Marvel Comics
Avengers Initiative #5
By Hervé St-Louis
September 24, 2007 - 16:23

Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Dan Slott
Penciller(s): Stefano Castelli
Inker(s): Stefano Castelli
Cover Artist(s): Jim Cheung


Villains are recruited to retrieve some of the Avengers’ underage trainees from their fight with the Hulk and his crew. The department’s director, Henry Peter Gyrich, believes that the death of the kids on the battlefield would depress the American public’s morale. Will the ragtag crew of saviours be fast enough and smart enough to pull such an heist?

While this series was created on the back of the Civil War storyline at Marvel Comics, it has not proven viable outside this setting and other regular Marvel Comics’ events. That is a weakness. Although the stories with the characters are intricate and interesting, I do have to question the need for this extra Avengers’ series. I’m not sure if it will survive in time, due to its lack of an individual identity. Series like the X-Men and all other permutations already cover the teenage super hero angle. If this series cannot seek a path of its own outside of the parent series, it will fail.

To keep readers’ interests, Slott alludes to more mutants and conspiracies behind the members of the group. While interesting, it fails to engage the reader. Why should they care about the characters?  Many of them seem to be interchangeable. Perhaps it is time to focus on them directly rather than expose them to missions, in order to flesh them out.

Castelli is a pleasant illustrator who captures facial expressions well. The layout and the way he poses the characters on a page is dynamic and not the work of a lazy illustrator. He takes design chances and pulls out very well. Now, if he could differentiate his characters further, visually, this comic book would come close to perfection.

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