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New Avengers #1: Review

Jan 2005
Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch

Story Name:

Breakout, Part One

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #1 Review by (March 15, 2010)
An all-new team, featuring a few faces new to the Avengers, comes to us courtesy of Brian Michael Bendis, the brains behind ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. As with his more famous title, the pluses are interesting stories, detailed characterization, and especially witty dialogue (Spidey is the star in this department, of course). His standard weaknesses are on display as well, stories that move at a snail’s pace (the six-issue “Breakout” would have been wrapped up by Stan Lee—or any other writer from before 1990—in a single issue), and the usual tedious plot revolving around anti-government paranoia, though at least here he doesn’t have any angsty teens to deal with. Finch’s art has the nice realistic feel of the various ULTIMATE series, and he ably meets Bendis’ requirement of big panels with little dialogue. This first story arc serves mainly to bring the team together and it’s a more heroic gathering than the disappointing one in THE ULTIMATES wherein the heroes answered a summons from Nick Fury and sat around bickering until an actual mission came up. Here the team is the result of the ad hoc gathering of heroes responding to an actual crisis, resulting in a more potent and admirable fighting force. The big concession to commercialism is the inclusion of a couple of big names: Spider-Man makes a nice balance for the stalwart Captain America, though Bendis overdoes the whining self-pity a bit. Wolverine, however, is there only due to his star power as Cap’s rationale for why he must be included makes no sense whatever. The new voice and lineup for the Avengers may have attracted some new readers to the title but we’ll have to see if it makes them stay.

New Avengers #1 Review by (June 10, 2013)
Brian Bendis brings Luke Cage from the series he wrote called Alias. Over time he'll incorporate its star Jessica Jones as well. And Spider-Woman also guest-starred in the last arc of that series. Iron Man isn't actually in this issue, but he'll join in from next issue. And Peter put this in the IM Library before my time, so I'll leave it there. In #4 we'll learn that Electro was hired to break out Sauron (Karl Lykos). And in #5 we'll find out it was Savage Land Mutates that did the hiring. And later we'll see that the Skrulls were involved. Matt Murdock was outed as Daredevil in DD (1998) #32-37. During that time Luke Cage started working as his bodyguard (for Jessica Jones' Alias Investigations). Cage is seen here to have a particular beef with Raft prisoner Purple Man. This is due to what he learned Killgrave did to Jessica in Alias #25-28. I believe this is the 1st we hear of Spider-Woman working for SHIELD. (She says she joined a couple of years ago.) Early on she was duped into working for Hydra, and got entangled with SHIELD. But since then she's been seen as a free agent (e.g. a PI).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Six months after the tragedy of "Avengers Disassembled," the team has disbanded, with the members going their separate ways…. A shadowy figure hires Electro to pull off an elaborate plan which will be revealed in a few pages. Meanwhile, at The Raft, New York’s maximum–maximum security prison specializing in super-villains, SHIELD agent Jessica Drew welcomes a group of visitors. They are Matt Murdock, blind lawyer recently outed as Daredevil, his terrified partner Foggy Nelson, and their hired bodyguard Luke Cage. As Jessica escorts them into the bowels of the installation, she explains the stringent precautions taken to ensure the security of the prison—then the lights go out. The blackout affects all of New York City; as Peter Parker is settling down to a relaxing evening at home with Mary Jane, he spies in the darkness as massive electrical discharge coming from the Raft. Suiting up as Spider-Man, he hitches a ride on a helicopter, which is struck by lightning. Spidey swims to the Raft, where he is helped onto the base by Captain America. Inside, Electro opens all the cells and tells the assembled super-villains they owe him huge. Trapped below, Murdock asks Jessica to take him to the prisoner they came to see: Robert Reynolds, the Sentry—possibly the most powerful super hero on the planet. He’s in the Raft because he killed his wife.

David Finch
Danny Miki
Frank D'Armata
David Finch (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)

(Peter Parker)

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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