroes that are more on his level. Conventionally, characters like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Doctor Strange wouldn’t be anywhere near your classic Avengers rosters. Similarly, prior to Breakout, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Spider-Woman would also generally be off occupying their own little pockets of the greater Marvel universe. 

But here, Bendis brings them all together, slapping on the Avengers moniker, and presents an Avengers tale unlike any other. 

This is mirrored in Leinil Francis Yu’s art. His murky art style fits the tone of this story perfectly, and his work dances between catching the grime of street-level superheroics and the wonder and mysticism of Doctor Strange and the Hand’s magic powers with ease. 

The action is top-notch, full of movement and incredibly enthralling.

It’s dark and gritty, and that’s before you even add in the post-Civil War status quo shift, which dictates that these characters are all now technically criminals. It’s quite unique in a way, and not the sort of story anyone would associate with Avengers prior to Bendis’ time on the title. 

Bendis thrives in these underworld settings, perfectly blending his humour, drama and grit. He makes these characters feel like not only a team but also friends with shared life experiences. You can feel the connections between them, and it makes for some great storytelling. 

It’s especially true when you compare New Avengers with its sister title Mighty Avengers. Even in the pages of this comic, Bendis shows he has a much clearer grasp on writing characters like Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Wolverine than he does Ms Marvel. 

Mighty Avengers feels like the book he has to write, whereas New Avengers feels like the book he wants to write. And that makes it the better title.

Although the constant jumping back and forth between two stories being told concurrently lends itself more to monthly reading than powering through the story in one sitting, that’s a relatively minor grievance.

All-in-all, I give New Avengers: Revolution a…

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Thanks for reading! What kind of stories do you prefer, cosmic odyssey or street-level capers? Let me know in the comments below!

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