So, what did everyone think of the issue?
Because I've only been buying NA (and have interest in Daredevil) for the Hood's appearances, I might have a different perspective. But I thought the issue was solid. Nothing spectacular, but nothing terrible.
After being quite wary of Bendis' portrayal of Parker Robbins, I'm pretty satisfied now. No two writers are going to have the exact same characterization for any character, and when I read the Hood, he still sounds reasonably the same as he did before. However, he's obviously upgraded his powers. Bendis decided to skip past some important events - Parker confiding in his cousin, presumably some sort of confrontation with the demon he got his powers from - and I hope that we get to see what happened soon.
As far as the battle went, I do agree that some of the villains in the Hood's group should not be there. (Regardless of whether the Wizard wants the safety of being in a group of confiding associates or not, Vermin couldn't care less about money. He's a freakin' rat-man.) But whatever, I try not to get hung up on little things like that, and I HOPE that Bendis uses some of the "what the...?" characters as Skrull infiltrators. (Even if he didn't originally mean to, it's the perfect opportunity.)
The battle scene in this issue (like the other big battles) is probably pretty realistic of how it would happen in our world - but for a comic, it just seems too convoluted and messy. I think it's a fine line, but I'll sacrifice "realness" for a battle that I don't have to decipher like a novel from my 19th Century British Fiction class.
Finally, I've seen that some people didn't care for the explanation of why Doc Strange has been underpowered as of late. I don't see any problem with it. Considering how long ago the writers came up with their stories, and that Bendis is obviously well aware of what was planned in WWH, I don't see a problem with having the results crossover into NA (except that maybe now readers would have to do a bit of work on chronology of issues).
All in all, a good issue. I haven't looked, but I seem to recall that the Hood storyline is done for now in NA. But Marvel may have hooked another sucker. Due to Parker's appearances in DD, I'm considering buying all of Brubaker's run although I've never had any interest in the character. But sometimes good writing makes that unnecessary.
-Pav, who would kill for a chance to write either a Hood series or a Hood/Gravity series...