Comics : Free Comic Book Day 2009 (Avengers)

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This review was first published on: 2009.

Background...

The New Avengers and the Dark Avengers must team up to fight the assault of Yimir the Frost Giant upon Manhattan, and because it is Free Comic Book Day, this comic is, well, FREE! w00t! w00t!

In Detail...

"The Avengers in "The Way Things Are...""
Free Comic Book Day 2009 (Avengers)
May 2009 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Jim Cheung
Inker:  Mark Morales
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Review

Spider-Man is swinging through Midtown as a powerful snow story whips through the steel canyons of New York. He is hailed by a young lad who seems to be asking him if he is the one who brought on the early spring snow, when he hears a loud boom. Knowing that "boom" usually is a bad thing he stops to see what just happened, and is nearly clobbered by a swiftly falling god of thunder. Quickly swinging to check on the condition of Thor, Spidey looks up to spot the face of the Frost Giant Yimir. Realizing that anything that big (especially something that can knock the god of Thunder for a loop), is way out of his league, he puts a call into his fellow Avengers, even as he shoulders the blond Norse god and hightails it out of Yimir's path.

Soon he is joined by Captain America (Bucky), Wolverine, Spider-Woman, Iron Fist, Ronin, Ms Marvel, Luke Cage, and Mockingbird. As the assembled team gazes on the fact of the frost giant they wonder what is happening, and the best way to deal with this other-worldly menace. As they stand around discussing the situation, Spidey shows up with the still-unconscious Thor.

Ms. Marvel, takes their fallen comrade from Spidey and flies him off to New Jersey for temporary safety, as Wolverine, ever the impatient one) has Cage stand in for Colossus and deliver up Yimir a Fastball Special, which plants the Avenger deep inside the mythical giant. Before anyone can react to the resulting (forced) contact between Avenger and Frost Giant Sentry appears, heralding the arrival of Osborn's team of "Avengers".

Wary of what could possibly happen with the arrival of this faux team the New Avengers stand their guard. Immediately upon arrival Osborn (Iron Patriot) along with his team Ares, Sentry, "Captain Marvel" (the Kree warrior, Nov-Varr), "Ms. Marvel" (Moonstone), "Wolverine" (Wolverine's son, Daken), "Hawkeye" (Bullseye), and "Spider-Man (Venom/Scorpion,) Before either team can truly challenge the other, or even prepare for battle, Ares realizes that Yimir has noticed them all, and whisks them away to a place that is neither quite Mitgard nor Asgard, but a location that is somewhere between the two.

It is here that Venom loses whatever slippery hold he has on his sanity, and attacks Spider-Man, causing a full-fledged assault of one team on the other, causing a momentary free-for-all, which Iron Patriot quickly ends the fracas with the assistance of Sentry. Iron Patriot demands everyone stand down until the can properly assess their situation. Whereupon Spidey remarks that you know you're in Crazytown when Osborn is the voice of reason.

As the enormity of the moment begins to dawn on all of them, and they start to realize the terrible nature of the situation, they turn to Ares for help. He suggests that they find Thor, when it is pointed out to him that Thor is not available, he realizes that they need the Twilight Sword. Having determined the best course of action, Ares trudges off in the snow to find the sword. Iron Patriot then turns to both teams and vows that they will get along or he will flat-out execute whoever first lays a hand on the opposing team.

Osborn, Sentry, Ms. Marvel (Moonstone), and Spider-Woman all take to the air for reconnaissance as the rest begin to trudge through the snow. Eventually they approach the gleaming spires of Asgard where the flyers of both teams come crashing to the ground and they are set upon by a hoard of demons. Both teams of Avengers throw themselves into the new assault as Spidey, Cage, Sentry and Iron Patriot follow Ares into a cave where they find the Twilight Sword inside a gleaming crystal.

Ares swings his mighty ax to shatter the crystal he then picks up the sword and attacks Yimir as the combined Avengers deal with his minions. Finally, Ares proves triumphant and bests the Frost Giant, returning both Avengers teams to Earth, and the forces of Yimir back to their mythical lands. With the threat of Yimir gone, the two teams return to their posturing stances until Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), and Thor arrive on the scene to retrieve the sword from Ares and return it to Asgard.

Once the sword is back in his possession, he commands Iron Patriot and his team to stand down or to face the wrath of the god of Thunder. Choosing the better part of valor, Osborn's team turns and walks away, even as the New Avengers realize that there will eventually come a reckoning between the two teams.

In General...

Between the solid scrip, outstanding art, and the dynamic coloring this is a fabulous story, and it makes one yearn for the possibility that all of the Avengers titles (as well as the rest of the Marvel line) could read this well.

Overall Rating...

While I don't always feel that his writing is up to his own standards (it is relatively easy to tell when Bendis is phoning it in), this script is clean, crisp, and full of the sparkling banter and witty dialogue that I have come to expect (demand) from this author. The story stays on point and never meanders from the straight-ahead narrative that tells the tale in a most entertaining fashion.

Footnote...

This story is told from Spidey's point of view.