Whose Side... Are You On?
I read the crossover story Civil War, and planned on reading, and reviewing the tie-in novels that I had, and although I read them I never got round to reviewing them. I am however hoping to do that now, and am starting with the New Avengers tie-in volume, with this being my sixth review on Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers run, and my fifth from The New Avengers series.
This was a very good book, and although in general I'm not a huge fan of event tie-in's, due to their quality usually being much poorer than usual, this was actually really good, and one of the best tie-in books I've ever read (though to be fair it helps when you have a brilliant event in the first place). Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of showing the effect that the superhero Civil War was having on certain character's, and although some of these one-shot stories were better than others, they were all brilliant. This style usually doesn't work in my opinion, as although they give unique stories, they're usually all over the place, but luckily that didn't harm this book too much. The stories also had plenty of action, and emotion, showing that although each character had a certain view on the war, that they all didn't want to fight each other, which was nicely shown by Bendis.
With this story featuring five one-shot stories, the book would feature five artists, with Howard Chaykin, Leinil Francis Yu, Olivier Coipel, Pasqual Ferry, and Jim Cheung working on one issue each. I usually hate multiple artists on the same book, but with this being a collection of one-shot stories, as well as the fact that they're all great artists allows me to make an exception. The only artist who's work I wasn't a fan of was Chaykin, as although it wasn't terrible, I didn't like the way he drew Cap, feeling that his art was a little too rough. The artists that stood out however were Yu, Coipel, and Cheung, which were expertly detailed, with brilliant emotion being shown. They're individual layouts also added drama, and dynamic to their respective issues, and they all did a phenomenal job. Now I've not forgot Ferry, as although I'm not his biggest fan (with some of his previous work being terrible), I enjoyed his art on the issue he worked on, but felt that it couldn't compete with Yu, Coipel, or Cheung.
With this book having five individual storied I'll talk a little on how I felt about each one, starting with the first one which saw Captain America have to escape from a group of Capekillers. This was one of the weaker stories in this book, as although it was good, it wasn't brilliant. What I did like about this story however was how Falcon was involved, and how Captain America was wishing that he was still frozen in the ice, and that he didn't like the position that he was in. His, and Falcon's confrontation with Hank Pym was also interesting, and very entertaining, and overall this was a decent story.
The second story would see Iron Man pleading with Luke Cage to sign the Super-Human Registration Act, with Cage not wanting to be forced to become as he put it a slave. This wasn't the best issue in this book, but it was one of them, having some very interesting subjects, showing the morales that certain character's hold. The issue also had some explosive action, with Cap, Falcon, and Daredevil, also making an appearance. I also enjoyed the emotional tone to the story, with both Cage, and Jessica Jones wanting to look after their baby.
The third story would see Spider-Woman outed by Iron Man as a triple agent, and would also involve HYDRA. This was also amongst one of the better stories in this book, probably holding second spot with the last story that featured Cage. Besides the amazing art it showed how Spider-Woman is as a character, showing that she's just trying to do what she feels is the correct thing, whilst at the same time trying to stay alive. I also found it interesting how quickly Iron Man would betray Spider-Woman, as although he's not always a trustworthy person, especially due to the events of Civil War, I wouldn't have expected this. The story also had plenty of action as well, being very interesting, and exciting.
The fourth story would feature Sentry, and show him trying to avoid the Civil War, by meditating in space, being confront by the Inhumans. Like the Cap story, this was one of the weaker stories in this book, as although it was interesting, it was a little too slow in my opinion. At the same time, I once again liked seeing the conflict, and Sentry's probably the best character to show this in, as he's a confused, and misunderstood character, wanting peace. I also enjoyed his interactions with the Inhuman's, which was also interesting, though still didn't take away from the slow pace.
The final story in this book would see a former Stark Industries employee, named Kenny infiltrate Avengers Tower, taking down the security, as well as de-powering Iron Man's Armour. Now in my opinion this was the best story in this book, as although there wasn't a great deal of action, it had plenty of excitement, as well as suspense, and drama. What I really liked about the story however was that it showed how the Civil War effected normal people, with Kenny being upset about his designs being used to go against Captain America. I also felt that this story also had lot's of emotion, as well as some conflictive motives, also feeling that it was a unique, and brilliant way of ending the New Avengers tie-in's to Civil War.
This was an amazing book, with a collection of some of the best event tie-in's that I've ever read. Now the book itself wasn't perfect, as with the stories being different, and varied, it left room for inconsistency, as although all the stories were good to a certain level, not all of them were phenomenal. The phenomenal ones were however outstanding, and the action, emotion, and drama combined between them was awesome. I'd highly recommend this book, but would obviously also recommend getting the main Civil War story either first, or to go with it.
The next Avengers book I'll be reviewing will be New Avengers: Revolution.