Good Point, Nighthawk. They Are the Defenders.
When Brian Michael Bendis wants to be funny, he can be pretty damn hilarious. This issue shows that as the team settles down in the aftermath of averting a mystical apocalypse to sort out what they are going to be about and how they are going to operate. This is something people have been waiting for to see just what will set the New Avengers apart from the rest and who will actually make up the team. It is not entirely satisfying in that regard, but it is still a strong and entertaining issue.
Dr. Strange officially joins the cast as the Sorcerer Still-Pretty-Good-But-Not-Supreme, and it works great. Strange joining the team is probably one of the most natural developments of this book. Of course Strange would become a New Avenger after he took them in before and after all he's gone through lately.
One of the best parts of this issue is where Jessica Jones tears into Luke Cage in front of everyone for his stubbornness and hypocrisy. It was nice in the immediate aftermath of Civil War, but it is time to get over it now. This scene manages to be both very funny and actually quite meaningful. A major chapter in Luke's life has ended, and he needs to move on now.
Also, Squirrel Girl becoming Luke and Jessica's nanny is probably the best use of the character ever. It is amazing how well she already fits in this role, and it is obvious that she will be a lot of fun. The only other character who may have worked as well is Stature, who does appear, but her current involvement in Avengers: Children's Crusade obviously prevents her from being an option. The entire interview scene for all the potential nannies really is hilarious. Fan(s?) of D-Man may take offense, but there really are so many great lines and appearances in it.
But what really steals the show comes at the end of the issue as the character who will be serving as this team's Jarvis comes in. It is truly glorious, and I am now looking forward to seeing him around most of all.
All that said, this issue still isn't completely satisfying when it comes to taking a moment to establish who this team is. We got our information for the Thing in the first issue. Dr. Strange fit quite naturally in with the team this issue. Iron Fist really needs no explanation. But why is Ms. Marvel here? Did Steve Rogers overlook her for the main Avengers team? Did she actually choose to be a New Avenger instead of an Avenger for some reason? Sure, she is Jessica's friend, but her presence on this team does need some explanation. This is even more true for Mockingbird. Isn't she running her own spy organization and admittedly somewhere more comfortable as a spy than superhero? Can we can something about this, please? And good lord, are we seriously going to have Spider-Man and Wolverine on both Avengers teams? Was this not just something for the first arcs? That is definitely something that needs to be addressed. It's just stupid and a waste.
Still, this is a very good issue and the type of issue the Avengers could really have used too. It is easily the most entertaining comic of the week and provides a ton of stuff to look forward to in future issues. I have my problems with the team's lineup, but I still love this book.