If this issue could be summed up in one word, it would be "bluh."
One of my first ever comic memories was reading an old issue of Avengers: West Coast where Bobbi Barton, aka Mockingbird, died as a result of a fireball to the back. The cover was embossed in red foil - it was horrible. Now, years later, I look at a collapsed Mockingbird on the cover of New Avengers and hoping it's a little bit better.
Everyone has a role in this issue, which I think is something team books are lacking. Especially with larger teams like the New Avengers, giving everyone screen time can be difficult without cluttering up pages. They managed to showcase a little bit of every member here, from Spider-Man quipping that his catchphrases are trademarked to Doctor Strange being a magical badass.
If there's one thing I love, it's political secret espionage. Seeing Victoria Hand emerge as a source of mistrust and uncertainty made me happy they included her as a character in this book; it throws things off-balance a little in the sense that everyone isn't one big happy family. Like that ass in the reality TV show that's there to stir things up, Hand keeps the Avengers on their toes.
I really like how they've made a habit out of making sure each spell in Dr. Strange's repertoire is references to a proper page in the Book of Vishanti; it's a little note adds a little authenticity to things.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Howard Chaykin really needs to stick to writing. His art, even though it's only for a couple pages, it pretty ugly.
I'm starting to notice that Nick Fury is becoming a one-note character in the Marvel Universe: he does something secret, leaves everyone in the dark about it, then has this "You really want to know the truth? Here it is!" moment, and then everyone remarks on how much of a sneaky bastard he is. This was witty the first couple times it happened, but now it's just becoming tired. Seeing Fury in a story that isn't Secret Warriors is becoming predictable and stale.
I'm not going to lie, New Avengers isn't one of those books that's been doing it for me at all. This latest storyline just seems to be a vehicle for giving Mockingbird powers via old Super-Soldier serum, and "exposing" some Avengers history that doesn't seem all too relevant. As Ray pointed out last issue, this arc really doesn't seem to have any lasting effect in mind, nor does it have any strong direction.
Unfortunately, that's been my feelings toward this book as a whole: even from the first arc, the events were blown so out of proportion (and had little lasting effect on the Marvel U) that they seem to have swung the other way into the terribly mundane.