Comic Reviews 

Review – New Avengers: Breakout

Review – New Avengers: Breakout

Review – New Avengers: Breakout

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Penciller: David Finch

Inker: Danny Miki

Colourist: Frank D’Armata

Letterer: Albert Deschesne

Release Date: August 17th 2005

When I was asked to go back and write a review for New Avengers: Breakout, I was initially excited by the prospect of getting to revisit this book. When I first read the TPB, I really enjoyed what Brian Michael Bendis did with the story and appreciated the way that he gave the Avengers comics a much-needed soft reboot. Seven years down the line from when I first read it, it unfortunately has not aged particularly well.

Upon reading it for the first time, my favourite part of the story was the titular breakout sequence that takes place across the first two issues included in the book. This is still the case today upon re-reading the TBP. Whilst it is a fairly contrived situation, with the obvious foreshadowing of Foggy Nelson worrying about a breakout coming across as painfully obvious foreshadowing, the breakout sequence is fun.

Review – New Avengers: Breakout
The artwork in this sequence is super dynamic-looking.

The action that takes place in this segment of the book is well-written and the rap-sheet style character briefs that are shown alongside the appearance of each major villain are cool. It is also a fascinating situation to see Matt Murdoch to be caught in, as a prison is a very bad place for a prosecuting lawyer to be during a prison break.

Unfortunately, this is the only part of the book that I enjoyed re-reading for a second time. After the prison break takes place, the pace of the story grinds to a halt and then crawls very slowly to the end of the sixth issue. It felt so aimless and meandering whilst reading through it and I was constantly checking how much longer I still had to go before the book was done. This is never a good sign for a comic book story.

The plot following the straightforward breakout sequence is also far more unnecessarily convoluted than it ever had to be. This is even referenced in the dialogue, when Spiderman quips at one point that he has “no idea what is going on, more so than usual!” Pointing out how overly confusing and messy your story is doesn’t make up for writing a convoluted mess of a plot Bendis.

There is also an unfortunate section of the book where the male members of the team gawk at Spider-Woman after she suits up for the first time. It is fairly brief, but in a post me-too era, the panels haven’t aged particularly well at all. The lingering panel on Spider-Woman’s detailed physique in her skin-tight costume feels particularly off-putting and sleazy.

Review – New Avengers: Breakout

In terms of the book’s artwork, I enjoyed David Finch’s pencils for the most part. I thought that the way that Jigsaw was drawn looked awesome, there was a particularly striking splash page of Carnage appearing behind foggy during the breakout sequence that I enjoyed and I thought that the Quinjet looked really cool in this book.

That being said, there were certain panels where I was not a huge fan of how Steve Rodgers’ face was drawn. Some of his expressions looked somewhat goofy and even when he wasn’t being overly expressive, I wasn’t into the way that his features were drawn. Some of his poses also bend the laws of what is biologically possible.

Review – New Avengers: Breakout
Well, her neck is going to be very sore in the morning.

I also felt that there were some questionable colour choices on Frank D’Armata’s part. I usually enjoy D’Armata’s work, but not so much in this book. There was one page in particular that showed Daredevil in his full red costume standing in front of a red sky that was a very similar shade of red to The Man Without Fear’s costume. This meant that the character didn’t really stand out on the page, as the background colour was so similar to the costume’s colour.

Review – New Avengers: Breakout
Are we paying by the colour now?

Overall, I was fairly disappointed upon revisiting New Avengers: Breakout for review. I wish that this wasn’t the case, but unfortunately this book simply did not stand up to the test of time in my eyes. It felt very dated at points and confusing and boring in others. This is probably my least favourite Brain Michael Bendis story that I’ve revisited recently for review.

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Daniel Boyd

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Daniel is a 26-year-old writer from Glasgow. He loves sci-fi and hates fantasy. He also hates referring to himself in the third person and thinks that bios are dumb.

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