Prologue to the Pointless, Worthless List for 01.26.11

We wrap up our month of “Best/Worst of 2010” lists with last year’s worst comic book.

I don’t have a list of them because I make it a point not to read bad comic books. For one thing they’re far too expensive now to waste money on bad ones and thanks to the Internet there are plenty of people out there to warn you away from the crap.

I should admit I did read the universally derided “Cry for Justice” series because it was at the library and it was indeed as bad as everyone said. However, two comics doesn’t really make for much of a list.

But there is so much to dislike about my choice, and I really want to get back at Marvel for the money and time I wasted on it, so I was able to make a pointless, worthless list out of this pointless, worthless comic.

And what is the worst comic of 2010? Drumroll, please…..

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by Stuart Immonen and “edited” by Tom Brevoort. (I’m loathe to use the word edited in relation to comic books these days. I’m not sure what editors do at comic book companies, but it bears little resemblance to what one usually assumes editors do, as you will soon see.)

I’m also hesitant to throw Immonen under the bus. I have no complaints about the artwork. Immonen has a nice, clean style. In fact, I wish he was the artist on the main Avengers book. Sure, he did draw Hawkeye and Ronin as being in the same place at the same time even though they are the same person — but that’s a minor error. (and yes, the kind of mistake an editor should catch, but y’know — see previous paragraph.)

Brief history lesson

The Avengers is Marvel’s varsity superhero squad. They’re the government-sanctioned (or U.N. sanctioned depending on the decade) team that gets called in to deal with the alien invasions or monster attacks or whatever.

In 2005, Marvel decided ‘The Avengers’ wasn’t selling enough so they cancelled it and replaced it with ‘The New Avengers’ (The marketing department at Marvel earns every penny).

The New Avengers differed from the old Avengers in many important ways:

1) The Avengers lived in Tony Stark’s family mansion; the New Avengers lived in Tony Stark’s office tower.

2) The Avengers were funded by Tony Stark who was also a founding member as Iron Man; New Avengers were funded by Tony Stark who was also a founding member as Iron Man.

3) Captain America was longtime leader of the Avengers; Captain America was leader of the New Avengers.

4) The Avengers had a butler named Jarvis; New Avengers had a butler named Jarvis.

What point was I trying to make? Oh yes, it turned out the only thing “new” about New Avengers was it had some new members. Which wasn’t new either, given that lineup changes have a long history with the Avengers.

However, two of those new members were Spider-Man and Wolverine, Marvel’s two most popular characters who had never been Avengers (and for good reason, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). With Spidey and Wolvie on the roster, sales soared.

Anyway, and here’s a real abbreviated version of the last 6 years: Captain America and Iron Man argue over whether superheroes should register with the government; Superhero Civil War; the New Avengers (except Iron Man) side with Cap; Captain America is killed; Iron Man becomes head of national security and forms a government sanctioned Avengers team; the government passes a superhero registration act that forces the New Avengers to go underground.

Alien invasion; Iron Man is now out as head of national security, Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) is in; Norman dresses up a bunch of bad guys and calls them The Avengers; Cap comes back from the dead and cleans Norman’s clock; Cap (Steve Rogers) is named new head of national security; Steve puts the band back together; Marvel relaunches The Avengers with an all-star squad of Thor, Cap, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman (I don’t get that either) and — because sales demand it — Spider-Man and Wolverine.

The New Avengers are no longer fugitives but they also have no reason to exist.

Next: Top 7 reasons why ‘New Avengers’ is 2010’s Worst Comic.

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