|The New Avengers, Vol. 1, TPB #1|
Yes, they have the entire series. Yes, I read all it.
|The answer was to "Disassemble"|
the Avengers, in Issue #503.
Still, the series starts out pretty strong. There's a prison break at Ryker's Island, and the New Avengers assemble quite by accident to help with containment and clean-up. Bendis uses this event and subsequent events to start putting forward a couple of over-arching story questions: What's wrong with SHIELD? Why is SHIELD, and thus the informal leadership of the entire superhero community, all screwed up? To the extent that this series can be taken as a whole, it's these questions that drive the story. And they're interesting questions. Eventually, our heroes find themselves on the run, out-gunned, and out-manned, and all of that makes for some pretty nice storytelling.
|Heroes for Hire are street-level heroes,|
almost by definition. The fact that
Power Man and Iron Fist are also
now Avengers is, to me, part of the
The other problem here is more meta. The Avengers is supposed to be Marvel's cosmic team, but the story Bendis wants to write is obviously not a cosmic story. Just look at the heroes: Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Echo, Clint Barton, Wolverine, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Captain America, etc... These are all street-level super-heroes. They are massively overpowered, even by guys like The Wrecking Crew who're traditionally jobbers for Thor and other established bad asses. There is no one in the New Avengers who can go up against, say, Ronan the Accuser, and it gets ridiculous after a while. Even when the team is augmented by Carol Danvers and Dr. Strange, they still get their asses kicked with amazing regularity. To be honest with you, that wouldn't be so bad if this weren't supposed to be Marvel's flagship book about it's flagship team. I mean, if this was Heroes for Hire, it would've worked fine with the same cast. But as an Avengers book? Like I said, it's a little frustrating. In truth, I wonder if maybe Bendis didn't really wanted to write Heroes for Hire, but the company needed him on Avengers, so he just shoe-horned his Heroes for Hire idea into the Avengers book that he was being paid to write.
|The Search for the Sorcerer Supreme|
was the high point of this series.
So. New Avengers is good. Sometimes even very good or excellent. But I think it'll be a better reading experience if you go into it knowing what to expect.