Cephus' Corner

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Comic Review: Avengers Undercover #1-5 (2014) - Cephus' Corner

Comic Review: Avengers Undercover #1-5 (2014)

September 21st, 2014

Avengers_Undercover_1_CoverThere are tons of Avengers comics but honestly, I don’t know how this one got the name because nobody in it is, or as far as I can tell, has ever been in the Avengers.  Now granted, I’m not familiar with this crowd of kids who survived Arcade’s Murder World, a story apparently being told in Avengers Arena, which I suppose I’ll have to go back and find and eventually review separately. Therefore, here’s my take on the first story arc of Avengers Undercover, a story called “Descent”. Before I really get started, I want to say again that I don’t see any connection to the Avengers in this at all.  It’s like Marvel said “The Avengers are popular, let’s stick it on the cover of all of our books!”  There are no Avengers in the first five issues and Captain America only shows up in issue #7 for a couple of panels. This is not an Avengers book.  It’s not even Young Avengers.  It’s not even Friends of the Young Avengers.  It’s a totally different thing pretending to be the Avengers. Anyhow, as I was saying, of the 16 mutant kids that were taken by Arcade and forced to fight to the death in his Murder World, seven survived and some of them have been enjoying the limelight and others, hating what their life has become.  One in particular, Cullen Bloodstone, has become obsessed with hunting down and killing Arcade, he’s been blowing up the various houses and hiding places Arcade uses but he always comes up short.  Finally though, he tracks him down to Bagalia, the super-secret nation-state run by Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil.  When Cullen doesn’t come out after three months, the rest of the gang goes in to rescue him, but he’s living in the lap of luxury, happy to be in a place where nobody treats him differently.  The rest hang around for a while and generally enjoy the place, until Cullen reveals that he’s found Arcade and is taking them all to one of Arcade’s secret pay-to-slay Murder Parties, where the rich and famous pay a lot of money to engage in one-shall-stand bloodsports.  They finally face Arcade and end up killing him (well, not really, nobody ever really dies) and when they get home, they’re taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. for murdering him in cold blood on national television.  When the group is kidnapped by Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, and they are given a chance to join the Masters of Evil, or return to prison, they opt to stay, but only to take down the organization from the inside.  Can these seven teenagers really do the impossible or will they be corrupted and go over to the dark side? avengers-undercover-1-review-4Other than the distinct lack of Avengers in this particular Avengers book, I’m kind of liking what’s going on.  I think that the main Marvel characters really do get absurdly overused most of the time and having a book where everyone is really a nobody, at least to this reader, is fun.  No Wolverine.  No Iron Man.  No Spider-Man.  I get to experience reasonably new and relatively unknown characters and I really love that.  Sometimes these books are pretty bad, especially when they’re just trying to use junior teams as stand-ins for the regular cast, but here, none of the characters is a younger version of a mainline Avenger.  That’s a breath of fresh air. Writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Kev Walker do a good job bringing people up to speed, I had no clue about Avengers Arena, heck, I had never even heard of it, but within the first couple of pages, I knew the basics and was comfortable with the story.  This is a book about heroism and how to achieve it and the decisions young potential heroes have to make on their way to the top.  It’s also a story about fame in the modern world and what some people will do to get it and others will do to avoid it.  It’s very much a coming of age story, at least in the issues I’m reviewing, where kids have to grow up and make mature decisions or face the consequences of their childish actions.  Some do well, others do not.  It’s interesting to see them change and grow. This is a book I’m going to keep an eye on, one that kind of fell through the gaps of the piles of Avengers books.  It has a different take on superheroes and is a refreshing change from “oh… those guys again?” that so much of Marvel is guilty of.  Hopefully it will stay on target and be that different book amidst the endless sea of sameness. It’s not perfect but it’s certainly entertaining. Rating:

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.