Civil War Comic Review – “New Avengers #21-25”

This review is a week overdue. I’m trying to catch up on everything I need to do before going out of town on business for another week, so expect a review of the Wolverine issues of Civil War later today.

General Information

Title: New Avengers: Disassembled (Issues 21-25)

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): The art team rotates with every issue. Issue 21 had pencils and inks by Howard Chaykin and colours by Dave Stewart. Issue 22 had pencils and inks by Leinil Yu and colours by Dave McCaig. Issue 23 had pencils by Olivier Coipel, inks by Mark Morales, and colours by Jose Villarrubia. Issue 24 had pencils by Pasqual Ferry and Paul Smith, inks by Mark Morales, and colours by Dean White. Issue 25 had pencils by Jim Cheung, inks by Livesay, and colours by Justin Ponsor.

Original Publication Date: These issues were cover dated from August through December 2006.

Cover Price: Each issue was cover priced at $2.99 US. Canadian cover prices were $4.25 for the first two issues, and $3.75 for the last three issues.

Past comic reviews can be found here.


Each issue in this collection tells a different story, though all stories are thematically related by through the recruitment of various Avengers by different factions. The first three issues show Cap recruiting various members of his team, with the Falcon recruited in issue 21, Luke Cage in the next issue, and the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman in issue 23. In issue 24, the Sentry is recruited by Iron Man, and the final issue starts with Iron Man facing a disgruntled employee before it leads into an attempt by S.H.I.E.L.D. to recruit Tony Stark, in a similar conversation to the one in Iron Man #13 (which shipped on the same day.)

High Point

Issue 22 is my favourite in the bunch. It has the most sensible opposition to the Registration Act that I’ve seen in any of the tie-ins, and has some of the best individual lines. (For example, “I hope you all take this beating as an opportunity for introspection,” or the hand-tipping off-panel voice commenting on the quality of Toronto’s Dim Sum.)

Low Point

The Howard Chaykin art on issue 21 is just plain ugly. I also find that Chaykin’s depictions of the faces of Steve Rogers and Henry Pym are almost indistinguishable.

The Scores

This really doesn’t feel original. The entire promotional campaign was wrapped around the heroes choosing sides, and every one of these decisions had already been revealed by another issue in another title due to the publication schedule. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork has no consistency. It’s starts out with terrible work, and has mediocre and great stuff further down the road. (Coipel and Ferry did some excellent work.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is remarkably predictable, as every issue but the last is filling in the back story to revelations we already knew about. The last endangers characters too important to the main Civil War title to convince us that they’re actually in real jeopardy here. It’s well written, but there’s no suspense. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is what this is all about. Each character involved reveals to the reader why they choose the side they do. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response, as mentioned above, is weak due to the publication schedules involved. They just gave too much away. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow within the issues is as erratic as the art. Some issues are clear and easy to follow, while others take some effort. The jarring differences between artists between issues doesn’t help matters at all. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, this are good reading for the back stories, but they’re not essential reading to follow the main title. Issue 25, the most recent issue, sets up something that might turn out to be very important, but the same idea is introduced in Iron Man #13, which is a better comic, so I’d suggest picking that one up instead if you’re not also collecting the entire Civil War. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, receives 27 out of 42.

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