This post of New Avengers (2004-2010) by author Brian Michael Bendis, Illustrations and Art David Finch, Danny Miki, Frank D’Armata complies the full 64 issue run. First is the spoiler free reviews, followed by the summaries.
New Avengers (2004-2010) Spoiler Free Review, Issues 1-31
Are you ready for the New Avengers?! Well, are you familiar with the events of Civil War, House of M, and the Secret Wars? Are you also familiar with a huge lineup of Marvel heroes, villains, organizations, and obscure locations?
Brian Michael Bendis’ 2004-2010 run of The New Avengers is 64 issues long total. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to break up the reviews so I basically just found a good cliffhanger at about the halfway spot and planted my flag there.
Issues 1-31 contain tie ins to Civil War and House of M and it is imperative that you are at least somewhat familiar with these events for this book to make even a little sense. There is a lot going on and it doesn’t take the time to walk you through it.
If you’re a huge nerd like me who read all of Civil War including all side books and read House of M then this book will be awesome for you.
It’s got big heroes facing up against even bigger villains. Plenty of action but also a lot of emotion and conflict that isn’t just violent. I particularly like the details revolving around Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ relationship.
Somehow Bendis manages to keep track of dozens of characters and conflicts without losing site of what the end goal is. Everything seems to come back around in time and all of the characters have a reason to be here.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying learning about Jessica Drew, aka Spiderwoman, a character that I was barely familiar with prior to this run. I’m also super biased but this run contains two of my favorite Marvel characters of all time, Echo and Elektra. So that’s a huge win in my book.
I also got a reminder of just how freaking good Civil War is. The Luke Cage tie in present in this run of New Avengers could win over even the staunchest Marvel opponents, it’s art.
If you are not a huge Marvel nerd already, Civil War is a much better place to start. However, if you’ve already read a lot of Marvel this New Avengers run will be a treat. You’re likely to find one of your favorite characters as well as plenty of new ones.
New Avengers (2004-2010) will keep you busy and keep you turning the pages for all 64 issues. There is no shortage of entertainment in these panels.
Spoiler Free Review, Issues 32-64
This run only gets more complicated and more layered as it goes along. You need to know a ton of characters, side plots, comic events, and back story for it to make any sense. But for those of you who are fairly well versed in the Marvel universe prior to and during this run this book will likely pay off for you.
It’s simply a lot of fun. You get to see so many big heroes battling with even more bad guys over very high stakes. The action is plentiful and the conflicts are juggled well. Bendis understands how to best utilize a character and their power set. How to make everyone feel like they belong in a room without it feeling forced.
This is a very important skill to have when writing such a large scale run of comics. Often these runs can get confusing, or worse, boring. New Avengers (2004-2010) is far from either. It’s balanced and exciting.
With all of that being said, I was very disappointed with how this run ends. It’s a problem that happens way too often with comic books, you don’t get a conclusion.
This book leads directly into a tie in with Siege of Asgard and the next run of New Avengers. Nothing is concluded. All loose ends are still loose. Obviously they do this to keep me hooked, like a story addict constantly chasing satisfaction that will never come. But I don’t want to read a whole additional run! I have enough to read!
There is so much that isn’t addressed by the end of issue 64. I read 64 issues of a story to have zero conclusions! That’s a lot. Give me something! Just a little taste!
Sigh, this just kind of comes with the territory. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised and I definitely should expect it to keep happening but I don’t have to like it!
Regardless, I definitely do not regret reading this entire run. It’s comic books at their most comic bookey. It’s complicated, action packed, beautifully drawn, flashy, emotional, and way too long. It’s what keeps you coming back again and again.
If you’re a Marvel fan it’s honestly a must read.
4/5 spiders 🕷🕷🕷🕷
New Avengers (2004-2010) Summary, Issues 1-31
This total run of New Avengers (2004-2010) is 64 issues long. I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to break it up for the reviews. Looks like I’ll be doing two massive reviews for this one. A whole helluva lot happens in these pages so get ready for a run down.
