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"Avengers #22" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Avengers 22 00

Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Stefano Caselli
Colored by Jason Keith
Lettered by Cory Petit
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 1st, 2019

Review:

I know what you're thinking. “Wait. Is he really reviewing an Avengers comic on a horror site?” Well, when Ghost Rider is on the team, that opens the door to all kinds of spooky stuff. Avengers #22 begins the “Challenge of the Ghost Riders” arc and this issue is called “The Exorcism at Avengers Mountain”, so what do you think? Is that horror enough for you?

I don't know why I opened this review in such a combative manner. Let's talk about comics, shall we? This iteration of Ghost Rider is Robbie Reyes. He drives a car instead of riding a motorcycle and he sees these powers as a curse instead of a gift. His car, the Hell Charger, has put his little brother in danger and he's had enough. What can he do to be rid of this burden once and for all?

It helps that he's close with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, who have some of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe around to help. If that wasn't enough, Black Panther calls in Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, to lend a hand. I told you this was going to get spooky.

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Click images to enlarge

Robbie is still getting used to his position on the team and it shows in how he interacts with the other heroes. At one point he tries to explain how crazy his life is and Captain Marvel shuts him down. Do you have any idea how convoluted 80 years of history is for some of these characters? They know their lives are nuts.

Writer Jason Aaron pulls in just the right amount of humor to allow us time to breathe in between frightening segments with the Hell Charger. It's like there's a pot of water about to boil and these bits of comedic relief turn the heat down just a little, but it will still burn you if you touched it. By the end of Avengers #22, the pot is boiling over and the full size and scope of the storyline is revealed.

You can't deny how awesome Ghost Rider looks. The design is so badass for every iteration of the character and it's definitely true for Robbie. He still has the flaming skull, but it's more like a helmet that opens around the mouth to reveal a scarred jaw. Artist Stefano Caselli works to make him as intimidating as ever and letterer Cory Petit adds the nice touch of dark word balloons to mirror the darker nature of this transformation.

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Click images to enlarge

This contrasts well with Daimon Hellstrom, who, despite his name and lineage, looks more like a peaceful monk than the spawn of Satan. He rolls in with a long flowing coat and a goatee like he just got out of a Renaissance Fair audition that did not go well.

Colorist Jason Keith sets the tone for Avengers #22. Although this takes place in the Avengers headquarters, it's a darker part of the building. Shadows loom all around the team. They're often lit by the unholy glow of the fire emanating from the Hell Charger or the floating candles Hellstrom brings for his exorcism.

Avengers is digging into some horror angles and Hell itself with this arc and I am here for it. This storyline looks like it's made for new and old Ghost Rider fans alike and I can't wait to see how this plays out. With all the terrifying monsters big and small the Avengers have taken on, there's no reason they can't also fight the underworld.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Avengers 22 Small
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Avengers 22 Small
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Art: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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