The Avengers are born again! Following the mass breakout from the maximum- security prison know as the Raft, the New Avengers journeyed to the Savage Lands to capture the escaped mutant terrorist Karl Lykos, aka Sauron. In the process our heroes discover a rogue element of S.H.I.E.L.D. stockpiling Vibranium. Furthermore Tony Stark, Ironman, discovers that someone in S.H.I.E.L.D. has also been stockpiling a number of, presumed dead, super- powered villains. What more you ask? To top off this action packed issue Wolverine is invited to join the ranks of the New Avengers despite the reservations of Captain America.
And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born - to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!
This episode starts to shape up immediately. Almost first thing we're treated with a dose of that famous Spidey humor when there has to be a secure phone line before he'll say hello to Ironman. Following this Ironman flies off to what appears to be a meeting of the "Who's Who" among super hero groups. Tony announces that he has reformed the Avengers and will be supporting them out of the new Stark Tower. Despite a little lip from the Submariner Tony recieves the blessings of Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, Professor X, and the Black Bolt.
Things move pretty quickly after this. Spider-woman, Luke Cage, Wolverine, and Spider-man take off after the Wrecker, one of the super villains escaped from the raft. Long story short: the Avengers show up on the scene, Spider- man makes some humorous quips at the Wrecker's expense, and then the Wrecker hands the new Avengers team their collective @$$*$! Spider-man, Wolverine, and Luke Cage all get tossed completely out of neighborhood leaving Spider- woman face-to-face with a guy that gave Thor a run for his money once.
Meanwhile, Ironman and Captain America take another step in unraveling the mystery of the Sentry. Thanks to some S.H.I.E.L.D. intel they track Robert Reynolds to a cave in the Nevada desert. Here the Avengers present Reynolds with the truth of the story: Reynolds did not kill his wife, in fact, she's not dead at all, and that the Sentry is a comic book character created by a guy named Paul Jenkins. So the question becomes, who exactly is Robert Reynolds?
As a Spidey fan I'm really disappointed by Spider-man's role in the new line. Primarily he seems to serve as only comedic relief. On the bright side our old friend does have more of a role than Luke Cage who only seems to hit things and be hit by them in return. However, this is the New Avengers not "Spider-man and his Avenger Friends" so to tell the truth I'm really enjoying this new angle on an old story. The New Avengers are really forming up as a gritty, realistic group and I think it will gather a following similar to the Avengers of old. This issue does an excellent job of building the foundations upon which the New Avengers will grow. Not only do we see some action packed good guy vs. bad guy whoopings but also the fortifying of a power base and the beginnings of a good mystery.
All in all a good start to what will hopefully become a great new comic but not exactly melt-your-face-off material. Hopefully in the future we'll be seeing Spidey playing a bigger role in the group at large!