The run starts with Jessica Drew, aka Spiderwoman, Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, and Luke Cage going to a SHIELD super max prison to find a hero called The Sentry who allegedly killed his wife.
Now, if that sentence didn’t make a lot of sense to you think book is not going to be for you. There are A LOT of characters in this book, all with at least two personas and some are known to the others and some are not.
Also, you’re going to need to be familiar with the following organizations and events: SHIELD, HYDRA, HAMMER, The Thunderbolts, Civil War, House of M, The Initiative, The Secret Invasion, The Skrulls, The Hand, The Savage Land and probably some more. This is not a good place to start if you are just looking to get into Marvel, sorry.
So we’re at The Raft, the big scary prison full of the biggest bads SHIELD could round up. Electro shuts the power and releases them all into the wild.
Captain America and Iron Man decide to reassemble The Avengers in order to take on this threat. Daredevil declines the invitation but does give them a lead on someone else who may be interested. Spiderman hops on board.
Jessica Drew is in but we get our first hint that she might be a dirty double crosser.
Electro’s main goal was to break out Sauron. The New Avengers head on over to the Savage Land to find and capture him. The Savage Land is a part of Antarctica that is a prehistoric jungle full of dinosaurs. Just lean into this okay?
Along the way they pick up Wolverine who has a personal bone to pick with Sauron. Before any of these good guys can take down Sauron he’s injured by Agent Belova of SHIELD, she’s the usual Black Widow’s sister but is also a Black Widow herself. There’s so much going on here and it’s just gonna get more complicated.
The New Avengers start to tune in to some corruption within SHIELD and decide that they need to end it on top of all the other threats they’re dealing with.
They find The Sentry, aka Bob Reynolds. But also find that his wife is still alive. Turns out no one actually has memories of The Sentry and everyone is really confused as to who he is or what he is capable of.
Reynolds is a real person with powers but his persona of The Sentry is actually a comic book character. Reynolds doesn’t buy this and keeps warning that “the void” is coming.
So the void is part of Mr. Reynolds, it’s what happens when he uses his powers. Mastermind cursed him and everyone else to repress the memories of The Sentry in an attempt to depower him. Emma Frost jumps into the mix to use her telepathy powers to unlock his mind. He joins the New Avengers and Emma Frost goes back to her Narnia sex dungeon or whatever her white corseted jam is.
And take a breath.
That’s just the first 10 issues of New Avengers (2004-2010). But don’t let my quick and dirty summary deter you. Bendis is masterful at juggling all of these characters and plots. The book honestly maintains a good pace and as long as you are already familiar with Marvel you shouldn’t be too lost. However, if you don’t know these characters at least by name this probably sounds like a fever dream.
Now we learn that Jessica Drew is being controlled by Madam Hydra. Drew has a family history with HYDRA and Madam Hydra is responsible for Drew’s Spiderwoman powers.
Side note, apparently on of her powers is releasing a pheromone that makes men think she’s mating material. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. And it sure as hell confuses the men around her, for exactly one page, before it is never mentioned again.
Captain America and the New Avengers capture Madam Hydra. Jessica Drew attempts to subtly release her but nearly kills Cap in the process. He begins to suspect something.
This whole time there has been a mystery ninja present, remember that Daredevil offered someone in his place? Well the mystery ninja is revealed and it’s freaking Echo!
A lot of you might be like, who? Well she’s one of my absolute favorite characters and is very under-utilized so I’m very excited. She’s a deaf mimic, she can do anything she can see.
Echo aside, now we learn even more about Jessica Drew. She was actually acting as a double agent under Nick Fury who is no longer the head of SHIELD because forces have placed Maria Hill in his place. So everyone needs to work together against some dark force that is controlling both HYDRA and SHIELD.
After this we start to get a lot of tie ins to two major Marvel events: Civil War and House of M. I can’t get into all of that without writing a whole book so I’m sorry if you’re unfamiliar.
