ellyr_in_ink: Dishes! (Clutter Beware!)
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Title: Avengers Prime #1 (June 2010), 23 pages

Splash Page Summary: Norman Osborn's Siege is over and the reunited Avengers were triumphant. Steve Rogers, the man who was Captain America, is now in charge of the United States' security. But all this was not without cost. The great city of Asgard has fallen.

Credits: Brian Michael Bendis (writer); Alan Davis (penciler); Mark Farmer (inker); Javier Rodriguez (colorist); Chris Eliopoulos (letters & production); Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor); Tom Bevroot (editor); Joe Quesada (editor in chief); Dan Buckley (publisher); Alan Fine (executive producer)


Featured Characters: Captain Steve Rogers, Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, Thor
Minor Characters: Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye, Maria Hill, Edwin Jarvis, Bobbi Morse a.k.a. Mockingbird, Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Sif
Villains: The Enchantress

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Synopsis:
The comic opens up with Asgard in ruins and the big three Avengers (Steve, Tony, and Thor) standing by. Steve and Tony offer Thor their condolences, but it's not long before the two end up in an argument over who was responsible for Osborn's lunacy.



Thor manages to shut them up with a polite "if you're going to do that, please go somewhere else to do it," before drawing our heroes' attention back to the matter at hand. It seems that Heimdall's Observatory, the Asgardian travel hub to all of the other Nine Realms was ground zero for Norman Osborn's first attack. With the Rainbow Bridge broken on Earth and the guardian Heimdall in serious but stable condition, Thor is concerned about what shenanigans may happen if the portal is left open. His plan is to gather the other Asgardians to help find and seal the breaks in the portal, but before he can even finish his sentence, the three Avengers are plucked up into a swirling rainbow vortex and scattered across the Nine Realms.

Tony is the first person we catch up with, and he endures a few moments of panic inside of his non-responsive armor before the specific details of how to remove and repair this particular model come back to him.



He's sitting alone on an empty purple plain, tinkering with his armor, when a large shadow falls across him. His glib question about the owner of the shadow being a barista does nothing to give the being's identity away, for one can just as easily imagine Tony posing this question to a horde of Frost Giants as one can to an attractive Asgardian princess.

The scene shifts and we find Captain Rogers trekking through a rough, moonlit forest. A quick glance at the double moons hovering overhead lets Steve know that he's probably not in Kansas anymore. Steve approaches a nearby hut and enters to find a bunch of trolls in the middle of dinner. (Yes, these creatures probably have a technical Asgardian race, but Bendis never names them, so to me... they look like trolls. Asgardan trolls.) Ever the diplomat, Steve apologizes for interrupting and tries to get some information from the local natives.



It turns out, however, that the trolls aren't too fond of Thor's friends and would really just prefer to eat Steve, dimples and all. Steve, frustrated at having "misread the room," attempts to subdue his attackers while still trying to get information out of them, but the trolls just want to fight, and soon Steve is standing in a room full of unconscious Asgardian trolls. Before leaving, though, he does pick up a few... AHEM... enhancements, shall we say?



The last of our three, Thor, wakes up in an abandoned Vanaheim courtyard. He's perplexed by the emptiness of the place, but doesn't have long to contemplate it before he's zapped by purple lightning. Thor gets blasted a few more times before the Enchantress reveals herself and informs Thor that she plans to take down the last pillar of the House of Odin--namely Thor.

We're left with a "To Be Continued..." and a short flashback comic recounting how Loki was responsible for the formation of the Avengers in the first place.

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Review:
I'll keep this brief, since this is still just the first issue in a long line of what promises to be some fun, self-contained stories from Marvel.

I've always enjoyed Bendis's writing, especially when there's a lot of back and forth between characters. He does humor well, but he's also able to tackle more serious scenes while staying true to the characters he's writing. With Bendis penning three out of the five main Avengers titles right now, too, we can hope to see some decent continuity from one issue to another (especially important when we've got major characters like Steve Rogers making appearances in most of them).

I mentioned in another review that Bendis seems to like bringing us full circle, and this story is very reminiscent of the Ragnarok story line in Thor #80-1 by Michael Avon Oeming and Daniel Berman in which, just before Avengers: Disassembled, Steve and Tony travel to Asgard to help Thor battle Loki one last time before our heroes go their separate ways. The whole Disassembled arc really set us up for all the major events from Civil War to Siege that took place over the following years, so it only seems fitting that our three heroes should team up for the first time in almost a decade to battle it out again in the mystical Nine Realms.

Alan Davis's pencils, Mark Farmer's inks, and Javier Rogriguez's colors are really clean and exciting. Steve Rogers looks as charming as ever in his black turtleneck, and his six-page fight scene with the Asgardian trolls is very dynamic, highlighting just how much butt Steve can kick as plain ol' Captain Rogers, shield or no shield. My only complaint is that sometimes Tony's armor looks more like it's painted on him then encasing him; I know that some of Tony's earlier armor designs were based on this whole 'flexible molecules theory,' but I still like armor to look like, well, armor. All in all, though, this is really just me nitpicking, because the rest of the book is quite fun to look at.

I'm looking forward to the next issue, and I'd definitely recommend picking this title up. You can always go to Comic Shop Locator to find a Marvel shop near you if you don't already have a favorite haunt.

See you next time!

Crossposted in Wingheads and Livejournal.
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June 2010

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