New Avengers (2005)

After a rough day the Avengers call it quits, but a few months later there's a prison break and so they get the band back together. I'm reading the 2005 issues.

You know you're reading a Brian Michael Bendis story when there's so many freakin' speech bubbles you can't focus on anything except how much goddamn text you have to read.

Steve Rogers (Captain America) asks Matt Murdock (Daredevil) to join the team because they need his help to tackle the Japanese underworld. Matt says he can't join the team because doesn't want to drag them under with his bad name, but he'll send a friend of his (Ronin) to help.

So they go to Japan and fight ninjas, and it's all pretty stock standard. Madam Hydra is attempting to arrange some kind of villainous power share with the Silver Samurai, Luke Cage gets thrown off a 30-storey building and has to get the elevator back up in order to rejoin the fight, and on the way back home Peter Parker (Spider-Man) bugs Ronin about their secret identity.

He asks if Ronin is secretly the Iron Fist, Luke's long time boyfriend partner, but Luke says he'd know if it was Danny.


The only other bit that made me take the time to take a screen cap is this scene where Tony Stark (Iron Man) calls up SHIELD and speaks to Maria Hill who is acting as Director now that Nick Fury is missing. Hill chews him out for announcing the New Avengers to the media before okaying it with SHIELD, and wants to know whatever he knows about the events of M-Day.

Tony is his regular charming self, in that he blocks all their lie detecting and facial recognition software and essentially tells her to go fuck herself. I took a screenshot because now that Greg Land is drawing the new Marvel NOW! Iron Man title, it's probably going to be pretty rare to get him looking all handsome and shit like this again.

He's always at his best when he's bitching and hasn't slept for two days.
Siiiiigh. Bye handsome!Tony, I will miss you.

Couple other little things for your reading pleasure. Firstly: a few years ago writer Peter David (or PAD  as he's known) brought back a little known character called Shatterstar, created by writer Fabian Nicieza and 'artist' Rob Liefeld. He then ended decades of speculation about the character's sexuality by having him share an on-panel smooch with long time team buddy and often-speculated lover, Julio Richter (Rictor). Given the lack of diversity in mainstream comics many people saw this move as positive, however Liefeld was not happy with the direction David had taken with the formally asexual alien who found human emotion complex and difficult to understand. You can read a hilarious chain of messageboard comments from Liefeld himself, as well as  Peter David and fans on the issue here.

Liefeld is quoted as saying “Shatterstar is akin to Maximus in Gladiator. He’s a warrior, a Spartan, and not a gay one.” and Peter David points out that when informed their children are homosexual, many parents find it difficult to believe at first. Later on, the following scene appeared in PAD's title X-Factor:

Guido: Tell me Shatterstar: do you like Gladiator movies?
'Star: Apparently so.
Guido: Figures. 
I'm just insanely amused by the portrayal of Rob as a conservative father who can't bring himself to accept the sexuality of his child, and the respectful but articulate responses from PAD about why it's offensive to imply that 'Star can't be gay because he's badass warriors (what? gay people can't be badasses? Are we not currently living in an age without Don't Ask Don't Tell?) are just further proof that X-Factor is in capable and sensitive hands with PAD.

And finally, Marvel announced this week the upcoming ALL FEMALE team book called the Fearless Defenders. I promptly lost my shit. A few weeks ago they teased a cover with just the word "Fearless" and I assumed they were talking about maybe a new NOW! Daredevil title, but this is so much better. The full line-up hasn't been announced yet, but the two co-leaders have: Misty Knight and Valkyrie. One's a street level ass-kicker and the other is a goddess. Writer Cullen Bunn explains the set up for the book is that Val has been charged with choosing a new team of Valkyrior, but this time from the women of Earth instead of from Asgard. You can bet your butts I'll be pre-ordering this title, it's so rare we get a female-led team let alone an all lady one. I just hope that Marvel gives this book the support it needs to get going, as they have a bit of a reputation for killing titles that don't sell well immediately.

So to get ready for the Fearless Defenders I'm going to read Bunn's spiritual precursor story, Fear Itself: The Fearless. Are you guys excited? I'm excited. Smooches!

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