We have yet another new threat now, this one is simply named Michael. Despite his name he’s actually a really big threat. Big enough for the New Avengers to need to call in Ms Marvel, aka Carol Danvers. Y’know, the Ms Marvel who is Captain Marvel not the Ms Marvel who is a really stretchy Muslim girl and not the Captain Marvel that is a DC man-child. Comic books!
Turns out Michael was just an innocent human living alone on a farm unaware that he is a power absorbing mutant. When House of M went down everyone’s powers had to go somewhere, they went to Michael. Now he has all of the powers and no idea what is going on.
The New Avengers neutralize him as a threat but then Civil War begins. The Sentry decides to join team Iron Man (wrong choice) and everyone else joins team Captain America (right choice). Iron Man is a jerk and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Back to Echo, aka Maya Lopez. She’s been living in Japan as Ronin. Elektra finds her, kills her, revives her, and attempts to use her for The Hand. This plot prompted me to buy this cover:
It’s both my main Marvel ladies!
Ahem, fangirling aside, Cap and his team rescue Echo, aka Ronin, and welcome her to the underground.
Underground Avengers are attempting to form a plan when Iron Jerk, aka Tony Stark aka Iron Man, and Ms Marvel show up to arrest them for violating the terms of the Superhero registration Act.
Somewhere in here Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, appears back from the dead. That’ll come in more later.
And Elektra comes with the full force of the Hand in an attempt to re-kidnap Echo. Echo kicks serious butt and kills Elektra.
But Elektra leaves behind a green corpse, a Skrull corpse.
The New Avengers realize this problem is even bigger than they could’ve even imagined. Anyone could actually be a Skrull, no one can be trusted, and everything is falling apart.
This is where I’ll leave off for this run. A good solid cliffhanger, just like everyone likes.
As crazy and convoluted as all of that probably sounds I actually really enjoyed this run. It has a lot of great characters and Bendis finds a reason for them all to be there. Great heroes need big problems to solve and these are some of the biggest.
If you are already knee deep in Marvel fandom definitely give this one a read. However, if you are unfamiliar with Civil War please do yourself a favor and start there. It’s marvel-ous.
For more of The Sentry check out The Sentry.
Summary, Issues 32-64
We left off with the New Avengers discovering that a Skrull threat means they can’t trust anyone. Anyone could be an enemy! As with the first half of this run you’re going to need to be familiar with a lot of Marvel. I’m not going to go into a lot of back story here.
Most of the New Avengers are going down in a plane crash but Spiderwoman can fly so she gets out safely. But then disappears. Remember, she might be a dirty double crosser.
Dr. Strange casts some spell and determines that none of the core group are actually Skrulls. Relieved, they set about to solve some problems but then Symbiotes attack.
This book has it all.
A bunch of bad guys are organizing under the leadership of The Hood. As their first motion they beat up Tigra.
The Symbiotes are from a Venom bomb, a totally normal thing that can happen in this universe. Iron Man thinks it was Dr. Doom so him and the other nark Avengers, aka bad Avengers, aka on the wrong side of Civil War Avengers, are going to invade Latveria over it. Basically, commit an international war crime over a hunch. Iron Man sucks.
Meanwhile, the good Avengers, Captain America’s Avengers, are working on that whole Skrull issue that’s still threatening to dismantle everything they hold dear.
Jessica Jones becomes fearful for the safety of her daughter and decides to join the bad Avengers because Captain Marvel made some promises of things like not having to live as a criminal underground. Luke Cage does not take this betrayal well.
We then get a big reveal that the dirty double crosser Jessica Drew is actually the Skrull queen. So Drew isn’t really a traitor yay! But this means that the corrupt SHIELD is also Skrull and this going pretty deep. Deep enough to mine vibranium. That’s why their here. Deep. Mine. Yeah, you get it.
Things get a little complicated around this point. Turns out Cap was a Skrull so deep undercover he really thought he was Cap and died as a martyr to Civil War without realizing he was Skrull.
