“STARBRAND SMASH!!!!” (Avengers #26 Comic Review)

Avengers #26 Comic Review

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Dale Keown with Andrea Sorrentino

Colorist: Jason Keith with Erick Arciniega and Jay David Ramos

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Cover: Dale Keown & Jason Keith

Variant Cover: Alex Ross

As Strong as The Stars

“STARBRAND SMASH!!!!’”

What You Need to Know

Jason Aaron decides to take us back to prehistoric times once again to meet another member of the Prehistoric Avengers team. This time we get the origin of the Prehistoric Starbrand. Who is the strongest caveman there was? How did he get this power?

What Just Happened

66 million years ago the asteroid crash-landed on Earth killing the dinosaurs. It is revealed that the planet drew the asteroid to Earth to have a host take on the Starbrand. The first Starbrand is a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

65 million years later, two cavemen, Vnn and Brrkk, are picking fruit in a garden. Both swear they were called to the garden in their dreams. The cavemen suddenly are confronted by Deviant’s attack because they want the garden for themselves. Vnn and Brrkk prepare for the Deviants to attack again but are caught off guard by a surprise attack from underground.

Vnn and Brrkk fall deep within the earth and Brrkk dies from his injuries. Vnn doesn’t pay attention to the dead T-Rex with the Starbrand and touches it to become the new Starbrand. The new Starbrand destroys the Deviants that attacked him and Brrkk. Starbrand unites with the rest of the Prehistoric Avengers but they do not replace what he had with Brrkk.

My Thoughts

These flashback issues to the Prehistoric Avengers continue to be very fun, one and done stories, that provide a change of pace from the main Avengers storyline. I would have to admit, however, that this issue is a slight step down from the stories involving the prehistoric Ghost Rider and Iron Fist. This issue begins on an awesome note with a FREAKING STARBRAND T-REX. Of course, Jason Aaron wouldn’t be able to top a T-Rex shooting cosmic beams out of its mouth at Kree invaders. The abrupt shift to 65 million years later in a Garden of Eden typesetting is a little jarring. Luckily the cavemen, Vnn and Brrkk, are very likable. Despite not knowing how the cavemen got to this mystical garden, we get enough of their motivations for being there to accept the sudden shift in the issue. I appreciated Jason Aaron for exploring sexuality in the prehistoric age. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a same-sex couple in a prehistoric setting before.

The involvement of the Deviants suggests that the garden has something to do with the Celestials, and Vnn coming into contact with the Starbrand pretty much confirms this. My major complaint is that after Vnn becomes Starbrand, the story pretty much ends. When we met the Prehistoric Ghost Rider and Prehistoric Iron Fist, we got a much more fleshed out origin that showed what adventures occurred after they got their powers. With Starbrand he beats up some Deviants and then we flash forward to him with the Avengers. I know the next Avengers arc involves the Starbrand, so maybe we will get more time with the Prehistoric Starbrand then. The emotional payoff with Starbrand mourning Brrkk just didn’t resonate with me because we barely get to feel or see Starbrand’s pain. I’m also disappointed because I believed this issue would follow up on the last issue’s cliffhanger involving Iron Man.

The art for this issue is very good. The Starbrand powered T-Rex battling Kree soldiers may be my favorite splash page of this year. Vnn becoming the Starbrand and smashing the deviants was also an impressive display of Dave Keown’s art and Jason Keith, Erick Arciniega, and Jay David Ramos’ colors. Andrea Sorrentino contributes a couple of beautiful pages of art, but the shift in style from Keown’s is jarring.

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Marcus Freeman

Marcus Freeman

Bay Area bred, LA livin Blerd. Avid fan of comics, video games, music, wrestling, the Lakers, and the 49ers. Constantly catching up on DVR’d TV shows. Spends a little too much money at movie theaters. Also passionate about serving my community and providing the youth with tools for success.
Summary
This month we get a spotlight on the Prehistoric Starbrand. This former caveman’s origin is tragic just like his Avengers’ teammates. How does the origin of this Starbrand connect to the arrival of a new Starbrand next issue?
Good
  • STARBRAND T-REX
  • Vnn and Brrkk's relationship
  • Very good art
Bad
  • We don't get much of Starbrand history after he gets his powers
  • Different artists kind of distract from the story
7.8
Good
Story - 7.5
Art - 8
Character Development - 8
Written by
Bay Area bred, LA livin Blerd. Avid fan of comics, video games, music, wrestling, the Lakers, and the 49ers. Constantly catching up on DVR’d TV shows. Spends a little too much money at movie theaters. Also passionate about serving my community and providing the youth with tools for success.

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