Brian Michael Bendis's THE NEW AVENGERS comes to an end in a (mostly) lovely looking and fairly entertaining manner. First and foremost, I'm a sucker for Mike Deodato's art. Sure, he goes heavy on the shading, but the end result is downright fabulous. Few artists can make these characters appear so intimidating and cool looking at the same time. He does an especially superb job when their costumes are tattered and torn, and there's plenty of that to be found in this issue.
Doctor Strange fans, this issue is practically dedicated to you. The former Sorcerer Supreme holds his own against the entire team, unleashing a plethora of various spells and shows a commendable amount of willpower throughout the struggle (shame there aren't any power rings in this universe). To top it off, there's a development with the character that you seriously won't want to miss.
Strange using magic to take on his possessed teammates was indeed a decent dose of fun, it's just too bad Deodato wasn't the one to illustrate most of the encounters. The majority of this comic is action (it'll certainly appear in this week's 'Best Battles'), and the series wraps up fairly quickly once the dust has settled. As expected, you'll also find scattered bits of Bendis's signature banter.
Daniel Drumm's desire for revenge isn't expressed in the most original method. A lot of it is fairly generic dialogue that we've heard time and time again and doesn't hit you on an emotional level. Daimon's interactions seemed pretty pointless, unless you somehow think he made a convincing argument to the Ancient One... and he definitely didn't (unless you think "do something about it!" is a convincing argument).
Having guest artists for battle was insanely jarring. especially because it provided such a drastically different style immediately after Deodato's work. Some of the art delivers a nice change of pace, however I didn't appreciate a good deal and it made me wish they instead had Deodato provide the pencils for each fight.
I guess you can chalk it up to character induced stupidity, but Thing would have crushed Daredevil's head effortlessly and in a fraction of a second. The dude can lift over 100 tons, so how Daredevil survived those massive hands around his head is beyond me.
For me, this is a very mixed ending. The conclusion makes it seem as though there's more to come from the team (Cages aside, of course), but I guess they'll go their separate ways (for the most part) because the next NA title is essentially the next Illuminati book and only has a few members of the roster... not to mention it takes place all the way over in Wakanda.
While this issue is action packed and Deodato's art rocks, the guest artists hinder the overall impact and the dialogue is just alright. There's a nice splash page that attempts to give you a heavy trip down nostalgia lane, but when all is said and done, I'm way more excited to see what Hickman does with the series in Marvel NOW! and can't say I'm all that sad to see this one go. It's certainly not a bad ending, but it wasn't as powerful as I felt it should be and passed by at an average level. That said, I do highly recommend this if you're a Doctor Strange fan.