Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 08.04.2010 – Avengers Prime #2

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

672
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.3
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 21.2%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
WRITER: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
PENCILS: ALAN DAVIS
INKS: MARK FARMER
COLORED BY: JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
LETTERED BY: NEUROTIC CARTOONIST, INC
COVER BY: ALAN DAVIS

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.99

I'm in a superhero down period.  I don't know if it happens to you, but the superhero books that make up the bulk of weekly releases aren't thrilling me all that much lately.  Nothing wrong with them, but sometimes you need a break from those tropes.  So when I started off with my stack this week, I noticed they were mostly superheroes, and they were fine and fun, but nothing terribly exciting. I saved Avengers Prime for last, because it was my pick last time, and I was hoping to really enjoy it again, but I didn't think it would get Pick of the Week again.  But here's why it did.

Avengers Prime is the best Avengers book I'm reading.  It's the best Bendis has done with these particular characters in as long as I can remember.  It's the best Alan Davis has looked in a good long while.  It's the best comic book I read this week. I guess I'm done then, right? Nah.

The thing I really like about this book, which became more apparent this issue than even in the last one, is that it's a straight character study.  It's got some continuity, more tradition really, going on, but it's not bogged down by the events of the rest of the Marvel world, because it takes place between moments, and can take as long as it has to, but that doesn't hinge on anything else going on.  Because of that, we're just watching Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Thor individually, and learning a lot about them at the same time.  It's a great primer on the characters actually, and as good as anything out there if you're not familiar with them.  Steve Rogers is out of his element, but he's the same guy, someone so heroic and pure that even the local sexy healer girl can't help herself around him. You know, like Kirk.  Then you spend time with Tony Stark, with no armor, and no backup, and only his attitude to protect him.  Except it's not really protecting him at all.  In fact, laid bare like that, it's interesting that Tony wasn't really all that effective.  I like that kind of examination of the character.  Bendis took it one step more with Thor, playing on the idea that as the ruling class over these other worlds, the subjects don't really like them that much.  They see, perhaps justifiably, themselves as victims of Odin's endless tinkering, and the constant feuding between Thor and Loki, and who's to say they're not wrong?  Then you cut to Thor, with the Enchantress, and he's yelling and blustering and getting all thunder-cranky, and just not doing that much good.  It's almost as if Bendis is taking them down a peg. Of course, they're going to win in the end, but I think it's a really interesting look at these characters from a slightly different angle, and that angle makes all the difference. In all the other Avengers books, Bendis sticks the characters, all the characters, and they just chat and chat, and sometimes it's fun, but I've seen a lot of this, and I liked this fish out of water set up a lot.

Then there's the craft of the thing.  Bendis has said that with Davis on board, he really wanted to live up to the guy's pedigree, and I've got to say, I think he's doing so.  After all the pieces are on the board, there's a 4 page sequence in the middle of the book as the conversations in three settings weave together.  They're all separate, but working together. I looked at it, and figured it would be a muddle, but it really wasn't.  It worked remarkably well, and I couldn't help but be impressed with how seamless the technique was.

None of this would have worked without Alan Davis, who is, it should be said, a bit of a ringer.  The guy's been around for a long time, and has as timeless a style as you can find this side of Neal Adams.  As I said the last time I pick this book, the guy is just classic.  He's the perfect choice, and when he needs to, he can burst out the canted angle splash page, and then he can do the sexy otherworld woman, and that is the Iron Man armor he should be drawing too.  Each pages just screams classic Marvel comics, and it's like getting the best of the past and present all at one time.

The title for this is completely apt: Prime.  They are the prime guys, and they're being brought down to their prime elements, being done by the prime marvel craftsmen.  I really wasn't looking forward to this that much, but it's been a really enjoyable and well made pair of issues so far.  Avengers Prime is everything I want out of an Avengers comic book.

Josh Flanagan
He's kind of cheating on Sharon isn't he?
josh@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. I’m really enjoy this book. Nice review.

