Avengers #22 Comic Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Stefano Caselli & Frank Martin
Variant Cover: Jung-Geun Yoon
Challenge of The Ghost Riders Part One
The Exorcism At Avengers Mountain
“My Car is Possessed”
What You Need to Know
The Avengers are back in action after their day off recovering from War of The Realms. As soon as they return they are thrown back into the fire, hellfire that is. Robbie Reyes has lost control of the Spirit of Vengeance, and this time it may spell doom for all of the Avengers. T’Challa calls in an expert to assist with their demonic problem. Unfortunately, Robbie and the Avengers will learn that when you keep Hell close to you, Hell eventually reaches out to touch you.
What Just Happened
The issue begins with Robbie Reyes is giving his brother Gabe a ride to school when the Hell Charger takes control and speeds down the street looking for bloodshed. The car threatens Gabe and Robbie begins to turn into Ghost Rider but the car stops. Robbie destroys the car and heads home, but the car is waiting for him when he gets there.
Robbie explains his origin to the Avengers and asks them for their help in getting rid of the Ghost Rider once and for all. T’Challa asks Robbie to turn into Ghost Rider so his power can be measured, but doing so turbo sets off the Hell Charger. T’Challa calls in Daimon Hellstrom to assist in performing an exorcism on the Hell Charger.
In Turkey, Okoye, Thor, Iron Man, and She Hulk are cleaning up the mess the Malkeith left after War of The Realms. She Hulk is there to destroy what is left of Sindr’s forces. Okoye states that during their mission they discovered a cave that drove Wakandan Vibranium miners that she sent in mad. Iron Man wants to investigate, but Thor who senses a great evil in the cave stops him. Okoye states she already investigated and discovered an ancient helmet that resembles Iron Man’s helmet that dates back to one million BCE in the Stone Age. Okoye states the helmet was made from fossilized metal. Thor asks Iron Man to destroy the helmet, but Iron Man knows that he must face whatever is in the cave
Back on Avengers Mountain, Hellstrom starts the exorcism process. Robbie is immediately transported to Hell where Johnny Blaze is waiting for him. Blaze challenges Robbie to a race for the Spirit of Vengeance.
Jason Aaron really does not give this Avengers squad time to breathe. After one issue off, it looks like that team will have to go to Hell and back, literally. I really appreciate how Aaron continues to elevate Robbie Reyes in this book. As I have said before, Reyes is the heart of this book. As much as I am disappointed that the new upcoming Ghost Rider ongoing does not seem to involve Robbie, I am happy with his portrayal in this book. Much of what happens in this book is experienced through Robbie’s point of view, and this arc seems like it will hone in on that specifically. Robbie never quite understood why he was possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance and what its purpose is for him, and it seems like avoiding finding those answers has finally come back to haunt him.
Robbie’s lack of control over the Ghost Rider has become a threat to the Avengers as a whole, and even though the team supports and wants to help him, they understand that that the demon within him is too powerful to leave unchecked. This isn’t a problem that the Avengers can just punch, and Black Panther is the perfect leader for this team and he is willing to entertain non-traditional methods to solve problems. I appreciate the guest appearance of Daimon Hellstrom and love the fact that Aaron is willing to include relatively obscure characters in a book as big as Avengers, while connecting them rather seamlessly to the plot of the book. Johnny Storm is also poised to make a big impact on this book. Aaron seems ready to establish Blaze as a major player in the Marvel Universe as the King of Hell.
I also am enjoying how Jason Aaron is able to take this book on a tangent without taking too much away from the main story. This issues side story seems like it will have far reaching implications and consequences for this book going forward. It also seems to be connecting to the Avengers BC. I want to know what else is in that cave. I also want to note that Okoye is a badass who I hope to see more of in this book.
The art in this book is very strong. Stefano Caselli is the perfect artist for a story arc involving demons and darkness. Caselli’s sharp art and ability to make characters look menacing will complement this storyline immensely. Jason Keith’s dark colors compliment Caselli’s art, and helps the art pop off the page. I really enjoyed Caselli’s depiction of Daimon Hellstrom, who looks almost more demon than man. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this art as the next issue looks like it will be taking us to Hell.