Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Avengers Trade Paperbacks

Between other books over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading trade paperbacks reprinting various story arcs from the NEW AVENGERS comic book: SENTRY, SECRETS & LIES, and THE COLLECTIVE. A year or so ago I read the first New Avengers collection, and these volumes represent about the next year and a half’s worth of issues from the comic book series.

Now, the Avengers and I go ’way back . . . to Christmas Day, 1963, in fact, when a couple of my girl cousins gave me a stack of comic books they didn’t want. Included in that stack was a copy of AVENGERS #1, which I thoroughly enjoyed. When I went to the drugstore the next week, the fourth issue, which featured the return of Captain America, was on the spinner rack. So I bought it regularly from then on, until I pretty much gave up reading comics in the mid-Nineties.

When I read these collections from current comics series, I’m a little lost sometimes because of that gap in my reading, but luckily nearly all the characters in NEW AVENGERS are ones with whom I’m familiar, like Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Luke Cage, so I was able to pick up the storyline fairly well. All of these volumes were written by Brian Michael Bendis, one of this era’s top comics writers, and while his plotting has the same slow pace most modern comics do, he writes really good dialogue and overall I enjoy his stories. SENTRY, which is about the introduction of a superhero who seems to have a long history in the Marvel Universe, even though nobody really remembers him, is the best of these three volumes in my opinion, but I liked them all. The art is by various hands, and reactionary curmudgeon that I am, I still think most modern comics artists just aren’t very good storytellers, at least not on a par with the ones from the Golden and Silver Ages. But I was able to follow what was going on in these stories, at least most of the time.

I’ll never be the fan of modern comics that I was back in the Sixties and Seventies (which is why I read so many reprints from that era), but I can recommend these NEW AVENGERS reprint volumes. I enjoyed all three of them quite a bit.

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