Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Avengers #4 [2010] by Brian Michael Bendis & John Romita Jr.

After the events of Siege, Steve Rogers steps down as Captain America and steps up as the world’s top cop replacing Norman Osborn. Now Commander Rogers assembles a new team of Avengers with Maria Hill running the show.

The first story arc serves as a sequel for the Next Avengers Heroes of Tomorrow DVD released in 2008 where the children of the Avengers lived in a world ruined and rebuilt by Ultron. The Next Avengers consists of James Rogers (Son of Black Widow and Captain America), Torunn (Daughter of Thor), Azari (Son of Black Panther), Pym (Son of Wasp and Giant Man), and Francis (Son of Hawkeye).

The Next Avengers with the help of an elder Tony Stark and Hulk destroyed Ultron and took over his empire including Ultra City. Now wielding a power that they do not understand or control they are on a collision course to destroying the universe. It is up to our present team of Avengers to go into the future and stop them.

The timestream is broken with various heroes and villains enter the present including Apocalypse and his four horsemen consisting of twisted evil versions of Scarlet Witch, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Red Hulk. Apocalypse and his four horsemen disappear quickly as they arrived. Maria Hill divides the Avengers into two groups with one heading to fix the timestream while the other deals with the crisis in NYC which gets explosively worse.

In the future, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, and Captain Marvel are ambushed by the Next Avengers and taken to the elder Bruce Banner and Tony Stark who have plans for these heroes.

The conclusion of this story arc promised to set up one of the biggest new threats to the Marvel Universe. During the San Diego Comic-Con, Brian Michael Bendis announced the Red Hulk will be joining the team at the beginning of the second story arc in Avengers #7. His appearance was previously hinted when he showed up as one of Apocalypse’s four housemen at the end of Avengers #2.

Bendis brings mystery to these pages which will most likely be resolved within the next two issues. Artist John Romita Jr. creates a manificient portrait of the Marvel character and it is quite literally breathtaking. The story doesn’t move forward as I thought it would as panic erupts on the streets of Manhattan and the future characters are having hidden agendas that have yet to be revealed.