Comics : Avengers (Vol. 4) #4

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This review was first published on: Jan 2011.

Background...

Kang, Immortus, time travel and a broken time stream has lead to the Avengers splitting into two teams, one has headed to the future to try and correct the problem. Another has stayed in the present to battle the anomalies that are turning up and wreaking the place!

In Detail...

Avengers (Vol. 4) #4 (Story 1)
Oct 2010 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man, Spider-Woman appear
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Klaus Janson
Cover Art:  Dean White, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson
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Review

In the present, a team of Avengers battles a whole host of anomalies caused by time being broken. They face all sorts of things from martians to dinosaurs and Galactus. Thor leads the way, smashing most of the big stuff and Killraven helps out the Avengers, since he's been displaced too.

The team of Avengers that travelled to the future are stuck in a cave while outside a war between Kang and Ultron is happening. As they debate what to do, they are attacked and systematically knocked unconcious by the future children of the Avengers (who, you may remember, they are their to try and stop them killing Kang/Immortus, so that time won't be broken...). When they are awake, they are greeted by the future Hulk (who I assume is Maestro) who greets them and explains he told Kang to bring them to him and the Avenger Kids explain they attacked them for expediency (a "military extraction"). A future Tony Stark appears on the scene and it's explained that this future Tony is the one who told Maestro to get past Tony... things are definitely getting a bit convoluted at this point... I mean Kang's working for Maetro and so are the Kid Avengers, but future Tony might be giving Maestro orders all to stop the Kid Avengers from killing Immortus... sheesh!

Anyway, the issue ends with Maestro and future Tony peeling off past Tony's Iron Man armour by force...

In General...

This issue is an improvement over last issue, but I'm getting quite worried that the story is getting unecessarily convoluted! So many time travel/alternate universe stories go wrong by becoming complicated when there is no real need. I mean, I'm sure if future Tony Stark sent a message to his past self, explaining the situation and asking him to travel to the future, that past Tony would of gone. Instead, he asks Maestro to get Kang to get him. I don't really consider this clever plotting and it doesn't really hold much of a surprise factor, it just seems unnecessary.

On the plus side, the annoying charcterisations (well I found them annoying) are not present this issue. In fact I really like how Thor is portrayed and the scenes of him fighting all the anomalies are awesome, mainly due to Romita Jr's fantastic art. In fact Romita Jr's art this issue is stellar and his splash pages are spectacular!

I hope that this story is heading somewhere, there has been four issues of what I would consider "build-up", with a fair bit of padding in there. The Avengers still haven't really started addressing what they percieve as the problem yet.

Overall Rating...

A fairly solid issue with spectacular artwork. The splash pages are worth the admission price alone.