New Avengers #53

Creative team: Story by Brian Michael Bendis; art by Billy Tan & Matt Banning

Villain to Watch: Madame Masque, Brother Voodoo

Brian Michael Bendis seizes the award for Best Dialogue of the Month for the latest ish of New Avengers. In the opening pages, Spider-Woman admonishes Clint Barton to “land the damned Quinjet.”

Spider-Woman: I’m justing saying, I could have flown here faster with my web pits.

Meanwhile, Spider-man has a Moment with Luke Cage:

Spider-man: Hey, Luke, man. About that thing with me and your wife before?

Spider-man: You know. About her being in love with me in high school?

Spider-man: I swear. I did not know about this. I swear.

Spider-man: I mean she’s cute and all but…

Spider-man: But don’t you worry, man. I believe in the statues of marriage. Or the institution.

Spider-man: Yeah. The institution. I’m all about it.

Spider-man: So don’t worry about me or anything like that.

Cage, having simmered through a beautiful slow burn rendered by Tan and Banning, scowls more deeply at Web Head.

Spider-man: But you and Iron Fist broke up, right? Because I’d like to take a shot at that action.

Spider-man: Heh.

Beyond the deft comic relief, this is another title that is heating up nicely in the post-Civil-War Marvel universe. Dr. Strange is preparing the world for a new Sorcerer Supreme since he, himself had resorted to Dark Arts in the preceding conflict. The Eye of Agamotto has let loose, Green-Lantern-ring style to find a new torch-bearer. And you’ll never believe whom it found: None other than B-list baddie hero Brother Voodoo. OK, it was aiming for Daimon Hellstrom, but nobody’s perfect, right?
I had fallen away from New Avengers over the past few months because I just couldn’t hang with the art. Between Bendis’ sharp dialogue and the current visual team, I’m going to have to add it to my Pull List once again.