Avengers #14 Comic Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Posnor & Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: David Marquez & Justin Posnor
Variant Covers: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz & David Curiel; Matteo Scalera & Rain Beredo
The Fall of Castle Dracula
“Some Men are Just too Busy Standing to Ever Stop and Kneel”
What You Need to Know
The Vampire Civil War has begun and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are caught in the middle of the conflict. The mysterious Shadow Colonel and his monstrous Legion of the Unliving are hunting Count Dracula, who has vanished without a trace. The Avengers have recruited Blade to assist them in ending this war before it consumes mankind. Can the Avengers defeat this hellspawn, or will they get burned?
What Just Happened
The issue begins in Castle Dracula, as it is being invaded by the Colonel and his legion. The Legion cut through a horde of vampires to get to the tomb of Dracula just to realize that Dracula is missing. Elsewhere, vampires have hijacked an airplane in an attempt to escape the fighting, and Blade and Captain Marvel respond to stop them. Vampires have even invaded Wakanda in an attempt to harness the vibranium of The Great Mound to give them an advantage in the war. Black Panther and Iron Man luckily are on the scene and have harnessed solar powers in their suits to destroy the creatures. Back in Central Romania, Captain America and Thor lead the villagers in the area away from the vampire conflict and fight off any vampires that attack them. In the Monster Metropolis beneath the streets of Manhattan, She-Hulk and Ghost Rider literally send vampires to Hell by throwing them in the truck of Ghost Rider’s hell car. While Ghost Rider battles the vampire he is mocked by a childlike demon that states that Ghost Rider is a monster and not an avenger.
Back in Romania, Cap and Thor are approached by the Shadow Colonel who claims he is not there to fight; he only wants the location of Dracula. The Colonel even allows the Avengers to detain him and take him back to Avengers Mountain. Cap sends in Blade to interrogate the Shadow Colonel once they return to the mountain.
Shadow Colonel is unfazed by Blade’s presence, and even gets Blade to lose his composure by discussing his mother and his existence as a human/vampire hybrid. Black Panther and Captain Marvel begin to suspect that Shadow Colonel may have planned to be detained by the Avengers all along.
Ghost Rider, still thrown off from his interaction with the demon child, isolates himself from the rest of the Avengers in the mountain, and pleads with his car to provide him with answers as to what is his true nature as Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider does not notice Shadow Colonel’s dog, Sarge approaching him chanting an incantation that seemingly unleashes more of the Ghost Rider’s power within Robbie Reyes.
In Russia, the Winter Guard keep lookout for vampires trying to sneak across the Russian border. They are shocked to see Dracula approach the border. Dracula states he would like to seek asylum from Romania as his home has been destroyed.
Avengers vs. Vampires? Sign me up please. I love that Jason Aaron has leaned into horror and the supernatural for this arc of Avengers. A civil war between vampires is a very exciting concept and this first issue really builds an investment in the story. Castle Dracula burns, Dracula is missing, and the Avengers are busy fighting vampires around the world. Best of all, BLADE IS BACK! It’s about time we saw Blade involved in a meaningful storyline, and Blade being an avenger can lead to some interesting developments for his character.
Captain America also stands out in this issue and he proves once again why he is the Sentinel of Liberty. Captain America shows no fear of the undead and his pure heart allows him to be more of a threat to them then they are to him. Interesting developments occur in this issue as Ghost Rider is confronted by a childlike demon (who may or may not be Mephisto). This chance meeting seems like it will have lasting ramifications for this book. The true power of the Spirit of Vengeance looks like it will be unleashed soon, and Robbie does not seem up to the challenge of containing it. At least he gets to be the fireball in the “Fireball Special” with She-Hulk. The Shadow Colonel has plans for the Avengers and the Spirit of Vengeance looks like the key to that plan.
Jason Aaron continues to build his Avengers epic with crises that arise every issue that looks like they will push the Avengers to the limit. Aaron is planting seeds for an overarching conflict and I’m excited to see the full story blossom. Aaron briefly draws the Winter Guard into this conflict and they will have a guest with them that makes them very important to this story.
The art remains strong in this book regardless if it is Ed McGuinness or David Marquez. Usually multiple artists rotating on a book can be distracting and lead to inconsistencies in quality but both these guys bring it when they are on an issue. Marquez draws Shadow Colonel and his Legion of the Unliving as monstrous looking characters you would see in a boss fight of a video game. Plus, is that a mini Man-Thing on Shadow Colonel’s shoulder? I need the story behind that. Blade looks awesome kicking vampire ass with his unique vampire killing weapons. Seeing Ghost Rider literally send vampires to Hell in the trunk of his car was awesome and hilarious. Marquez’s depiction of the even more hellacious Ghost Rider revealed at the end of this issue is really impressive as well. This “Super Ghost-Rider” probably will cause even more problems for the Avengers.