Avengers Prime (Panini Edition)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Penciller: Alan Davis

Inker: Mark Farmer

Colourist: Javier Rodriguez

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulous

Collects: Avengers Prime #1-5

Continuing my reviews of recent Panini Marvel trades I come to a book that has me written all over it. Bendis is one of my favourite writers, Alan Davis is in my top 3 pencillers and the rest of the creative team is pretty damn spiffy…all that and they’re working on a book which brings The Avengers’ Big 3 back together! If only the reality of reading the book lived up to my hopes, but I’m afraid it does not.

This book picks up in the immediate aftermath of Siege with the figurative, and literal, dust still settling on Oklahoma following those events. Thor is joined by Steve Rogers and a newly returned Tony Stark. The tensions between the three, particularly the mortals, are immediately apparent with the events of Civil War at the forefront of the latter two’s minds. Thankfully events transpire that whisk the unhappy threesome away from Midgard to a somewhat different Asgard than any of them remember. One point of note is that the Rainbow Bridge effect that’s used by Davis is a slightly more colourful version of what’s seen in the Thor movie, so similar in fact that I wonder if he wasn’t tipped a wink by editorial about what the movie would feature.

What follows is a story about the re-connecting of these three Marvel icons and whilst beautifully rendered by Davis I found the story to be lacking in any sense of occasion or significance. The adversities they face, first individually and then as a team, don’t seem to put their lives in any real peril and I’m not sure that the reconciliation feels “earned”. To me this felt like a by-the-numbers way to get the characters reconciled in the quickest way possible (all the events being squeezed into a couple of days of Midgard time) to put everything behind them. I don’t see that this needed to be in its own mini-series and I have to be honest I think it’s a waste of all-too-rare Alan Davis interior work.

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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