Avengers #15 Comic Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: David Marquez & Justin Posnor
Variant Covers: Gerald Parel
The Battle for The Throne of The Damned
What You Need to Know
The Avengers continue to do all they can to prevent a Vampire Civil War from raging throughout the planet. Russia’s Winter Guard has a prisoner locked deep within a Russian prison that may hold a key to stopping the war. The Legion of the Unliving have a secret weapon in a possessed Ghost Rider, who may rain Hellfire on the Avengers before they can stop this war.
What Just Happened
The issue begins by the Shadow Colonel turning his interrogation around on Blade and making his move to escape Avengers Mountain. The rest of the Avengers rush to Blade’s aid, but Shadow Colonel’s demonic dog, Sarge intervenes. Ghost Rider, possessed by the demonic incantations of Sarge, attacks the Avengers and blows Captain Marvel through the Mountain. The vampires escape with Ghost Rider in his Hell Charger.
In Russia, Iron Man is able to sneak into the prison that his holding Dracula. Dracula tells Iron Man the same story he told the Winter Guard, that he is old, has lost everything, and he wants to die somewhere in peace and solitude. Iron Man laughs at what he feels is an obvious lie, and Dracula mocks him by saying his father pleaded with him for a drop of his blood to gain the secret of immortality when Tony Stark was a boy. Tony is able to learn that Dracula is sharing his “wisdom” with the Russian Government in exchange for sanctuary. Tony offers sanctuary to Dracula in exchange for his help in ending the Vampire Civil War, but Dracula refuses. Tony threatens to just take Dracula, without realizing that Dracula has caused a prison riot. Iron Man helps Crimson Dynamo end the riot. The Winter Guard allows Iron Man to leave but retain custody of Dracula.
In Madripoor, The Legion of Unliving attacks a peaceful community of vampires and massacres them. The Shadow Colonel finds a group of vampire children hiding from the fighting, and orders Ghost Rider to kill them all. Ghost Rider is able to fight off his demonic possession enough to avoid killing the children. The Avengers arrive on the scene before the Shadow Colonel can kill the children. The Colonel uses another demonic incantation to order Ghost Rider to attack his fellow Avengers.
Jason Aaron and David Marquez have created another solid chapter in a consistently solid book. The Shadow Colonel and his Legion of the Unliving are proving to be a mysterious and serious threat to the Avengers. The Colonel and his hellhound, Sarge, were able to escape Avengers Mountain with ease and make Earth’s Mightiest Heroes look pretty silly in the process. Whatever devilry Sarge has used on Ghost Rider has seemed to bring out the true monster in Robbie Reyes. Is Robbie an actually the new host for Vengeance and not Ghost Rider? Robbie’s new monstrous appearance may give us all the answers we need.
I wonder what Jason Aaron has in store for Dracula. It is obvious that Dracula is planning something, but what is his angle? I know Dracula is not giving up his throne without a fight. Dracula’s mocking of Tony Stark was an excellent way to plant doubt in the heart and mind of Iron Man even if Tony pretended not to care. Dracula will wreak his havoc before all is said and done.
Aaron writes the Shadow Colonel and his Legion as ruthless killers who will not hesitate to murder children. Ghost Rider will probably be the key to stopping the Legion as he is being used as their weapon currently, but he is still fighting off their influence.
David Marquez’s art continues to be strong. Ghost Rider’s monstrous upgrade looks menacing. I appreciated the presence of mind to have Iron Man switch to his stealth suit and have it be properly illustrated by Marquez.
My only criticisms of this issue are that I wish this arc would lean a little bit more into horror. This arc reads as more of an action packed adventure, rather than a horror-thriller that would usually involve vampires. I’m also waiting to get a little more insight on the Legion of Unliving. Who is the Shadow Colonel really? I did like his explanation regarding the role of “Boy-Thing”. More “Boy-Thing” please. What’s the deal with Sarge? Who are the other members and what are their motivations? We now know their names but who are they really?