New Avengers #1 - I had expressed before that I really didn't see much of a point in the New Avengers series continuing, much less being rebooted. After all, the first New Avengers series replaced The Avengers, and now that The Avengers is back, why should this even exist? I had written some time ago that I was worried that the franchise was being diluted a bit, and this was way back when Mighty Avengers was still going on after Secret Invasion was all over. Still, I was determined to at least give this one a shot, as it was being written by Brian Michael Bendis and was being illustrated by Stuart Immonen.
With all that out of the way, I have to say that this was my favorite of the three new Avengers series to come out post-Siege. With just a few pages, it makes sense why there's yet another Avengers team. Not only that, but it's great to see that Luke Cage is such an integral part of the Marvel Universe now. I don't think that anybody could accuse him of being a token black character, as you might have been able to make that case a long time ago.
Essentially, the "New" Avengers were basically the rogue Avengers ever since the end of Civil War. This continued during Dark Reign, of course. And with this new incarnation, while they're not exactly rogue, having gotten the thumbs up from Steve "Don't call me Captain America" Rogers himself, they are a bit more of an "unofficial" team. Not only that, but they're getting the respect they deserve, with Luke Cage having now being the owner of the old Avengers Mansion. I wonder - does this make him team leader? Ms. Marvel seems to be a better fit for that, but he's definitely the heart of this new team, and I don't see much point in it at all if he's not in the book.
Who's the team? It looks like Cage, Spider-Man, The Thing, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Jewel. For the most part, it's not too different from the team that we've gotten to know over the past few years.
I'm not quite sure what it was, but there was something about this comic that really made me feel good. Maybe it was finally getting to see these heroes get the respect they deserve. Maybe it was the fact that Stuart Immonen is really firing on all cylinders with this issue. Maybe I'm just a big sap who loves superheroes. It's probably a little bit of all of that.
The Amazing Spider-Man #633 & 634 - The final chapter of the Lizard story had a satisfying conclusion, but I'm wondering when they're finally going to settle this whole "Dark Aunt May" storyline, as it crops back up at the end of 633. As for 634, it begins the "Grim Hunt" storyline, and I'm pleased to see that Michael Lark is drawing it. I don't have too much to say other than it was a fun issue, and I'm curious to see where this is all going. One thing that I am disappointed in though is that once this arc is finished, an artist who I REALLY didn't like is coming back for six issues. I've been reading Amazing off-and-on since I started reading comics in the sixth grade. I've been reading it consistently for nearly a decade now. It looks like that streak is going to come to an end. I'll probably start picking it up again afterward, but six issues of an artist I really can't stand? Not gonna happen.