UPDATE, 3/3/2012, 9 a.m.: Via Twitter exchange with Mike Deodato on the division of art labor between him and Will Conrad:

@mikedeodato – FYI: @willconrad didn’t ink me on NA#22. He drew these awesome pages: 5,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 and I did the rest. Thanks, buddy!:)

@InfiniteMidlife – Thanks, @mikedeodato. I’m curious: did @willconrad pencil those pages with a common inker for the book? I couldn’t see a difference in style

@mikedeodato -@InfiniteMidlife We ink our own stuff.

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Here’s the ugly and sad truth that DC Comics will not want to hear and will ignore even if they do: when it comes to superhero team books, The New Avengers is, bar none, the most consistently good one you can currently put your hands on. From the plot to the characters to the dialogue to the art, this book blows Justice League out of the water… and I say this despite the fact that New Avengers #22 continues the Dark Avengers 2 storyline, which just by existing makes me so crazy with rage that I want to catch a flight so I can chloroform writer Brian Michael Bendis and draw a misshapen Norman Osborn wavy haircut on his lumpy bald noggin.

This issue continues the aftermath of Osborn’s and his Dark Avengers’ public relations assault on our heroes, which has led to a bunch of very expensive power-armored New York SWAT cops (Hey, it’s New York in the 616; let’s assume Mayor Jameson’s reduction of the Moustache Tax hit the sweet spot on the Laffer Curve) waiting outside Avengers Mansion to arrest the crew. Luke Cage, however, has some obvious and understandable issues with police authority, so fisticuffs ensue. Meanwhile, various members of the Dark Avengers are engaged in a race to see who can sneakfuck Osborn the fastest, and some members of the New Avengers have realized that S.H.I.E.L.D. liason Victoria Hand – former right-hand woman for Osborn in the Dark Reign days – might have been giving the team a Victoria Job. Wait, that’s not right…

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