Let's talk about the Avengers, shell we? it's been a long time and I was looking at the cover of New Avengers #6 and while the picture didn't make much sense (wait, two of these guys aren't even Avengers!), I did indeed want to know who was going to die (though suspicions were high). But I still didn't want to read it. I have an attachment to the characters, but ...
Guys, I can't read the Avengers anymore. There just comes a time when the book is just not worth your time or energy that no matter what incredible announcement you've heard or great proclamation on the front cover says, I just don't want to wade through the actual text to get to the payoff. It's not worth it and it sure as hell isn't worth $3.99. I could read Ant-Man & Wasp #1 and not only enjoy the characters featured but enjoy the story and adventure as well. It's not that I don't care about the Avengers, I'll always still prefer them over the JLA any day of the week, I just don't want to hear Brian Michael Bendis' story style right now. I felt this way about the Incredible Hulk and I'm still getting over that break up. I can go back to the book now and see what's new, but I'm okay with not buying it or that the story isn't what I want it to be. The Avengers, on the other hand, have no excuse NOT to be awesome.
Looking at the cover, I so wanted someone to read the book for me and spoil the whole thing. Then I realized I had to do it.
New Avengers #6
Now, you'd think jumping on at #6 would be hard because it's right at the end of a story arc where the world is coming apart at the seams and a great and ancient power is coming to destroy everything. But it's not; quick history, folks: the Eye of Aggamotto, one of the Sorcerer Supreme's great artifacts, is trying to be retaken by The Aggamotto, guy the thing is named after. Doctor Voodoo, current Sorcerer Supreme, is not powerful enough to keep the artifact in his care and if it's not, then ... well, let's face it. The Sorcerer Supreme's JOB is to protect us and this universe from the Unknown, aka Magic Stuff. Aggamotto is magical and with his great Eye, we would not be protected.
So the guy that got the job of Sorcerer Supreme sends Wolverine, all juiced up with Magic and Wolvie and Aggamotto face off in a magical duel for the Eye.
Also, there are Avengers in this book.
Some astute readers might think this sounds a little ludicrous. You'd be right, but let's just stick to the book right now and complain about Bendis' view of what Avengers do in their own titles as well as what a Sorcerer Supreme does a little later. We start out #6 with Wolverine getting sent out to fight by Doctor Voodoo, current Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, former Sorcerer Supreme and current trenchcoat aficionado, and Daimon Hellstrom, the coolest guest star. Really, why Marvel doesn't have a book about the life of the Son of Satan makes no sense. Demons could be the new vampires!
Wolverine gets sent to an Infinite Drawing Pad where Aggamotto can manifest himself as anything Immonen wants to draw, all while wielding spells. Wolverine still looks like himself and any chance to throw him off his game by appearing as loved ones or old foes is just shrugged off.
At one point in the duel, Aggamotto tries to clear this up for Wolvie: "Let us pretend this is a fight for your entire life and the lives of everyone you know. And I'll pretend this is a fight for the entirety of my existence and all I need to be real and true. Only then will either one of us feel good about what we need to do here." Yeah, Logan, let's pretend like we really care about this gratuitous fight scene and that it matters. Has the fight for survival against unstoppable odds really become so blasé?
What's everyone else doing? Glad you asked! They are 'spiritually supporting' Wolverine in his great pretend duel. That means they're sitting around in a circle and Spidey's making snarky comments because he's nervous. Victoria Hand, however, is not supporting Wolverine because she has a huge gun and is sneaking out the front door only to find a crowd of people. Now, since I am jumping in, I don't exactly know what building they are out in front of, but I think it's the Sanctum Sanctorum because that's where I would keep the Eye of Aggamotto. Either the Sanctum's gotten bigger than I last remembered it. And certainly a lot more battle damaged; I don't think Aggamotto came politely knocking.
So she goes outside, sees the big crowd and then sees that the heavens are cracking open. Cut back to the Inifinite Drawing Pad duel and now Brother Voodoo's brother isn't going to take this anymore.
Quick note: Brother Voodoo is perfectly named. Yes, I know he's a Doctor and when he got the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme he started going by Doctor Voodoo, but his original name is too good to let go of. He's a guy who, not only does Voodoo, but he has a dead brother who follows him as a spirit and helps/hinders him in his adventures. There's an actual brother. That's awesome.
So, Brother Voodoo's brother, Daniel, still a spirit, takes action. Wanting to defend his brother from Aggamotto, he jumps into the duel and Aggamotto declares the battle to be forfeit. Brother Voodoo, knowing his brother would be destroyed by the powerful magical being, not to mention knowing he really should have manned up and taken this fight himself, also jumps in, taking the Eye and using it to get in front of Aggamotto. With the ever-popular big white light (really, retire this artistic device, please?), Brother Voodoo uses the Eye to banish Aggamotto for all time and vaporizes himself in the process.
Wolverine comes back to this plane of existence, wondering if he's won.
Doctor Strange reports that we no longer have a Sorcerer Supreme and the Eye of Aggamotto is gone. Daniel Drumm, having witnessed his brother's sacrifice, is pretty pissed off and jumps into Luke Cage to express his anger at the Avengers for the part they played in his brother's death. Swearing to make them pay, he leaves Cage and Daimon Hellstrom goes out to tell Hand and the crowd outside that the Avengers saved the day, so they all better appreciate it.
And you know what? I don't. Not one bit. The Avengers, as far as I know, didn't do anything but spiritually support Wolverine and feel the damage he took. Brother Voodoo, a character brought out of the minors and into the Big Leagues by the New Avengers titles and taken him right back out of the game and this great new team didn't do much but buy him time to make a great sacrifice.
Let's pretend this book had more of an impact on the Marvel Universe than building Doctor Strange back into his old job. Let's pretend that this death will have a longer lasting repercussion on the world and maybe then we might feel better about what we read and spent time on.
New Avengers #6, all you need to know is that Brother Voodoo is dead and so a job opened up for Sorcerer Supreme.