Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book of the Week 4/23/08 The Mighty Avengers #12

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Meleev
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Dave Lanhpear

I surprised myself with this one! On average most of my books were good to great this week giving me quite a selection to choose from. However, with more and more Marvel books being tagged with "secret invasion" I had to flip through and have a peek. Initially pulled in by Maleev's sketchy but oh-so-beautiful art, I decided to sit down and spend some time with the missing Mr. Fury. Boy am I glad I did!

This issue flashes back to show us how Nick Fury discovered the Skrull threat, and what he's done about it while staying off the radar. While I have never been an enormous fan of Fury in the past (admittingly having not read much of him), this issue is what I always imagined his character should be like. His interaction and warning to Maria Hill was handled wonderfully as well as his secretly recruiting Jessica Drew as a special agent, adding a new layer of depth to her discovery of "Skrullektra".

Bendis does what he does best and I'd be beating a dead horse by saying what a great writer he is. What I will say is I am always amazed at the consistency of his work. Rarely do I read something of his that doesn't feel natural for the character. In this book, everyone feels pitch perfect.

Maleev's art is wonderful. It's refreshing to get art like this that differs so much from so many "standard" superhero artists like Ed Benes where everyones bodies are interchangeable. This book has the feeling of an old classic movie like Casablanca where the women are sultry (not oversexified...but sultry) and the men are tough and grizzled. Maleev especially makes Fury look as though he never sleeps. Also, I'm so glad Fury is out of Shield and not having to wear the costume (which I've never liked). The wispy beard is the icing on the cake.

While I haven't been reading this book regularly, I may start with Secret Invasion commencing. I'm eager to have more badass Nick Fury weeding out the Skrulls. How about that wall full of photos with a few telling circled characters on the last page? Fury is all man!