Review by: John42

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Avg Rating: 4.1
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Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Daniel Acuna
Cover by Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo

Size: pages
Price: 3.99

Realism is an interesting concept. From its inception to that last press conference, realism is part of the Marvel Manifesto, but what does ‘real’ mean for an unreal supernatural universe?  For me, it has to feel real. I don’t mean a logically sound, plot-hole free narrative, I mean something that makes me explore a feeling I’ve felt in real life.
New Avengers #8 did that. The opening conversation between Luke and Jessica resonated hard. It was writing from experience: you can tell Bendis has been in long relationships. Kinda like how the Speedy addict stuff holds up a lot better than many contemporary anti-drug screeds because O’Neill and Adams spent a lot of time in rehab clinics. Their work was infused with real experience. That’s how the conversation between Luke and Jessica felt. They each said things that I’ve said or wanted to say or heard or didn’t want to hear. The art showed uncomfortable looks that I’ve given or been given before. There has been a lot of attention to Acuna’s colors, not enough to his thick, emotionally expressive line.

This issue was also a testament to an almost unique property of comics: time. I’ve been reading the Jessica and Luke story for years now. It has had the ups and downs of a real years-long relationship. And ‘unbreakable skin’ is a perfect relationship metaphor.

Finally, not to undervalue letterer Joe Caramagna’s work, but that one page with the coiled word-balloon snake was classic Bendis. And what a wonderful addition to comics that has been. Who knew lettering could be so well used to express the rhythm and confusion of conversation.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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