At the end of last year, I made the decision to drop Mighty Avengers with issue #20 and New Avengers with issue #50. I was frustrated with the ending of Secret Invasion and comic prices were set to jump to the four dollar mark. I picked up New Avengers issues #49 and #50, but let them sit on my growing backlogged monthly comic reading pile. Eventually, though, I sat down and read the two issues back-to-back and realized there was no way I was going to drop this book!
Issue #49 was good, wrapping up the Baby Cage storyline that began in the waning pages of Secret Invasion, but it was issue #50 that really got me to change my mind about dropping this title. Double-sized, full of action, and just the right cliffhanger tone at the end to take me back to what it was like to be willfully strung along from month-to-month by the four-color beauty of the medium, the book had everything I needed to buy back into the book and overlook the cover price hike.
So then I told the local comic shop to put New Avengers back on my pull list and jumped right into issue #51 the week it came out. Bendis' dialogue is as good as ever. The banter between Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Peter Parker is fantastic. I love the conversational tone Bendis is able to strike in the writing. And Wolverine’s comment that effectively closes the scene is pitch-perfect! Not to mention the journey Doctor Strange has embarked on and the peril he is encountering... again, I can’t help but stay on for the ride.
When I got back into reading comics, I picked up Brubaker's Captain America with issue #25 and Bendis' New Avengers with issue #26. I am venturing beyond the Marvel borders these days, particularly with Vertigo and IDW, but these two titles are my mainstays. Solid writing, generally consistent art, and pure entertainment. Bring on the next 50 issues!