Avengers #14 (Marvel)


Rating: 2.5/5 – A small misstep in what has been a great series.

Avengers 14 is the first part of the Prelude to Infinity event that will run across the Avengers books this summer.  For readers interested in this summer’s storyline but have not been following the Avengers books, this issue won’t get those readers excited about the upcoming event.  It’s a confusing story that will leave previous readers expecting more, and new readers wondering what Infinity will be all about.  Unfortunately this issue is a small misstep in what has otherwise been a brilliant series.

This issue starts by visiting multiple sites across the country that have been impacted by “origin bombs” sent by newly created character Ex Nihilo in early issues of Avengers.  These origin bombs, designed to remake the world into something better are being disrupted by a signal that is being broadcast from a mysterious location.  This same signal is having negative effects on all things electrical across the world and the Avengers are scrambling to understand why.  This is a small part of what has been an epic storyline, but for a prelude to Marvel’s big summer event, it just didn’t get me hooked.

For readers who have not been reading this series, it would be extremely difficult to understand what’s going on.  Although the issue itself is well written, it wasn’t well written for those looking to jump on board.  After Marvel released the Free Comic Book Day issue of Infinity, they could have made this issue a little more “new-reader” friendly and unfortunately they missed their chance.  That being said, overall this series has been great and I trust in writers Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer that the ideas introduced in this issue will payoff down the road.  Artist Stefano Caselli does a great job bringing these ideas to life and the first 5 pages of this issue especially are beautifully drawn.  If you’re familiar with Caselli’s work on Avengers Initiative or Amazing Spider-Man, then you’ll notice his style is a little bit more toned down.  The art here is a bit more realistic than his more dramatic style seen previously and it really works for this book.

Although it’s tough to recommend this single issue, it shouldn’t make you stay away from this series.  Hickman has a proven track record and this summer’s Infinity event looks like it could be something special.  Hopefully the plot-lines introduced in this issue will pay off during that storyline, but as a single issue it just didn’t satisfy now.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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