If there's one comic that has not lived up to the fans expectations it's the New Avengers. By placing several of Marvels top characters in one book the New Avengers should be the most popular book out there. Yet a lot of people see NA as a copy of DC's JLA, as the team consists of some of Marvels most popular mainstream characters. I can se the comparison but I don't see how this is wrong, I'm sure if they wanted to go all out they would have included The Hulk, The Thing, Blade, Elektra, The Punisher and any other Marvel hero that had a movie. By placing some of Marvels top brass with other less known characters, these other characters have a chance to shine. If you take Spider Woman for example, 5 years ago if said that she would have her own ongoing book, written by a Wizard top 10 writer you would have laughed. Now thanks to her exposure in NA that's going to happen.
A huge problem NA had was the lack of a real villain. There was no Kang, Ultron or Masters of evil. The greatest threat they faced was the Xorn entity left over from the House of M. Without facing a threat that the old Avengers did the NA never had a chance to prove themselves to the existing Avengers fan base.
I think the main problem was the team never got a chance to show what they could do together. Yes they faced Xorn as a team but that didn't happen until issue 19, over 18 months after the book was launched. The first arc started off the team book well but most of the arcs after concentrated on one character, which to me is not how you start a team book. Yes explore the team's line up but first you need to establish a team to explore.
The core team itself was a great line up:
Captain America is synonymous with the Avengers. He's the greatest leader in the marvel Universe. The team look up to him, respect his leadership and always follow his orders. An Avengers book without Captain America is just plain wrong.
Iron Man is also synonymous with the Avengers. He's the worlds greatest inventor. His wealth also provides the team with a base and equipment. He's also a heavy hitter when it comes to fighting.
Spider-Man is new to the Avengers environment. Spidey is team's best all rounder. He can fight and he's a scientist. Many thought he was added to the book to boost sales but Bendis has shown that Spidey is a valuable part of the team.
Wolverine is also new to the Avengers. Wolverine brings another view to the team. He took over from Hawkeye as the teams jerk. Again he was probably added to the roster to boost sales as he hasn't done anything major yet.
Spider Woman is more than the team's token female. She brings a practical view to the team. If something needs stopping she will always suggest the most direct approach. I believe Bendis added her to the team because he genuinely likes her, as I mentioned earlier under NA she really has time to shine.
Luke Cage is another character new to world of Avengers. Cage brings a real man on the street view to the team. His powers aren't the reason why he's on the team, it's because of his ethics. Cage is another of Marvel character who has had time to stand out in this book
The Sentry was the character I was most excited about being in the NA. More than just a Superman clone he brings the team's raw power, that's if he can get out of bed that day. Again the Sentry was one of those characters in Marvel Limbo, until NA reintroduced him. I'm not sure why Bendis added him to the team but I'm glad he did.
It's a shame the Civil War happened when it did I would have liked to seen the team face old villains and get to 50 issues With Iron Man now leading the Pro- Registration Mighty Avengers will Captain America continue to lead the New Avengers? Who will be on the team? Will the New Avengers be renamed the Secret Avengers? There are a lot of questions to be answered but as a fan I'm looking forward to the answers.
See you in the theatre