I know what you're thinking, "Why does he keep going on about this book if he doesn't like Marvel's offerings?" And the oddity is that I do want to like this book, despite all the odds. I loved the Avengers, and the little kid in me really wants to see a kick ass Avengers book on the stands to buy.
Unfortunately, we're so deep into post modern deconstructionalism, that I doubt that anyone can come along and do a straight forward "Marvel-style" team book for the next year or two. (When it finally does get done, it will be hailed as "a refreshingly modern twist on old skool team books"). All that aside, I keep wanting to see this team do some interesting things. I like Carol Danvers, always did, and seeing her get front and center is fun. The Widow actually acts like the Natasha that we know and love, and Ares is just a genius stroke of fun. I hope that Bendis gets all Englehart on his ass.
Two great moments this issue: Carol telling Ares that he's the God of War, to back off and make a plan to win the war, and the moment that Ultron takes over the Helicarrier's computers, and projects his old, original, evil ultron face, a moment that I want to believe shows us that no matter how he may be reforming himself into a facsimile of Janet Van Dyke, he is a robot who knows who he really is. Interestingly, the skitzo Ultron makes complete sense in the Jocasta context. Genuine Fanboy Chill.TM
Unfortunately, hate dealing with the negatives as well: the terrible cover, the over-reliance on the ass shots (tigra especially), the strangely tepid action shots that Cho doesn't do so well, the knowledge that this book has been so reviled for the idiocy of Ultron being made into a nude, metallic version of the Wasp, that I doubt I could ever even make a public admission of "Heck, its a guilty pleasure". the pacing isn't exactly what I would wish for: it takes a little too long for things to happen. Powers can continue to decompress all it wishes to, but the Avengers needs to have stuff happen and happen now. What, hasn't anyone see Pirates 2?
And, yes, the little kid in me loves the appearance of the original grey iron man on the last page. Its a cliffhanger that only a member of the MMMS or FOOM could love.
OK, you got my money. For now. And you haven't had that in a long time.