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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: When reading this there are a few things you HAVE to consider...
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:51:52 pm EDT (Viewed 132 times)
Reply Subj: FCB The Avengers
Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 at 08:21:55 pm EDT (Viewed 244 times)

1. It is free.
2. You have what is normally a six issue story compressed into one.
3. It is free.
4. Bendis wrote it. He is a good writer, but tends to have trouble with the above street level characters.
5. It was free.

It being free is important because sometimes you get lower quality works as promotions or just previews. Marvel actually gave a full story by one of their top writers and artists.

The second is that most writers like Bendis today would draw this story out. A writer from the old days like Stan Lee or Roy Thomas might have been able to do a better job with this story in one issue, but Bendis ins't used to writing one issue stories so he overall did a good job considering that. If it was drawn out the first issue would just be Ymir getting free, second establishing him, third Thor battling him and the Avengers showing up, fourth the Avengers fighting each other, fifth them getting the sword, and sixth them using it and wrap up.

In the spirit of older comics where you often had only a few sentences and panels to give information threats would tend just to show up with a brief explanation which Hawkeye gave. Ymir is an Asgardian monster who is very powerful. The reader doesn't need his complete histry. He can kick Thor's butt making him very powerful. Threat established.

I am glad Ymir was not watered down for this. Often Marvel seems to at times of late be watering down the mythological beings so they are not near as powerful as they once were so the basic Earth heroes can stand a chance. This tend not has even hot-headed Ares admitted it was futile to engage Ymir. He would recover from any damage and kill everyone. Bendis also gave a nice shout out to the past by mentioning one of the earliest battles against Ymir.

    Best written Ares I have seen since Oeming's mini
    He actually was a tactical God of War who had a clear disdain for mortals, particularly in the presence of the gods and their business.

I agree this was one of the best Ares in a long time save for perhaps Pak's take on him. Ares was in his own way still not that tactical, but even he knew enough that Ymir was out of his league. His basic strategy of first getting Thor makes sense with Ymir being an Asgardian monster and all. He would also know about magical weapons due to it being part of his god of war duties and all.

    While Bendis didn't allow Thor a great showing, that wasn't the point of this book. The point was to pimp his two Avengers teams (new and DA but no MA)which I thought he did quite nicely. The Hawkeye/Spidey banter was pretty strong - they could turn into quite the duo.

That was quickly establish Ymir has a gigantic threat. Thor being one of the most powerful characters powerless shows how powerful Ymir was. It works because Ymir is one of the few characters who should actually be able to do that. Showing how even Sentry was helpless hammers the point in.

Since Osborn decided to leave rather then fight even with the Sentry shows that Thor is not someone to be taken lightly.

    What Bendis did do, surprisingly, was accord Thor the heavyweight respect that his throwdown with the DA in #600 should command. Ares deference to Thor and Thor's reciprocal respect had the tone of adults taking care of pressing adult business in the presence of children who should not be privy to their personal grievances. I actually liked it a lot.

I think it is like Ares stated in the recent Incredible Hercules issue. Ares may have differences with his family, but he can't allow mortals to disrespect the gods. The gods see themsleves as higher beings who have seen and done more than any mortal ever could hope to. They have an understanding of time most mortals (at least current one) will never have. So to them the current mortals and their squabbles make them like children next to the gods.

    The comment by Spidey about NA being in trouble without Thor's support was another oblique tip of the cap to the Thunderer. Given Thor's attitude since his return it was also very in line with what JMS has done with Thor thus far. Again this sort of "Thor operates on a different level than the rest of the MU" status for the character, is A OK with me. I'm just surprised Bendis did it so well.

Bendis in the past has had trouble with more powerful characters, but he actually handled it well this issue without having to water any of them down. So that was well done.

Unfortunatly it did have some minor quibbles.
If this was a longer arc I would ask for some explanation on where Ymir came from, but from the view points of the heroes threats just show up with no explanation so for a single issue that works.

Ares just banishing Ymir with the sword would be a problem if this was longer, but again it was only one issue so I let things like that slide. That and Ares just knowing where the sword was with no explanation other then he is Ares, but again the whole god thing and one issue necessitates some wiggle room. And Bendis seemed to be trying to make it clear that Ares knew things no one else did and wasn't going to bother to explain it.

The main complaint I have is the Twilight Sword. Aside from it shrinking for no reason it was forged by Surtur, not Odin. Odin never used it. The sword could have the power to banish Ymir since Surtur was Ymir's opposite and one could argue it had done so in the past, but that goof just bugs me. I think Bendis either thought the stories were so old and didn't think anybody would notice or that he got his Asgardian weapons mixed up. I would have preferred if he had made up some weapon for this story. Maybe some blade Zeus and Odin made together in case of emergency. Odin seemed to have a closet full of such items.

The other is I find it hard to believe Ares would just willingly hand over a sword that powerful to Thor, but maybe he knew it wouldn't work on the mortal plane or something like that.

Art wise, I have no complaints. IIRC, this is the same artist who did Secret Invasion, but either his style is slightly different or the colorist made it look fitting.

Story: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

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