Friday, 9 February 2018

Avengers [2016] #5.1 - Marvel Comics

AVENGERS No. 5.1, May 2017
Desperately hidden within the twenty-pages of “Death Be Not Proud!” is a somewhat fun Silver Age tale which certainly had the potential to encourage this mini-series’ remaining 21,614 readers to buy Issue Seventeen of “Avengers” in order to continue its adventure. Sadly however, Tom Brevoort’s decision to allow Mark Waid to completely undermine Cap’s Kooky Quartet by having the super-team’s original line-up actually save the day, as well as utilise the artistic talents of Mark Bagley, Sean Uzaakse and Ro Stein alongside regular Barry Kitson, arguably must have destroyed any faith the audience had that this adventure was supposedly a faithful recreation of the days when original creators Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby were at the helm.

Indeed, this comic’s “most nonsensical, non-costumed super-hero staff in comicdom” do such a good job of making Captain America, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver appear utterly impotent, that it’s a wonder the book sold as well as it did, and those bibliophiles who weren’t “emotionally enraptured by the contents within these palatial pages” should hardly have been stripped of their Merry Marvel Marching Society button as this publication’s opening editorial suggests. Certainly it's difficult not to embarrassingly grimace as Giant-Man effortlessly swats Cressida aside just moments after the Southeast Asian super-villain has so easily ‘killed’ the Sentinel of Liberty, the Golden Archer, and two of the Earth’s most formidable mutants single-handedly; “Pick on someone your own size -- or bigger!” 

To make matters worse, a revitalised Steve Rogers subsequently spells out his team’s total defeat even clearer, by admitting to Avenger X that she “almost had us” if not for “Giant-Man’s Bio-Lab skills” and his ‘uncanny’ scientific ability to rejuvenate the foursome using their “dying sparks of energy”. In fact, Hank Pym proves himself to be so formidable a chemist that he even manages to immunize the “also-rans” against their opponent’s “powers from here on in”, thereby permitting them to battle Cressida without requiring any additional support or fear of being soundly thrashed a second time…

Unfortunately, the illustrations for this notoriously undermining narrative are equally as sporadic as its storyline’s sensibilities, and was hardly likely to help this comic become “a tale destined to become a magnificent milestone in the Marvel Age of Comics” as its creative team would seemingly have wished. Admittedly, Barry Kitson’s opening pages are pencilled pleasantly enough, such as his recreation of the original grim-faced Giant-Man, but once the British artist is repeatedly replaced by his ‘helpers’ matters take a decidedly disconcerting turn for the worse, with Hawkeye’s initial capture of Avenger X at his mock-funeral appearing particularly poorly-sketched.
Writer: Mark Waid, and Pencilers: Barry Kitson with Mark Bagley, Sean Izaakse & Drew Hennessy


  1. Thanks for the review. Shame as I like the Avengers and the art you have shown looks quite good.

    1. You're welcome Undercoat. I always try and grab the best pics for the postings, so sometimes the quality of the artwork isn't as well represented as I'd like. Tbh, the art for this issue wasn't bad, far from it in many places, its just choppy with different artists doing 3-4 pages each and I hate that as it takes me out of the story.