THE AVENGERS

October 14, 2013 Posted by admin

TITLE: THE AVENGERS

ISSUE: 51

DATE: 20/03/02

REVIEWER: MATT YEO

WRITER: KURT BUSIEK

ARTISTS: BRENT ANDERSON & TOM PALMER

avengers51As much as I’ve been enjoying the current “Kang War” storyline, this issue’s romantic interlude reminds me just how long the conflict has been dragging on for. Don’t get me wrong, Busiek’s 50 issue run has been amazing, truly adding to The Avengers’ mythos, but I feel as if he’s been treading water for a few months, drawing out the conclusion of the saga, seemingly determined to go out in a blaze of mock rock encores.

Essentially acting as a breather between global battles, this month’s tale focuses on Wonder Man and the Scarlet Witch. Held captive in a prisoner of war camp, they attempt to work out where it all went wrong, with both the lengthy conflict and their own failed relationship. Kang’s threats against humanity have rendered both heroes seemingly impotent, but their strength of will remains as they attempt to make good their escape and rejoin the fight for freedom. There are some touching moments in this issue as both characters admit to each other what they (and we) have know for a long time, but were too scared to face. Likewise, Wonder Man’s apparent sacrifice makes for some gripping reading, although Simon Williams does have a bit of history when it comes to predictable back-from-the-dead resurrections. However, truly touching is this month’s all-star creator tribute to Marvel legend John Buscema who passed away recently. The apt illustration of The Vision sums up all of our feelings on this tragic loss…

Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Brent Anderson’s collaborations with Kurt Busiek in Astro City, and his guest pencils in this issue provide solid storytelling at its best, I’m frustrated by the lack of a consistent Avengers art team. I guess it’s my own fault though, as I’ve been spoilt by George Perez’s phenomenal run and Alan Davis’ outstanding follow-up issues. While regular artist Kieron Dwyer is managing to carve out a great style of his own, I can’t help feeling that as one of Marvel’s flagship titles, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes deserve better.

BULLETPROOF RATING: 4/10