In Review: Avengers #6

I expected better for such a great build.

The cover: Ghost Rider’s flaming car is racing at the reader. Captain America is in the front seat yelling encouragement to the Avengers and pointing the way. Black Panther and She Hulk are standing in the back, ready to leap at their opponents. Iron Man, Thor, and Doctor Strange follow their teammates in the sky. This is a good team cover by Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, & Jason Keith. Though I do find myself stopping and saying, “Ghost Rider?” every time I see him with this team. Plus, who would’ve expected to see the Avengers rallying with this form of transportation? Overall grade: A-

The story: The concluding chapter of Jason Aaron’s “The Final Host” opens describing several characters throughout the Marvel Universe acknowledging what the Avengers are doing, but unable to assist them. Last issue Iron Man, Thor, She Hulk, and Ghost Rider were able to make themselves as large as the Celestials. The Final Host, that are about to destroy the Earth and they are attacking these foes. As these titans battle, Cap, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel battle the insect army of the Horde. “This is actually working!” Captain Marvel says. “We’re hurting them.” Black Panther agrees, “The Horde are frightened. You can see it in the way their mandibles twitch.” Meanwhile, Doctor Strange confronts Loki and they appear to be at a standoff. Things look encouraging for the team for a few pages, but something starts to slow them down. It’s only with an important clue from an earlier issue that one of the Avengers guesses how the Final Host can be defeated. This conclusion was okay. Obviously the heroes are going to win, they are the Avengers, but how they would do it would have to be good. It’s fine, but Pages 18 – 20 killed the climax, as the conclusion isn’t shown. Instead the reader is told all will be well, but it’s not shown. I wanted to see the villains beaten back, and that doesn’t happen with this story. Instead, the book — this storyline — ends with a villain doing his best impression of the Dark Knight’s iconic foe. I was left disappointed. There are some fun lines between the characters that are incredibly fun, but they’re beaten down by a lack of a solid conclusion. Overall grade: C

The art: This concluding installment features pencils by Ed McGuinness & Paco Medina, with Mark Morales & Juan Vlasco providing the inks. The first page has four panels that show a different Marvel character reacting to the Avengers’ plight and they look great. Without spoiling things, I’m ready to see those first two characters return to monthly comics. Pages 2 and 3 have a partial double-paged spread that runs across both pages showing the giant Avengers battling the Celestials. There are several characters in every panel and there’s lots of debris flying about. It’s a little difficult at times to see what’s happening, but there’s nothing wrong with spending some time looking to see what the artists have created. Page 8 is neat for returning to the four panel motif of the first page, though this time the panels are vertical. The person who appears in the first panel had me screaming in joy for who it is and my desire to see more of this character. Page 10 is a full-paged splash that shows one Avenger going where no Avenger has gone before and it’s a visual that gave me pause as I wondered what this character was enduring. 13 has one Avenger stunning on the right side of the page with four smaller panels leading to this individual. There is a laugh out loud visual that ends 14 and is followed with a terrific visual that starts Page 15. The last panel on 16 has the heroes rallying and it’s the perfect visual to show this unique moment. I love Ghost Rider in the second panel on 18 — he looks incredible. 19 is a full-paged splash but it’s not great because the characters are too far from the reader, requiring them to be either simply rendered, take a look at Captain Marvel’s face, or lost in profile, and there are several. The final panel screams DC Comics. I love that company, but I shouldn’t be thinking of them in the final issue of Marvel’s flagship team book relaunch. Overall grade: B-

The colors: David Curiel’s colors are fine on this outing, with blacks and yellows dominating. The first page shows four characters realizing the threat of the Avengers’ cosmic foes and the colors are good until that third panel where it’s difficult to make out just what or whom that hero is fighting. I still can’t tell. The last panel on the page is also dark, but it’s to emphasize the somber state of the character, which it does. When the Zord sized Avengers battle the Final Host the colors are dark because it’s Russia’s semi-wilderness at night and the villains themselves are pretty dark. The brightest character is Ghost Rider due to all the yellow and orange flame he emits. Better are the normal sized heroes, whose bright costumes stand out more strongly; heck, even Black Panther stands out better. The blue energy employed by Iron Man is a good, bright choice and when one hero is spotlighted on 10 the colors are the best of the book. Page 16’s bottom panel is also great, with strong yellows and red. But then it’s back to darker colors, with 19 losing any joy with these colors and the final panel of the book losing clarity in the bottom half due to dark colors. I still love Curiel’s work, but this was too dark, too often. Overall grade: B-

The letters: This issue’s text had letters from VC’s Cory Petit which included dialogue and narration (the same font), scene settings, Iron Man’s motherboard’s voice, Asgardian speech, sounds, Iron Man speech, some whispered dialogue, and a rally cry. Dialogue and narration should be different fonts, as they are two different forms of communication, though they are easy enough to tell apart in this issue due to the balloons and colors that contain them. The different fonts used for Iron Man and his motherboard are neat, giving them a very electronic tone when they speak. The whispered dialogue that occurs near the end of the issue is fun, and the sounds are excellent. Petit did good. Overall grade: A- 

The final line: The concluding chapter in this saga is a bit of cheat with something important missing and the art not as clear as in previous installments. Still, there’s fun to be had in the dialogue and there are some effective panels. I just expected better for such a great build. Overall grade: B-

To order a digital copy go to https://comicstore.marvel.com/Avengers-2018-6/digital-comic/48863?r=1

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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