Since I wait for collected editions (trade paperbacks or graphic novels), I always feel like I'm a good year behind the events of the Marvel Universe.
So, eagerly awaiting the new volume in writer Brian Michael Bendis' run on The New Avengers, I grabbed Volume 10 when it was released this week and read it in about 20 minutes.
Now, that's not an insult; It's a compliment.
Bendis has made me excited about these characters again. Some of my fondest memories of my comics reading career somehow involve The Avengers. However, in those days, it was usually the art of George Perez who drew me to the book. These days, it's the writing of Mr. Bendis that does it.
This slim volume collects only 4 issues (Secret Invasion: Dark Reign and New Avengers, issues 48 to 50) but it's required reading as it bridges the end of the Secret Invasion storyline and the start of the Dark Reign one.
Luke Cage needs to get his baby back; Spiderwoman (the real one?) needs to prove she is no longer the Skrull queen in disguise; Bucky needs to lead as the new Captain America and so on.
Lenil Yu's art was missed but the art in the various volumes is adequate; I found the multiple artists approach of issue 50 a bit jarring but the writing in this issue is pretty good with Bendis going inside the head of each combatant on the New Avengers team -- no one writes Spiderman quite like Bendis and his take feels true to this fan.
Four issues for $20 is a bit pricey but if you're caught up in the Marvel Universe at the moment, this is probably essential.