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Avengers #33: Bendis On Fire

The outgoing Avengers writer is having a drunken good time in the Microverse before he leaves.

Avengers 33

It seems the post-Avengers vs. X-Men clean up is being left to the mutants. As the X-Men figure out what to do with Cyclops and the rebirth of the mutants, the Avengers are in the microverse trying to rescue Janet Van Dyne aka The Wasp. Turns out the tiniest Avenger didn’t die during the Skrull war, she just shrunk down so small she fell into the microverse. Once there, she got on the wrong side of Microverse tough guy Lord Gouzar, and then contacted her Avenger cohorts to come get her.

That’s where Avengers #33 opens up. The Avengers, having found Janet, were now under attack from Gouzar and his Gouzarians (sorry, had to throw in a Ghostbusters reference). The problem is, being in the Microverse has screwed up the Avengers powers. Iron Man’s suit is powering down, Thor’s hammer is pretty much useless, when Hank tries to grow it causes nerve damage, etc. The only person not totally affected is Captain America, though his super soldier shtick doesn’t really do much against Gouzar. Issue #33 is an all-action battle issue. We get to learn who Gouzar really is and how powerful he can be. By the end, the Avengers are captured and Iron Man is getting shredded by Gouzar who is looking to get the armor.

Brian Michael Bendis is at his best when he’s having fun and it’s clear this whole Microverse thing is his drunken good time. The dialog is crisp and funny, especially the early pages at the Avengers Mansion, and the pace of issue 33 is excellent. This is a page-turner, a full-fisticuffs clash that moves at the pace of the motion picture. I’ve always had issues with Bendis’ writing, but when he’s on (see Daredevil: End Of Days) nobody can touch him. With Avengers #33, Brian Michael Bendis is on fire.

I do wish the art from Terry Dodson was on par with the writing. It’s not that Dodson’s work is bad, but it’s very basic. Nothing jumps off the page, everything is there simply to illustrate Bendis’ story. When the writing is this crisp, you want the art to pop as much as the story. Dodson’s work is, even down to panel placement, simply adequate.

Regardless of the lackluster art, Avengers #33 shines.

7.5

(5 Story, 2.5 Art)