Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Who should be a New Avenger

This post is spoiler-rific if you're not up to date on the New Avengers.

I came back to the Avengers just as the new Captain Britain joined, only to have the team disassembled.

I understood the team's dynamic until after Civil War.

As a writer, this is not the team that I'd like to write. From the outside looking in, there are reasons I can see for wanting certain members on the team, and then there are members there that I'm not sure I'd want.

That's what I'm talking about. The writer is their god in this case, so why have this particular group here?

Doc Strange: He adds credibility to the team, gives them a big gun. Also, he ties very nicely to the Illuminati, which let the team get involved in WWH. As a plot device, he works by giving the team anonymity and transportation.

Spider-Man: He's a fan favorite, and he adds a certain skepticism to the team by questioning their path. He is also a corner of the MU in and to himself. His skills are unique.

Luke Cage: I never read much Power Man before this run, so my experience with him was basically that Punisher story where Frank was turned black and they teamed up. As a story device though, he's the driver. He pushes the team in a certain direction, and keeps the story going.

These three, I get. They're the New Avengers that make the book what it is. They're tools in the hands of the writers.

Wolverine, I've decided should be on the team because he gives the writer one unique aspect to use. He knows that they are on the wrong side of the law and all that it implies. Luke Cage acts as if he's still a super hero, and that's fine, but Logan gives him contrast. Sure he's got claws and a healing factor, But that's not why he should be on the team. He's there because someone needs to be asking "How many laws should we break to fight the good fight?" That makes for good storytelling.

Honestly, I've been disappointed with Clint thus far as Ronin. As an old school Avenger, I'd really like to see some righteous indignation on his part towards the Mighty Avengers. He's the one who would lip off at Captain America when he thought Cap was wrong, and really, I'd expect more of that for Tony Stark and the Mighty team. I'd like to see him go past that too, and get irrationally angry now and again. I think that there's something there worth exploring, and if Bobbi turns out to be a skrull, maybe that's the kick in the pants he'll need to get pissed off again.

That leaves Echo and Danny. I like Iron Fist. He's got his own book, and I don't think he's got enough to do around here except be Luke's confidant. Echo, I think, is a Bendis vanity project, and I've never been able to get what she's doing here, other than because the writer thinks she's cool.

So yeah, I think that Strange, Luke, Spidey, Wolverine and an angry Clint have a place on the team, because they contribute to the book being readable. I don't think Eco and Iron Fist are adding anything to the book right now other than as bodies. I said on the CBR message boards that I think that the real Hank Pym would be an interesting addition to the team, and let us find out what happened to him while he was being replaced by a skrull. I would also like to know more about what happened to Tigra, after the Hood and Jigsaw beat the fur off her. Maybe even Firestar or *gasp* The Scarlet Witch.

In any case, I'm interested to see where this is going.