Avengers Assemble is a solid Cosmic Marvel series but a disappointing Avenegrs series. When you consider how many Avengers books there are on the stands, that’s not the worst thing in the world. Issue #7 is easily at its strongest when the Avengers are relegated to the background and the cosmic characters take over. Brian Bendis opens the issue with a cool scene involving Thanos confronting the various cosmic bigwigs of the Marvel Universe. The Thanos in this series takes some getting used to, as he doesn’t really seem to reflect any of the changes the character went through during Annihilation and War of Kings. Still, there’s a definite appeal in seeing the old power hungry, unstoppable Mad Titan back in action.
Elsewhere, the issue follows the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in their escalating battle with the Badoon. There’s some fun banter to be had involving the Guardians, as their snarky team dynamic is practically tailor-made for Bendis. But with the story reaching this level of scale, the Avengers are doing little more than getting in the way. The same problems with uneven character voices remain. Thor is the primary offender this month, as he seems to hop back and forth between his old-school, faux-Shakespearean speech and a more contemporary dialect.
At least the emphasis is less on dialogue and more on action this month. Bendis writes a fun, mostly silent sequence that sees the Avengers trapped in the vacuum of space. Unfortunately, Mark Bagley doesn’t do enough to bring this sequence to life. His pencils continue to appear very loose and rushed, and neither the inks nor the colors do anything to breathe more life into the page.
Bendis would have a potentially much more interesting and enjoyable story on his hands if he were just writing a Guardians of the Galaxy comic. And perhaps one day he will be, and the Avengers will just have been a necessary evil in order to help provide causal readers a stepping stone into the Marvel cosmos. That still doesn’t excuse this series for its storytelling shortcomings.
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