Avengers Disassembled - Rebuilding the Marvel Universe one tragedy at a time.
Written: Aug 11, 2012 (Updated Dec 14, 2012)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Story, artwork, ending, effects on main Marvel continuity
Cons:Some may not like the pace, definitely not for newcomers
The Bottom Line: A fanatastic story that did divide fans. Recommended if you're a hardcore fan.
During one quiet day in Avengers Mansion; Hawkeye, Wasp, She-Hulk, Ant-Man, and Captain Britain fall victim to a deadly surprise attack. Soon afterwards, more of the Avengers enter the fray only to come under fire by another random attack. It appears that these things are completely unrelated, but Iron Man sees a vague connection. Who's attacking the Avengers? And will they be prepared for this opponent once their identity has been revealed? -summary
I have mentioned this many times in the past and with very good reasons. One of the things I enjoyed about Marvel Comics even going back to the 70's have been their ability to take risk. They replaced She-Hulk with the Thing as a member of the Fantastic Four, made Magneto headmaster of the X-Men, removed the adamantium from Wolverine's bones, and they even made Peter Parker out into being a clone. Although some fans will have serious gripes with the moves that they make; one has to admit that Marvel is very ballsy. This brings me to their 2004 storyline titled Avengers: Disassembled written by Brian Michael Bendis; which is a deconstruction story that ends the Avengers series taking place across issues 500 - 503 and Finale.
Avengers: Disassembled marks the beginning of changes in the Marvel Universe through five years worth of planning and plotting, which happens to run through a horde of major story arcs; Secret War, House of M, Civil War, Death of Captain America, World War Hulk, Messiah Complex, Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, as well as many others stretching into other titles finally concluding in Siege. Many people have criticized Marvel's heavy reliance on these crossovers. Personally, I enjoyed many of them since they did create some memorable and long lasting changes; such as characters deaths, lives altered, and the beginning of some enjoyable series with The Incredible Hercules being at the top of the list.
This story begins with the Avengers suffering from a damaging offensive. They are attacked on many fronts with questions galore followed by far more speculation than answers. Major characters are seriously injured and even some are killed. The story moves at an amazingly fast pace with so much happening, the reader will have trouble keeping up. For some, this is actually a problem. Bendis has always been accused of lengthy stories that could have been shorten; here he's been accused by many for the exact opposite. Fans felt that four issues weren't enough to properly cover the destruction of the Avengers. I can understand their frustration, but I understand the reasoning for Bendis's approach.
The Avengers are Earth's mightiest heroes and they have built a reputation for overcoming impossible odds; this mainly occured when they were given enough time to plan and act. However, the Avengers have been soundly beaten before when they were hit very hard with no time to react. Bendis understood this and that was obviously the route he chose; hit them hard, fast, and crush them physically and emotionally, by using a character who knew them very well. The idea was brilliant while the execution may seem suspect to some, because of the difficulty conveying this to readers in such a rapid fashion. I never had a problem with this because I knew where Bendis was coming from right away, and even after reading this story again and again, it's still just as good to me now when I first followed it.
The plot is very action packed and if you don't know all the details going in, then the suspense will be pretty high. I was shocked to see who was behind the attack once things became clear. The interactions still keep me entertained and I thought the reasoning behind the attack was well written. The ending had that nostalgic feel with the remaining Avengers reminiscing on old adventures.
David Finch's awesome artwork is well fitting for a story this epic. The character designs are gritty and crisp to look at. I felt the characters emotion through their facial designs, as they watched in disbelief while one of their oldest enemies appeared and began attacking like mad. Then later on having to battle against a teammate. There's also a fluid cohesion between dialog and artwork, which brings out an authentic feel in the characters, that is not always easy to pull off. Bendis and Finch have prove to be one of the better creative teams out there.
Avengers: Disassembled accomplished what it set it out for and it paved the way for two new series at the time: Young Avengers and New Avengers. It also set in motion what would go on to make the Marvel Universe what it is today, which makes it a very important piece of Marvel Comic history. Now many people will tell you that this is the best place to start your comic reading; I would say yes and no. Yes, if you already possess a good amount of knowledge on the Avengers, and even the Marvel Universe as a whole. One must be a fan of these characters in some way to receive some type of enjoyment here, or else your only entertainment will be pretty pictures, which many people do not find much fun in. If you are completely new or possess limited knowledge, then I recommend to fresh up first on some of these easier to get into Avenger stories: Kree vs. Skrull War, Bride of Ultron, Korvac Saga, Under Siege, Assault on Olympus, Sins of the Past, Family Ties, and Ultron Unlimited.
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