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avengers prime 

Avengers Prime #1 (Siege : Aftermath)
Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Art – Alan Davis
Inker – Mark Farmer

Avengers Prime sets itself an unenviable task – take the shattered relationships of its three core members and fix them to a level that allows the Heroic Age to move forward with a strong foundation. 

Bringing the story to life we have fan favourite Alan Davis. Let me start by saying that I adore his work – I still buy any ClanDestine comics that come out just to get my hands on his art despite the fact that I don’t really care for the story or the characters (come on, I can’t be the only one who just swoons over the art and imagines the pictures are of core Marvel characters instead).   But, you knew there was a *but* coming, I can’t help but feel that if we’re exploring a fractured relationship that is broken and overshadowed by the ruins of Asgard then the clean style of Davis is not best suited? Having said that – the art is glorious and despite my head telling me I’d prefer Jae Lee on pencils my heart skips a beat when I look at the art. The faces are so expressive and the action sequences so kinetic that every panel propels the story along at a giddy pace that never falters or stalls.

Bendis is bold with his story and those expecting to see iconic characters should remember that this story is about Iron Man, Thor and Steve Rogers – not Captain America. The Red, White and Blue is staying with Bucky and what we have is a Steve Rogers with issues that need resolving. The exchange between Tony and Steve early on sets the characters up with Tony Stark defiant in his past actions and Steve Rogers harbouring a huge grudge. The tears, hugs and male bonding I was expecting is nowhere to be seen. Thor remains emotionally distant throughout as he contemplates the destruction of Asgard and with that, the exposed secrets that are no longer guarded. The bravest move by Bendis is separating the three core characters by the end of the book – meaning the continued confrontation we are craving will have to wait for another issue.

I normally feel that Marvel will squeeze out five issues where one would suffice but there is so much for the characters to resolve it seems almost limiting to restrict this story to just a handful of issues. Bendis looks set to confront the emotional issues between the holy trinity and avoid any slushy sentimentality and Alan Davis backed with Mark Farmers inks is a no lose situation.  This series could well define the dynamic of The Heroic Age and the Avengers titles and characters for many years to come.

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