REVIEW: ‘Avengers,’ Issue #45

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Avengers #45 - But Why Tho?

Avengers #45 is written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Luca Maresca, colored by David Curiel, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics.  Picking up after the events of King in Black and the previous Avengers arc “Enter The Phoenix,” the issue sees Dracula attempt to make his vampire kingdom a sovereign nation. With a furious Blade on the verge of quitting the Avengers, Black Panther races to find a solution to the Prince of Darkness’ power play.

Despite having the King in Black tie-in banner and a solicitation that promised to explore Blade’s uneasy alliance with the Vampire Nation, Aaron’s story only somewhat lives up to this promise. The issue is more focused on the aftermath of Knull’s invasion, which does present an interesting wrinkle with Dracula seeking sovereignty. But the bigger issue is that Blade only appears in the second half of the issue-the entire story is narrated by Ghost Rider. And while I think Robbie Reyes is a great character, I was expecting a Blade-focused story since Blade is prominently on the cover and it centers on his lifelong mission to hunt down all vampires. To his credit, Aaron does present a new role for the Daywalker that balances his Avengers duties with his vampire hunting-I just wish it had come earlier in the issue.

The story notwithstanding, Maresca provides some genuinely stunning artwork. His depiction of Dracula definitely deserves applause: the Prince of Darkness looks every bit his age, with snow-white hair and wrinkles lining his face. He also manages to bring expression to characters who aren’t usually expressive, including Ghost Rider and Black Panther. The latter hero gives off a commanding air and doesn’t take crap from anyone, especially in his conversations with Blade. Panther isn’t fazed by Blade’s outbursts and eventually manages to talk him down, which I appreciated seeing as a fan of both characters.

Maresca and Curiel’s best work comes from a montage at the beginning of the issue, which centers through the various rooms of Avengers Mansion and each Avenger’s daily activities. And each image is fitting: Iron Man works on his armor, Captain Marvel bench-presses massive weights, and Thor comes back after a night of revelry. Combined with Ghost Rider’s black and white caption boxes, this sequence provides a look into what the Avengers do when they aren’t saving the world. Another sequence features the Avengers approaching Chernobyl, where the Vampire Nation resides; Maresca draws the majority of the team standing tall, while Thor and Captain Marvel hover in the air and Curiel makes the image pop with various colors including She-Hulk’s emerald-hued skin and Blade’s jet black trenchcoat and shades.

Avengers #45 doesn’t live up to the promise of its cover or solicitation, as it takes place after the events of King in Black and fails to place Blade at the center of its story. With Blade set to become the focus of the upcoming Heroes Reborn miniseries, I hope that series gives the Daywalker his due.

Avengers #45 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

Avengers #45
3.5

TL;DR

Avengers #45 doesn’t live up to the promise of its cover or solicitation, as it takes place after the events of King in Black and fails to place Blade at the center of its story. With Blade set to become the focus of the upcoming Heroes Reborn miniseries, I hope that series gives the Daywalker his due.