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Avengers #13 – 17 (5 Part storyline – War of the Vampires)
Written by: Jason Aarron
Drawn by: David Marquez
The current run of Avengers under the scribe of Jason Aarronhas overall been very strong with great character development and chemistry between the current roster (Thor and She-Hulk dynamics being a great side plot particularly, if more for comedy and light hearted than anything else).
This storyline that runs through 5 issues of Avengers is something different to anything fans are used to reading in regular Avenger comics for a quite a while.
A Vampire civil war has broken out and the Avengers are caught in the middle of it. The Avengers are no strangers to a Civil War or two themselves but being caught in playing peacemaker between blood sucking vamps is not something they are used too. They enlist the help of Blade, Vampire Hunter and his portrayal really gives a very fresh feel to series.
This arc mainly centres on the newest Avengers on the team, the newly joined Blade and the most recent version of Ghost Rider (not to be confused with Cosmic Ghost Rider).
Jason really brings a fresh new approach to both characters who, though aren’t big name stars compared to the likes of Cap, Thor and Iron-Man but he does make both characters really interesting with great personalities and it will be interesting to see where things go for both heroes following the aftermath of this arc.
Artwork is top notch with nice detailed images and excellent sharp inks that make the pencils really standout. Marquez really does know how to draw big and bold characters and is a perfect fit for this title.
Could the story have been told in less than 5 issues? Probably but it is engaging with a lot going on and solid writing that makes a fun read.
If you are expecting AAA name villains and huge plot development you won’t get that with this arc but what you do get is a dark story with moments of light heartedness and if you’re a fan of all things vampires (including Count Dracula,who’s character is expertly written and drawn in this story) then you can’t go wrong this release.
Story – 8
Art – 9
Overall – 8.5
Written by: Jim Zub
Drawn by: Stephen Cummings
The new relaunched Champions has big shoes to fill after Mark Waids run on the previous carnation of the series.
Lucky writer Zeb soon puts any fears to rest and weaves an excellent plots with great sub plots and shows that he really gets the characters, relations and tempo just right in this first issue.
Zeb does a good job of introducing readers to the team, which includes the recent members and new additions.
Story wise things start of simple enough with a mission to rescue trapped civilians and all seems straightforward enough but what follows is a great twist that leads to a lot of unanswered questions and intrigue for the upcoming issues. A lot of work has clearly been put in to this new series and the new twists and mystery really add to the excitement of the book.
There are a lot of characters in this book and possibly toomany but the book never gets to convoluted though I do hope Zeb can keep things a little more streamlined as the series continues, if only in fear of some of the cast getting left out or not spotlighted enough.
Art is strong throughout and despite the amount of characters, artist Cummings never has a problem in portraying great detailed versions of them and even in panels where there is a lot going on, pencils are clear and a good use of colours and he is a great choice for this book, proving he can handle busy action packed pages.
If you are new to Champions or a returning fan this is great jumping on point and a great story giving readers a lot to be excited about in the upcoming issues.
Story – 8.5
Art – 9
Overall – 8.5
Written by: Benjamin Percy
Drawn by: Travis Moore, Chris Moooneyham and Klaus Janson
The new ‘jumping on’ issue of Nightwing isn’t as easy a jumping on point as DC advertise. This story actually follows on from recent issues of Batman after Dick Grayson is shot in the head by KGBeast.
This is Grayson going solo and re-evaluating his views and position in the world of heroes.
The plot, written by Percy is his final issue before new writer Scott Lodbell takes over the reins next issue, is well written but it is slightly odd that he is writing part 1 of a new story arc titled ‘Knight Terrors’ with a new writer taking over from part 2. Still if anyone can fill the boots of writing Nightwing, I have every confidence in Lodbell who really doesn’t write enough comic book titles these days.
This is very much an issue more centred on Grayson, the man behind the mask, rather than Nightwing the hero, as he travels out of Gotham trying to pave a new road and new direction. The first part of this story is really more about setting the scene while hinting at what’s to come.
The script is strong and easy reading though a little too slow going and Grayson can come across a little too dark and broody in this issue though I guess it’s understandable after being shot in the head!
Also featured are the extended Batman family, particularly Batman and Batgirl, who question the decision of Grayson to leave Gotham and his strange isolated behaviour.
The art is a slight let down and having three artists can leave quality of work feels a bit mixed and I found some of work felt a little unfinished and slightly sketchy looking in parts of the comic.
The colours too can appear a bit dull and washy looking, so visually, while competent enough, doesn’t really stand outwhile reading through the pages.
In terms of jumping on points this is as good a time as any to check out Nightwing, just remember there is a backstory to this arc, that doesn’t really offer much in the way of a recap.
Next issues Lobell takes over and I am hoping the story picks up under his scribing.
Story – 7
Overall – 6.5
Art – 6
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