New Avengers #52 review

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New Avengers #52
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Billy Tan and Chris Bachalo
Marvel Comics

No, everybody else is going to be talking about Detective Comics 853 this week. I won’t do it.

Well, maybe a little: Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” is damn good. It almost makes me care about Batman, which I generally don’t. So, you should come in to Comic Zone and pick it up. We still have some second printings of part 1 (Batman 686) available, too, so you can get the whole thing at once!

But, no. Today, I’m going to talk about New Avengers #52. The quest for Earth’s new sorcerer supreme continues, as Stephen Strange (formerly Dr. Strange) comes to the New Avengers (which now consist of Captain America (Formerly Bucky), Ronin (formerly Hawkeye), Ms. Marvel (formerly of the Mighty Avengers), Wolverine (formerly not in 70 comics a month), Spider-Man (formerly had an identity even the Avengers couldn’t remember), Luke Cake (Formerly wore a tiara and a yellow disco shirt), Spider-Woman (formerly abducted by Skrulls), and Mockingbird (formerly dead)) to explain where he’s been, and about his recent run-in with Parker Robbins, a.k.a. The Hood.

The Hood, in addition to creating a criminal syndicate the size of which has never been seen in the Marvel U, has taken up as the host for some big bad demon (which I learned from the dialogue, since Chris Bachalo’s artwork mostly just looks like a muddles mess of black globs, these days — Good thing he’s only drawing the demon scenes, with Billy Tan drawing everything else), and is looking for the Eye of Agamotto (the mystic amulet dealio that is the property of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme). But ol’ Stevie Strange won’t give up the Eye to just anybody – He’s lookin’ for the next Sorcerer Supreme, and won’t rest until he finds that individual.

So, of course, the Avengers take a trip with Dr. Strange, because they’re out looking for The Hood, and think that the team of them can take out The Hood. Even though he’s more powerful than Dr. Strange. I don’t see that ending well for anybody. Meanwhile, Madame Masque reveals her face to The Hood, and then they start making out. I’m not sure I see THAT ending well for anybody, either.

I think there may be some misdirection at the end, as the Hood finds another magic user we haven’t seen in a while, but it’s a character that I’m pretty sure is not in the running to be Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme…

Still, if you’re reading New Avengers, #52 is a worthy addition to your collection. It’s been really nice having a comic written by the same guy for more than a year, and other than Chris Bachalo, the artwork has consistently been top-notch. After all, it’s like Ultra Magnus taught us back in 1986: “Consistency is victory.”

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