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"Avengers #45" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Luca Maresca
Colored by David Curiel
Lettered by Cory Petit
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 21st, 2021


King in Black may be over, but there's still time for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to get in on the action. We saw the likes of Captain America and Iron Man fighting against Knull's symbiote forces in the main book, however Avengers #45 picks at one key element of the story that was almost breezed over with all the destruction. When darkness clouded the skies and dragons flew through the air, Blade reached out to the vampire community and got some help fighting back the symbiote horde...then promptly killed them all when the big bad was vanquished. This issue deals with the aftermath of King in Black and that fateful decision.

We've seen Blade fight vampires before, but writer Jason Aaron puts an interesting spin on this particular encounter. The monsters' existence is public knowledge and they've taken up house in Chernobyl, as they're the only ones who can live among all that radiation. Now they want to become a sovereign nation there. Since Blade killed a bunch of them recently, he's seen as a war criminal over there.

Click images to enlarge

This is a cool twist on not just a vampire story, but how they fit into the Marvel Universe as a whole. I'm excited to see this explored more, however I'm not sure we'll get a chance any time soon since we know World War She-Hulk and Heroes Reborn are coming in hot. Maybe this will be the focus of another title down the line. This is too good of a concept to just throw out there and not pick up.

Artist Luca Maresca strikes a great balance between heroes and monsters in Avengers #45. You see the likes of Captain Marvel and Thor taking some time for self care in Avengers Mountain in the wake of Knull's attack. This portrays them as the larger-than-life characters they are. They're not just loafing about. Instead, they're quietly breaking world records for speed and strength, but deleting any recording of it. This segues nicely into the vampire elements, creating a stark contrast when we head to Chernobyl and see Dracula and his undead army.

This place is frightening to say the least. What really got me are the dogs. These things are mutated and ugly, covered in boils and rough patches of skin. Colorist David Curiel paints a drab picture for this land. The sky is a dreary brown, like the sun has been blotted out of the sky. This obviously makes it a great place for vampires to live.

Click images to enlarge

Since this issue serves as fill-in between big events, there's a lot of ground to cover. Aaron moves a number of plot threads together, touching upon each member of the team. Letterer Cory Petit keeps the dialogue flowing at a nice pace without ever making it feel overwhelming or too wordy. Dracula has a big monologue in the middle of this issue that feels very powerful and important, not just because of the words used, but with how the balloons are placed to deliver the most impact.

Avengers #45 serves as the bridge between King in Black and what's coming next for Earth's Mightiest Heroes. It's like a touch base for these characters to reset before heading into their next big adventure. The vampire angle is intriguing, especially with the history this title has with Dracula and even putting Blade on the team in the first place. I cannot wait to see this explored further, whether it's in this series or another.


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
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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