  2. It seems like I should pick this up in trade when it comes out.

     

    My pick was Brightest Day #7.  I was just excited going into the issue, and after I finished reading it I was super pumped to see where this series is going. 

  3. I agree. I’m going to have to pick up this trade.

  4. "you’re killing me smalls"- What about Hellboy the storm #2 it was epic. 

  5. I tried Avengers after the reboot and found them all very boring. I was particularly annoyed by Bendis’s writing of both Thor and Iron Man. They were boring, shallow and had no real voice. Certainly not a voice consistent with the same characters in their own books where I am enjoying them much more. My pick of the week was iZombie.

  6. Damn iFanboy . . . Wasn’t planning on picking this up until trade but saw the pick of the week right before I left to the comic shop–started rationalizing that one of my mini series (Astonishing Spider-Man Wolverine) is bimonthly and that a second bimonthly series would really equal one mini series total and if they have the first issue I’m going to pick up both and I picked them both up.

    Some junkie type rationalization.

  7. @scorpion lol I did the same when the first issue came out by rationaling that supergod comes out like once a year so combine that with prime it’s like half a mini, right? Course then they come out the same month lol

  8. It is lovely how we can justify this habit. I like your rationalization better than mine. Half a mini.

  9. I thought the same thing about Sharon.

    I have confused Neal Adams and Alan Davis so many times, I cannot even tell you. Just today alone.

  10. ,,,& I was already up to my armpits in Avengers titles – damn you, Josh!

  11. Does anyone remember the Prime comic book from Malibu comics? I was totally hoping this book was going to bring that character back to the front of everyone’s mind.

    Thanks for letting me down Bendis. I’ll keep buying this because I don’t want to give up hope.

  12. Best thing about that cover? No "Heroic Age" banner!  Yaaaaay it’s over! What was it exactly?

  13. Great review and I’m looking forward to reading the book.  Also interesting to hear of your current disillusionment with superheroes, a feeling that I have a little of myself right now.  For me it’s actually been more DC focussed, mainly because I don’t feel Brightest Day refreshed things as much as they promised (still loving Flash and the Morrison stuff though).  I’m definitely more interested in some of the great alternative stuff and a lot of the Vertigo books at the moment…still it’s always cyclical for me.

  14. Nice pick. Enjoyed the hell out of this comic. Loved the alternating panels between all 3 characters near the end. Especially when all 3 all learning what’s wrong with the Nine Realms from 3 different people. Bendis and Davis are producing some great stuff here. The almost-psychedelic colors by Mr. Rodriguez also work for me.

  15. I love Alan Davis’ art to a rediculous degree. Totally agree with this pick.

     

  16. So I bought both issues.

    I wasn’t that taken with the first issue. It was definitely good but I was a bit disappointed.

    I loved the second issue. I like the conflict and the idea that Thor is responisble for the collapse of the nine realms.

    Only thing I didn’t like was the silly Tony Stark. It felt out of character to me. By no means am I an Iron Man expert, but I haven’t read anything so jokey and kind of lame. I know he has a tendency to display his bravado by understating threats through comments . . . still this didn’t work for me.

    His last line was cool as hell though.

  17. They brough back Fafnir!  Awesome!

  18. Great review. I’m going to try the book.

  19. I read the first issue. Loved the Davis art. Tolerated the Bendis plot (Bendis is probably the reason I don’t read so much Marvel nowadays). Decided to buy it in trade later.

    Reading your review tonight means I’m going to have to go to the shop tomorrow and pick this up, Josh. You’ve already got me caught up buying Flash each month. The more I listen to the podcast and visit this site the more issues I’m buying… and I wanted to try to move to trades! It’s agonising! 

  20. Great Review, Josh. I totally agree.  I enjoyed #1, inspite of the very talky-argue filled set up, but all of that ended up being a nice set up to what’s happening in this issue — where ultimately, it seems, they will all realize they need each other to survive.  Good pick of the week!

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