Comics : New Avengers Annual (Vol. 2) #1

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This story is part of an Arc: "Avengers 2011 Annuals"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Filling Gaps

This review was first published on: Jul 2013.

Background...

Simon Williams (the former Avenger also known as Wonder Man) believes the Avengers cause more problems than they solve and has been on a mission to close them down for some time now.

In Detail...

New Avengers Annual (Vol. 2) #1
Nov 2011 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 1 of "Avengers 2011 Annuals"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Gabriele Dell'Otto
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Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn) (FB, Cameo)

Simon is ranting at how bad the Avengers are. He lists the Top 5 problems he holds them accountable for: Ultron, the Scarlet Witch, the Civil War, the Hulk and the Dark Avengers. His speech is towards a team he has assembled, made up of D-Man, Anti-Venom, Atlas, Ethan Edwards, Goliath, Devil-Slayer, Century and Captain Ultra. He thinks they are better then the Avengers and it’s up to them to take them down.

At Avengers Mansion, Squirrel Girl is taking baby Danielle out for a stroll – leaving Luke Cage and Jessica Jones alone for the first time since she was born (*wink!*). Now the mansion is baby free, Williams’ team attacks. Victoria Hand calls for back-up whilst Ms Marvel tries to reason with Wonder Man. Hand has an app on her tablet that identifies the attackers, their power sets and their weaknesses. It helps but ultimately does no good as the New Avengers are beaten. The victors then set their sights on Avengers Tower…

In General...

First of, I really don’t like stories that are told across multiples lines, especially when no warning of such is given on the cover (e.g. part 1 of 2, like they did with Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #38 ). Fair enough, a lot of New Avengers readers are also going to be Avengers readers (I am) but that’s not the point. This isn’t a line wide event, it’s meant to be an annual – done in one, concluded at the finish, no loose ends.

That said the story itself is quite interesting. A group of former/wannabe heroes led by Wonder Man think the Avengers do more harm then good and so want to stop them. This isn’t a bunch of villains wanting to take over the world; they want to do good but in a different way. Proof of this being that they waited for the baby to leave the mansion before they attacked – you see, they are good, villians wouldn't have done that! The list of bad things the Avengers are responsible for is interesting and Williams isn't really wrong. He does contradict himself a little with his arguments though. He blames the Avengers for letting a powerhouse like the Hulk run around unchecked smashing and killing as he goes, but then criticises them for dealing with the Sentry when he lost control and became the Void. Although this contradiction may be a way of showing us how unstable Simon really is right now.

The fight is well done. I really liked Victoria’s app for identifying heroes; very useful as I certainly didn’t know all of them. The interactions between characters that had a history was also fun, especially D-Man’s fury at not being recognised by anyone. The art throughout was also good, with some great double page splashes and the action scenes were well depicted.

Overall Rating...

Solid enough story with a nice concept, shame it wraps up in the Avengers annual.