The Spider-Man-ification of The Avengers
If you’re familiar with Spider-Man, then you already know that it’s fairly routine for someone to shout, “It’s all Spider-Man’s fault!” It’s his proverbial cross; he has to be the hero at the sacrifice of his personal life, not tell anyone he’s Spider-Man and then watch as public opinion is turned against his heroic exploits by J. Jonah Jameson (editor of the local paper), or anybody else who’s job it is via the plot to make Peter Parker’s life a living hell.
These days, Spider-Man is in The Avengers and The New Avengers (come to think of it, he’s also in The Future Foundation, which is part of the reason why no one can agree which costume he’s supposed to be wearing when, and I thought he left proper Avengers and is only in New Avengers now, yet he’s all over the annual issue, but those are rants for another day); two teams, one human spider – fine. The problem is, both Avengers books are starting to turn into Spider-Man books.
Look, I’m all for Spider-Man; he’s a fun, interesting character that’s great to have around in a team book. (I prefer just a seasoning of Spider-Man – I can’t read any of his solo books.) When you’re collecting personalities, the wise cracking, boy scout oath observing, web headed all crawler is a must for The Avengers, but the thing that’s begun to happen is both The Avengers and The New Avengers have inherited his problem.
Check out Avengers Annual 2012 and you’ll see that Wonder Man has returned. He’s going around making the case that the Avengers must disband because they do more harm than good; whether it’s property damage, civilian causalities, the death of teammates or Wonder Man got a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking, he’s sure the Avengers are to blame and the world would be better off without them. As a former Avengers himself, he knows all the dirty secrets and where all the bodies are buried. He showed up once or twice to yell at them before he started punching them in the face, but make no mistake – he took his message to the media and now people are constantly protesting the Avengers.
If you flip through a few pages of New Avengers #20, you’ll see that Norman Osborn is back and, like he previously threatened, he’s making life hell for the New Avengers and doing his best to smear them in public, setting up yet another round of protests from a city that would be nothing but a smoking crater without them.
I’d guess that this is happening because both books are penned by Brian Michael Bendis, who has written a ton of Spider-Man comics in his time. Also, both the Wonder Man and Norman Osborn stories are very similar: they both assemble a team of super powered beings to fight the Avengers, they both work on damaging the Avengers reputations and they both are really starting to piss me off as they do the same thing as one another!
Knock it the hell off!