This is actually kind of an oddball. When Marvel released the print edition, something went wrong and several pages were not properly printed. Marvel recalled the issue and asked all comic shops to destroy any that they had, but there are some out there selling for upwards of $20 on eBay. They did release a corrected digital version that included all of the pages and that’s the one that I’ll be reviewing.
There are four stories in this issue and, as I’ve done all week, I’ll take a look at each of the stories in turn to see how they stack up. So here’s my review of Avengers vs. Infinity.
So we start with Anger Mismanagement, written by Joe Caramagna and drawn by Wellington Alves and Scott Hanna. When Loki plans his takeover of Midgard, one of Odin’s most powerful weapons accidentally falls into the hands of a normal human with a grudge against humanity. But when he takes out his frustration on New York City, can Hawkeye convince him to become a hero? This is actually kind of a cool story, I’m sure most people can identify with being ignored and having things not quite go our way. However, you know what reading this story made me think of? Those old Hostess ads that used to run on the back of comic books back in the 70s and 80s. It had the same feel, where someone was doing something wrong and destructive and some Marvel Superhero, whether it was Spider-Man or Hulk or whoever, would show up and either convince them to stop being bad, or would throw delicious Hostess snack cakes around so they could be captured. It’s a kind of nostalgic feel. I liked this one.
Next comes Doom Everlasting, also written by Caramagna but this time by Ron Lim and Scott Hanna. When Latveria is attacked by Dracula’s vampire-ridden Transylvania, the U.N. commands the Avengers to step in. But Doctor Doom doesn’t need their help, indeed he has a plan of his own to achieve the one thing he has never managed, eternal life. This is another fun tale that again has a nostalgic feel to it. You’ve got intelligent Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America and Thor reluctantly fighting to protect Doom and Doom really having no need for them at all. In the end, they have to stop Doom from getting his way because who really needs an immortal Doom anyhow? Great story.
Third is Bossman Smash, written and drawn by the same people as the last story. Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye head to a tropical island to find Hulk, who has gone missing, but Hulk doesn’t know who he is, he thinks he’s Bossman, leader of the criminal underground. A battle ensues as they try to help him regain his memory, but all is not as it seems. I’m not quite as fond of this one to be honest. The art is great, it’s the story that doesn’t quite hit the mark. But then again, I’ve never been a big fan of “poor me Hulk” so that might be some of it. Besides, are we supposed to think that Hulk never changes back to Bruce Banner here? Good but not great.
Finally we get Might of the Living Dead, again by Caramagna, Lim and Hanna. When Black Widow gets turned into a vampire, Thor is sent to the Dream World where her spirit has been trapped, but in the Dream World anything can happen and soon, they are fighting against their greatest fears. But because anything can happen, even the impossible, Black Widow uses that to her advantage. It’s actually nice that they tied the background story of the second and fourth stories together, the bit with Black Widow being controlled by Dracula. That’s actually a reference to a story in the Avengers Assemble cartoon show I love seeing disparate story elements weaved together like this. It isn’t the best story but it certainly isn’t the worst.
All in all, these are some pretty decent short stories that give us the main Avengers team in smaller chunks. They all have an old school feel to them, which I really enjoyed, even though they weren’t all amazing to read, I still enjoyed them all. You can’t go wrong with an anthology comic like this, especially if you got one of the remaining physical error copies. Give the stories a read then put it on eBay for a quick profit.