Avengers 43

avengers 43

Today, Ryan and Mark are discussing Avengers 43, originally released April 1st, 2015. 

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

William Shakespeare, Henry IV

Ryan: It has been said that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and history remembers figures like this with no small sense of disdain. However, what of those leaders who came to reign under the most noble of intentions, who yet were forced to make decisions universally agreed upon as damnable? Jonathan Hickman and Stephano Caselli have taken readers on a convoluted and bumpy road in Avengers, and along the way have raised some sticky questions in regards to morals under duress. In this penultimate issue, we see how the crown of an empire and the Damoclean burden of genius can incite or deter an extinction. Continue reading

Avengers 18

avengers 18 infinityToday, Spencer and Drew are discussing Avengers 18, originally released August 21st, 2013. This issue is part of the Infinity crossover event. Click here for complete Infinity coverage.

infinity divider

Spencer: I’m not a huge fan of the genre, so this might be a complete oversimplification, but in my mind most war stories seem to be divided into two categories: the stories that are about glory, honor, and the beauty of warfare (which I’m not fond of), and the stories about the people who sacrifice themselves to protect others (which I appreciate more). Avengers 18, an Infinity tie-in, takes the form of a war story as the team joins a massive Anti-Builder Armada, and while it largely falls into that second category, a few early scenes even manage to make aspects of the first compelling to me.

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Avengers 17

Alternating Currents: Avengers 17, Drew and Spencer

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Avengers 17, originally released August 7th, 2013. 

“Bigger?” Look, it’s not for one of the new guys to say, but — feeling kinda crowded around here already.

Cannonball

Drew: In our discussion of Avengers 16, I complained that the bloated story and cast was collapsing under its own weight — far from making me excited, the sheer scope of the story was preventing me from fully engaging with any subset of elements. It’s a feat that writer Jonathan Hickman can keep all of these plates spinning (and these are only half of the plates he’s writing in this event), but that triumph of multi-tasking unfortunately precludes any real emotional connections. That is to say, the story here is already too big, but as this issue concludes into Infinity proper, we pile on even more Avengers, and widen the scope even further. And there are still only, like, two showers. Continue reading

Avengers 16

Alternating Currents: Avengers 16, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Avengers 16, originally released July 17th, 2013. 

…times infinity!

–Schoolyard Traditional

Drew: Infinity is an incredibly abstract concept. By its very definition, it is beyond comprehension. It is often treated — especially by children — as just a really big number, something you could multiply yesses by or supersede by adding one to. Infinity might simply be the next step in a logical progression, from hundreds to thousands to millions and so on, usually following shortly after “bazillion.” Adults are a little less prone to these misconceptions, but I can’t claim to have any true understanding of what it would mean for something to be infinite. That is, until I started reading the interminable prelude to Marvel’s Infinity event, which doesn’t feel “big” as much as it does “endless.” Continue reading

Avengers 15

Alternating Currents: Avengers 15, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Avengers 15, originally released July 3rd, 2013. 

Drew: I have a buddy who doesn’t like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films — but it’s not because he doesn’t like fantasy. In his mind, the story is a too simple escalation of “then they fought an even bigger villain” repeated ad nauseam. He has a point: that narrative is particularly focused on building to the final boss battle, but I’d argue that that focus is exactly what prevents each encounter from feeling routine. We understand the importance of Frodo’s quest, so there’s actual tension to be garnered from any obstacles that might pop up along the way. More importantly, having that goal laid out offers direction after each villain is defeated — there’s none of that “wander around the woods until you find something else to fight” RPG bullshit. Unfortunately, Avengers 15 lacks that kind of focused direction. Continue reading

Avengers 14

avengers 14

Today, Mikyzptlk and Spencer are discussing Avengers 14 , originally released June 19th, 2013. 

Mikyzptlk: We are now 14 issues into Avengers and its been one hell of an…interesting ride. There’s been plenty of highs and a few lows, but throughout the series there has been the promise of the Infinity event. This event has kept my interest quite high for this series, but I might be nearing my limit as truth be told, I’m itching to get to the big event already. Fortunately, this issue does enough to keep me sated as they use the cast of the Avengers in some pretty creative ways while presenting some more intriguing mysteries. Continue reading