Well thus ends the Bendis era...
ok, almost. I think 1 more issue of his New Avengers. And of course Age of Ultron.
I know many (many, many) didn't like his Avengers stories over the last 8 years. Personally i have been up and down... some great stories, some I thought were not as great. But over the 232 issues he says he wrote, I have to say over all, I have enjoyed the run. biggest complaint..the decompression, but I am not a big fan of floppies to begin with.
Many of the complaints have centered around his choice of new Avengers...Spider-man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Spider-woman, etc., and some of the things he did (or didn't do) with the "classic" Avengers. Well honestly I read this issue as a love letter to not only those "classic" Avengers, but those fans who wish for those days/stories. Yes Spider-man, Wolverine, Red hulk, Spider-woman are there, as well, as Bendis-creations Hill and Daisy Johnson (in a hilarious back and forth that could only be called, "What would happen if Hill and Quake Met?")...but front and center of this story line, and especially this issue are the original Avengers (Wasp, Pym, Iron man, Thor) and their first recruits....Captain American and... Wonder Man. (Yea no Hulk... but he is every where else with the Avengers this year so and he wasn't really a long time member in the sense of this issue anyway).
Also the cameos, if you will, of other "classic" Aengers.... Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Balck Widow...completes to the nod to the 'old days'.
Spoilers for those who care.....
While the short-haired SHIELD agents 'discuss' strategy, Wonder Man beats them to the punch and decides to go in after the missing Avengers himself...as he 'owes it to Captain America'.
Basically Simon saves their butts in the micro-verse, the original Avengers rally together and defeat their micro-verse foes. Simon and janet are very happy to see each other. The Avengers return to Central park. Janet is happy to see the gathered Avengers and comments "Scarlet Witch?! Vision?! Dude! Uh, does everybody see the Red-colored Hulk?"
Gouzar from the micro-verse follows them back to Central Back and attacks the Avengers. Big mistake. Avengers and 'New' Avengers take him apart, and send him back. The feel of the Avengers re-united and fighting a bad guy, instead of each other...or the public....highlights the book.
I know many still like those Englehart, Shooter, Busiek like stories, and would like to see the Avengers remain that way. I'm not one of those. I like that Bendis took them somewhere else, and even if I didn't always like where he took them, I am glad he didn't just give us more of the same. I think this issue showed there is always room for another story in the "classic" vein. I am very much looking forward to where Hickman takes the Avengers. As Robert downing Jr errr Tony Stark says at the end of Avengers #34.. "We go bigger"
Good luck in the X-verse Bendis That should be an interesting ride.