Current Reviews


Marvel Adventures: Avengers #12

Posted: Saturday, April 21, 2007
By: Ray Tate

"Ego The Loving Planet"

Writer: Jeff Parker
Artists: Juan Santacruz(p), Raul Fernandez(i), Impacto Studio’s Adriano Lucus(c)
Publisher: Marvel

This issue of Marvel Adventures: Avengers isn't just funny. It's bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha funny. Jeff Parker finds a new way to put Ego--a John Byrne oneshot menace from his classic run in The Fantastic Four--back into orbit. He does this by turning Ego into a celestial version of the late great love connection Barry White.

Parker not only has Ego spouting absolutely hilarious pick up lines. He easily creates a metaphor between the earth's natural consequences and the behavior of a fine, foxy lady. I don't exactly know what's funnier, Ego's lines as he tries to get funky with the earth, the nature of his delusion, or the Avengers' reactions to Ego's intentions. No, wait. The funniest thing about Marvel Adventures: Avengers is that it makes sense. Ego is a living planet. He would have to delude himself into thinking that another planet is alive in order to mate. I don't think there's another living planet in the Marvel continuity. So the poor fellow must get lonely.

Before the laughter begins, Parker once again directs Santacruz to choreograph exciting scenes of super-hero action coupled with super-hero teamwork as Captain America, Iron Man, Giant Girl, Storm, Spider-Man, Hulk and Wolverine combat the physical ramifications of the wandering Ego's circumspection. Actually, the one-liners in these scenes are pretty witty as well. Come to think of it. Parker just cannot write a scene without wit, and thank the cosmos, for his ability. Comic book writing in general has just become too grim and stupid.

The difference between the way Parker writes a scene with these heroes and another writer trying to be funny would have written the scenes is that Parker does not make jokes out of the heroes. The heroes tell jokes. They behave in an amusing manner. You don't deride them. You laugh with them, and each character is funny within the sphere of his or her characterization. They don't act out of character when being humorous. Furthermore the characters enjoy an easy camaraderie that's reflected in the humor. Case in point:

"Stupid rocks--Only Hulk allowed to crush Spider-Man and Wolverine!"

Juan Santacruz, Raul Fernandez and Adriano Lucus provide exquisite artwork for Marvel Adventures: Avengers. The work's not just proportionate, and filled with realistic yet fun expressions. It's also non-exploitative. When the Avengers go into space to meet Ego, they all wear bulky space suits similar to the type real astronauts wear. There are no bulky suits for the men but revealing cosmic bustiers for the women. Giant Girl and Storm are portrayed as beautiful women, but the creative team emphasizes their whole fighting, powerful forms, not solely the soft bits.

Parker and the art team combine forces to excel with a ludicrous story that yet makes sense when you think about it in the only book on the racks worthy of being called The Avengers.

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