Back to those other bad guys in this chaos. The Hood, Madam Masque, and the rest find a Skrull and start to form a plan. Now pretty much everyone knows about the Skrull invasion but it’s still very difficult to know who to trust. The Skrull believe that the Earth is their right according to some prophecy. Here we go with religion causing mass destruction again.
The groups start to intertwine some more when a Skrull kidnaps Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s baby.
Jessica Jones’ pain is freaking real through this.
Cage takes what he sees as the only course of action and makes a deal with some of the bad guys to help find and rescue her.
Oh wait, this is a totally different group of bad guys! Okay, we have Skrulls, Symbiotes, maybe Dr. Doom, The Hood and his cronies, AND Norman Osborne and his cronies including Bullseye and the Thunderbolts. Gosh, how could I get this mixed up?
Okay, so Cage strikes a deal with the Osborne group of baddies and they retrieve his daughter safely but Cage backs out on his part of the deal to join his dark Avengers group. Bad Avengers=Iron Man’s team, Dark Avengers=Norman Osborne’s team, Good Avengers=Captain America’s team, New Avengers=the book I’m desperately trying to summarize without sounding like I’m just spitting names onto the page.
Osborne clears a little of this up when he absorbs The Hood’s gang into his Dark Avengers. Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, aka Ronin is fed up with all of this and goes on the news to tell everyone Osborne and everyone associated with him sucks.
Spiderman finally reveals his identity to the New Avengers. It’s weird that he was the only one who was still under disguise even with his own team. But apparently Peter Parker and Jessica Jones go way back!
Now, while allll of this is going on Dr. Strange has to give up his role as grandmaster wizard of the dark mystic arts or whatever his title is. The universe is supposed to guide him to the rightful heir. This gives us a brief detour to visit Daimon Hellstrom, son of Satan, but turns out Brother Voodoo gets the eye of Agamoto in the end.
Let’s not even talk about the moniker Brother Voodoo. Just know he is super powerful in this weird magic side of Marvel.
The New Avengers then capture The Hood and Madam Masque but the court of public opinion is siding with Norman Osborne.
Clint gets even more fed up and decides they need to finally kill Osborne once and for all. Not surprisingly, not everyone is on board with this plan.
Now, on top of everything else that still hasn’t been resolved, a mad scientist with a very strong power inhibitor knocks out all the heroes’ powers. Mockingbird is the only one unaffected so she attempts to get help. They get the power inhibitor turned off but then Cage starts having a heart attack.
Now they need to retrieve the power inhibitor so that the Night Nurse can get through Cage’s unbreakable skin to perform surgery.
Once again helpless and out of options, Cage gets himself arrested so that Osborne is forced into providing him with surgery before he can be used as an example for all those other meddlesome heroes.
After the successful surgery the heroes break Cage out but in what shouldn’t be a surprise Cage now has a tracking device on his heart.
This brings us to a Magic School Bus plot of Antman shrinking Dr Strange to get inside of Cage’s unbreakable body to retrieve the tiny tracker from his heart. Remember, Dr Strange is a world class surgeon so he’s still useful even without magic.
And then the book just kind of ends. It ties in to Siege of Asgard, with which I’m entirely unfamiliar, and gives a direct lead in to New Avengers Heroic Age. This made the ending to the epic run quite disappointing.
I feel like very little was concluded or solved and so many loose ends are still loose. And now I have to go read two other runs to get any answers!
Sigh, this is all to common with comic books. It’s a frustration that comes with the medium. I should be used to it by now but it frequently leaves me unsatisfied.
However, this run is still a lot of fun for 64 issues. A ton happens but it does a good job of keeping track of it all. Despite how manic this review may sound it does play out well throughout the issues.
It is still imperative that you are not a Marvel newbie before reading this one though. It will be very confusing otherwise. But if you’re seasoned in the Marvel cannon please do not hesitate to try out New Avengers.
4/5 super powered beings 🐱🏍🐱🏍🐱🏍🐱🏍
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I wasn’t really happy with how they collected this run in trades but here’s the first 10 issues to get you started:
Buy it here: New Avengers Vol. 1: Breakout (The New Avengers)