Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Avengers #15

Certainly any Marvel hero must, at one time or another, go through the rite of passage we call: fighting the Hulk.

It's a tall order most days, but moreso now that the Fear Itself mini-series has the Hulk possessed by an ancient Asgardian demon and wielding a giant magic hammer.

So what better time for Spider-Woman to take on the big green giant? She actually has a little bit of help in this issue of The Avengers, but for the most part Ms. Marvel, The Protector (why don't they call him Captain Marvel or Marvel Boy?) and Hawkeye are out of the fight, so the vastly outmatched Spider-Woman gets her cred as a real Marvel hero.

At this point in the mini-series, the Worthy (as the demon-possessed heroes and villains are called) are impossible to beat - incredibly powerful, virtually indestructible, they defy any efforts by Earth's heroes to stop them. (Something tells me the good guys will soon discover a way to remedy that situation.)

Give Brian Bendis credit for writing a solid, entertaining story here, even though the outcome is never in doubt - but the same can"t be said about the survival of any of the heroes.

The artwork is by Chris Bachalo, and I admit I'm a bit torn on his art. His design and layouts are stunning, and he pumps life and energy into his characters - but characters are heavily distorted in some panels, to the point where they'd fit better in a cartoon.

Still, it's hard to complain - the art is fresh and inventive, and while it's not my style, there are plenty of fans who would disagree.

Bendis continues to give us hints of the bigger picture through the interviews different Avengers are conducting - some after the Fear Itself event.

It's not a bad issue at all, but it drags a bit and it never quite resolves anything.

Come to think of it, the same is true for almost every "hero fights the Hulk" story. Go figure.

Grade: B+


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