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Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers – New Avengers Vol. 3-4 (Hardcover) (Review/Retrospective)

This is the eighth in a series of comic book reviews that will look at the direction of Marvel’s continuity (and, in particular at their “Avengers” franchise) over the past five or so years, as they’ve been attempting to position the property at the heart of their fictional universe. With The Avengers planned for a cinematic release in 2012, I thought I’d bring myself up to speed by taking a look at Marvel’s tangled web of continuity.

And now we’re entering a continuity-heavy area. You have been warned. As if we’ve been in a continuity-free zone for the past couple of weeks, remarks you, trusted reader. This is where my little experiment to venture deep into the heart of Marvel’s comic book continuity becomes a little bit more complicated and a little bit more difficult. Whereas the first part of Bendis’ run on New Avengers was relatively stand-alone (while still drawing on decades of events and continuity), it’s at this point the series becomes irrevocably intertwined with the on-going events at the heart of the Marvel Universe. It’s been described as “a spine”, and that’s pretty much exactly what it is: it’s a support structure which ties together the big Marvel events year-on-year, a thread that joins events like Civil War and Secret Invasion and Siege to each other and the greater fictional universe.

Wolverine learns the hard way not to bring claws to a gun fight...

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Desert Island Discs: Who is Taking What…

Congrats again to Andy on running such a fantastically successful Desert Island Discs.

I took the liberty of compiling the selections from the sites that went live this morning to give you an idea of who would be taking what to their desert islands (in case you needed to borrow… or were just curious). The picture is below. Click for a larger version.

Note: Not all the blogs went live this morning – and it’s possible I missed one or two (though I did it methodically). If I did, or if you’ve since added a list, please let me know. If there’s enough interest, I’ll update the list next weekend to give a more comprehensive view.

EDIT: And here it is.

Some notes (because I like trivia):

  • Between us all, we’ll have the completed Indiana Jones trilogy. Because Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull totally doesn’t count. We’ll have incomplete copies of the Lord of the Rings (missing The Return of the King) and the original Star Wars (missing A New Hope) trilogies.
  • There was a bit of hubbub about what we could and couldn’t take – is the list just movies or are other media forms allowed? Various castaways tried to smuggle The Wire and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on to their island. I acted under the assumption it was just movies, but am not sure if I’d change anything if I could take TV shows or miniseries.
  • The Godfather Part II does not appear on anyone’s list, which surprises me.
  • The Dark Knight is the most essential movie in blogdom (appearing on five islands), though we’ll likely all be borrowing the single copy of Batman Begins out with us.
  • Only one blogger admitted to bringing porn. And possibly imaginary porn at that.

If you’re bored, you can also try ‘island hopping’ or ‘six degrees of desert island discs’ the idea is basically like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where you pick two movies on the list and try to connect them by jumping from list to list where titles overlap. It’s a little nerdy, but still fun.

My own list is here.