Review: Avengers #15

Published on July 22nd, 2011

We’ve been inundated lately by tie-in books from both Marvel and DC.  DC’s FlashPoint has generated a ton of mini-series tie-ins, whereas Marvel’s Fear Itself has created both mini-series tie-ins as well as infiltrating currently running books.  One of those Marvel books is Avengers #15!

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Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Chris Bachalo, Avengers #15 is now the third issue of the series to be a Fear Itself tie-in.  In the main Fear Itself title, seven mystical, Asgardian hammers have fallen to Earth and possessed seven Marvel characters, turning them into unstoppable hosts of Asgardian agents of destruction.  Each issue of Avengers since issue #13 has shown a different group of Avengers facing off against a different possessed hero or villain.

Avengers #15 shows Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, Protector and eventually Hawkeye facing off against the Asgardian possessed HULK in Brazil.  The group try their best to slow down the rampaging monster, but even before he was possessed the Hulk was unstoppable.  Now, with a significant power boost from his Asgardian hammer, he is truly a force of nature.  Nevertheless, our group of Avengers make a valiant effort to try and save the residents of of the Brazilian village that Hulk has wandered into. Spider-Woman takes a more central role in this issue, dealing not only with personal issues but courageously going one-on-one with Hulk and eventually sharing a rather steamy kiss with a fellow Avenger.  I’d tell you who it is, but that would just ruin it for you, now wouldn’t it?

Bendis is one of the best writers working in the industry today and, while the past couple issues of Avengers haven’t been really stellar, issue #15 was really great.  What’s interesting about these Fear Itself tie-ins in Avengers is that Bendis makes the main tie-in story a flashback, while the current parts show different Avengers telling the story of what happened in a somewhat interview style.  It’s a really creative way of showing different characters’ views and opinions on how everything went down.

Bachalo’s art (doing both pencils and colors on this book) is really astounding.  The action scenes are so energetic and interesting to look at.  This is one of those issues that really requires two readings: one to actually read the story and a second to just absorb the art.  He puts so much detail into each panel and uses color (or, sometimes, lack thereof) to draw the reader’s eye to specific parts of the panel.  He’s shown over the last year some of his fantastic talent on both The Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men, but Bachalo has really brought it to a whole new level with Avengers #15.

You could spend the better part of a week and your paycheck trying to collect and read all of the Fear Itself tie-ins, but if you just want the cream of the tie-in crop, get your greedy little hands on Avengers #15!  You’ll thank me!

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com