Schachat's Occasional Breakdown
Schachat has man hands.
of curiosity... who ever buys Official Marvel Handbooks?
And why? Is Marvel continuity really that
confusin– okay, dumb question. Moving on...
kids, I’m quite torn by New Avengers #13.
It succeeds and fails in different ways, but ultimately
just leaves me feeling disappointed. The big reveal of Ronin’s
identity, the resolution to the “conflict” with
Silver Samurai, Jessica Drew’s betrayal... it all
just feels kind of tired, by now.
Picking up from last month, the Avengers
are in Samurai’s courtyard with a small legion of
Hand ninjas standing against them. After a bit of thinking,
Silver Samurai turns on the Hand and slaughters half a dozen
of them with one stroke of his sword. Then Iron Man incapacitates
the rest, and the fight’s over before we can even
put our popcorn in the microwave. Samurai and the Avengers
agree to disagree, and our heroes head home with Madame
Hydra in shackles.
Then Jessica Drew lets her go and turns
the minor victory into a complete loss.
So, the things I DO like about this episode:
Bendis uses the unfair imprisonment of Silver Samurai to
highlight current affairs concerning what lengths we let
the real world intelligence community go to in the War on
Terror; The reasoning behind Jessica Drew’s betrayal
of the team is interesting, even if the character herself
is proving rather dim-witted; The position the team is finding
themselves in echoes the crisis Captain America went through
in the days after 9-11, when he realized the dangers of
representing a government you may not fully understand or
What I DON’T like: Finch’s characters
are starting to hurt my eyes. He seems to be using about
three different faces for all his character designs, and
only one of those is female. Aside from the green lipstick
or handprint-on-the-face, Madame Hydra, Jessica Drew, and
Echo look EXACTLY the same. Same face, same haircut, same
lack of expression.
that brings us to the other major problem: the reveal of
the “Ronin” arc is that it’s Echo.
it worth the three issue wait? I don’t think so, really.
Daredevil would be interesting, but I don’t see anyone
cheering when the mask is pulled aside to reveal Echo’s
face. Worse yet, I feel rather betrayed by Finch. I can
respect the notion that her outfit might have been padded
a bit, but look at the shots of Ronin in action.
I'll bet she gives great back rubs...
I don’t know why they felt the need
to be that deceitful with the artwork, but it really accomplishes
nothing. The reveal doesn’t have enough foreshadowing
behind it to be satisfying, and the character isn’t
important enough to make the unveiling any kind of event.
But, again, I’m torn. As issues go,
this isn’t a bad one. Not necessarily a good one,
either. The only real achievement is forwarding Jessica
Drew’s sub-plot, and that only goes so far. The people
who’ve been reading New Avengers since the beginning
may get something out of this, but it won’t do much
for anyone else.
as every Wolverine fan surely knows by now, Logan has regained
all his memories, and Wolverine #36
is supposed to be the first move down that long road to
filling in the unknown mysteries of Marvel’s most
Think again, kiddies. This is just another
lackluster opening chapter from the sickeningly prolific
Daniel Way. It’s light on story, light on character,
and light on excitement. Of course, since Wolverine’s
on the cover, we’ll still buy it in like the mindless
animals we are, but that’s beside the point.
The story begins with Wolvie getting a call
from Emma Frost. They dump some exposition on us about how
he’s bouncing on and off the grid lately, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s
trying to find him, and he’s hunting a man down for
some reason. About 20 pages later, we see him find the man
in question, but still no questions are answered. In fact,
more are raised due to the sheer silliness of this whole
that it’s much of a spoiler, but the guy Wolvie’s
trying to hunt down is Silver Samurai. Aside from Logan’s
rather cool method of getting his attention, the whole situation
is just boring. Unless Logan is totally outclassed by his
opponent, there’s no chance we’ll think he’s
in any danger.
best there is at actually not doing anything but
to the Silver one, but he ain’t that threatening.
Considering that he met up with the Avengers recently, Wolvie
probably could’ve made his job a lot easier by simply
sticking with the team for a minute rather than suddenly
running off on his own.
issue also ends on the reveal (to the 6 people who didn’t
already know) that Logan’s memories are back. Great,
but what does he remember? This is what we’ve been
waiting for since House of M ended, and we’ve
seen no change in Logan’s personality whatsoever.
know about anyone else, but suddenly regaining more than
a hundred years worth of memories would probably make me
look at the world a little differently.
that’s what it all comes down to: Wolverine
isn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to flesh
out the character. I think almost all of that blame has
to go to Marvel Editorial for restraining the writers, but
Daniel Way still doesn’t manage an enjoyable story
with what he’s got.
they stop jerking us around, re-read the “Enemy of
the State” and “Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
arcs, if you want good Wolvie stories. This is just depressing.
2: X-Men #178, Ultimate Fantastic Four #25...