By Eric Drumm
CIVIL WAR split the hero community in two, but that was literal in the case of the Avengers. Now two separate teams, the Mighty Avengers and the New Avengers are on opposite sides of the Superhuman Registration Act. On the run, the New Avengers are going toe-to-toe with their Mighty counterparts with some interference from the Hand for good measure.
After being duped into a trap on the Raft by the Mighty Avengers, it's clear that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tony Stark are making time to bring in Anti-Reg heroes. Given the history and the losses of CIVIL WAR, is it just another day at the office for S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Tony Stark--the invincible Iron Man? Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort seems to think so. "Tony's turning over rocks looking for them, rather than pulverizing the rocks. He simply regrets the schism with his former friends and teammates, and would like them back on the same side with him," he says. Always a dutiful man, Stark is doing what he feels he must, and that spells serious trouble for the New Avengers.
However, with some new guns on the team, the odds are being evened. With the arrival of Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange and Iron Fist, the team dynamic has changed but is by no means hampered. Now the leader of the New Avengers, Luke Cage does what's best for his team, and like his predecessor Captain America, fiercely protects them. "Luke's come a long way in the last few years, in terms of earning the respect and admiration of the heroes and the readership alike. He's coming into his full potential as a hero and an Avenger--not to mention as a husband and a father," says Brevoort.
New members and S.H.I.E.L.D. problems aside, the New Avengers have a mystery guest in the form of Ronin. Formerly Maya Lopez--the hero known as Echo--the current identity of the black clad ninja is unrevealed. After her death and resurrection by Elektra and the Hand, clearly the New Avengers have charged someone with the Ronin costume, but the question is who. Brevoort assures us that the person behind the mask will be jarring, but perhaps the clues were there all along, saying that we will be "not terribly shocked, as it all makes a lot of sense once the figure behind the mask is revealed. And doubtless, some will be happy and some will be outraged."
With the impending battle with the Mighty Avengers and current grudge with Elektra and the Hand, the New Avengers have their hands full. With the danger stacking up, the team will have to find a way to operate under S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar. Although sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. "The last sequence in NEW AVENGERS #31 sounds the opening shot for events that are going to play out in both Avengers titles and across the rest of the Marvel Universe over the next year or so--events that have been building in the background for many, many months," teases Brevoort.
See the carnage unfold in NEW AVENGERS #30, by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Yu on sale May 9.
NEW AVENGERS #30
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils and Cover by LEINIL YU
32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
FOC- 4/19/07, On Sale- 5/09/07