Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick Hit Review

Dark Reign – The List: Avengers

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils: Marko Djurdjevic

Inks: Mark Morales

Colors: Marte Gracia

Review By: Alec Berry

I had no interest in Dark Reign’s beginning, yet the tail end of the status quo’s existence is dragging me back to the Marvel Universe full force. Dark Reign – The List: Avengers kicks off a series of eight one-shot/special issues that entail what seems to be Norman Osborn’s full-force (if not final) siege upon the world of Marvel Heroes. As Osborn sees it, it is time to bring some real change to the world and take full control of the way things function – mainly the freedoms of the world’s largest super-powered individuals who constantly threaten his presence at the top.

This book did what all event-focused books should: take existing characters that we all know at the core and study them from another angle while exploring their reactions, attitudes and character under unusual and even extreme circumstances. Bendis does this by simply focusing on two different sides of the Norman Osborn argument: kill him or bring him to justice? The idea creates an interesting divide within the Avengers team, and it also allows reflects upon what makes the characters of Captain America, Spider-man and Clint Barton who they are. Ultimately, this question is what moves the plot of the issue and places a specific character in an interesting position which will surely see farther exploration in the core Avengers book (New Avengers).

The artwork within this issue is also very well produced – the tag team of Djurdjevic, Morales and Gracia work well in their collaboration implanting a tone of desperation and almost futility. Djurdjevic also captures the sequential feel quite nicely, which is shocking for the amount of cover work he produces.

All and all, this was well worth the read and adds to my growing curiosity of the current Marvel Comics landscape. Yet, to place a warning to potential consumers, this book is not oversized for the 3.99 price tag. It may feel heavy when picked off the spinner rack, but don’t let the dual eight-page previews of Dark Reign – The List: Daredevil & Dark Reign – The List: X-Men fool you. But, I will not linger on that complaint – I still bought it holding that knowledge after all. But yes, Dark Reign: The List – Avengers is a nice example of a good event-centric comic book; it packs interesting looks at favorite characters, gorgeous artwork and a cliff-hanger that leaves the reader curious for more.

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