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Avengers/Invaders #6

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
By: Thom Young

Jim Krueger (script and plot), Alex Ross (plot)
Steve Sadowski, Patrick Berkenkotter
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Avengers/Invaders #6 arrives in stores tomorrow, November 19.

"Book Six: Man On Fire"

The Avengers/Invaders series continues to be a well-plotted story that relies on the old Timely Comics history as well as current Marvel continuity. As with the previous issue, Steve Sadowski (who illustrated the first four issues by himself) is joined by co-penciler Patrick Berkenkotter for this sixth issue (the art is shot from unlinked pencils).

The two pencilers appear to work seamlessly together as I can't easily discern which pages are by Sadowski and which are by Berkenkotter. Both are equally good in presenting the story by Krueger and Ross effectively.

I mentioned in my review of the fourth issue that the dialog in the first four was a bit stilted at times. However, aside from some idiotic dialog for Spider-Man, I don't have any qualms with the dialog in this issue or the previous.

Spider-Man isn't as annoying here as he was last issue, but he still manages to irritate on page 11 when, in apparent response to an off-panel incantation by Doctor Strange, he asks, "Is that Hoary Hosts with an 'H' or with a 'W'?" (panel one).

Doctor Strange replies, "Enough, Spider-Man."

I agree with Doctor Strange.

The dialog for Spider-Man in the two most recent issues (at least) has been more akin to what a 13-year-old kid might say rather than a man of whatever age Peter Parker is supposed to be nowadays--late 20s to early 30s, I guess. When Mephisto returned the Spider-Man franchise to 1976 several months back, I didn't realize he also retroactively made Spider-Man a middle school student.

My only other complaint has to do with a small error in internal continuity between the fifth and the sixth issues. Last issue, Doctor Strange and his gang sought out the soldier, Paul Anselm, who came through time from 1943 with the Invaders. They found him in a cemetery as he was paying his respects at someone's grave. However, just then Toro noticed that the Human Torch had not come with them to the cemetery (how the Torch was able to elude Strange's transportation spell was not explained).

In the current issue, Doctor Strange transports the gang to the contemporary Paul Anselm's home to find the time-lost version of Anselm. Why they didn't speak to him in the cemetery is not explained--nor is how Anselm arrived at his older-self's house before them.

It appears the story required Toro to see his grave and realize that he had died at some point in the past 65 years. Originally, it seems he was supposed to stumble upon his own grave in the cemetery while the rest of the heroes were talking with Anselm. In this issue, though, Toro sees a photograph of his grave in the elder Anselm's home.

It's a minor glitch, but slightly annoying in that it seems to be a sloppy piece of writing and editing to have not figured out how to handle this plot point and where to set it. Ah well, as I said at the end of my review of the fourth issue--this series isn't likely to go down in the annals of comic book history as a classic, but it's an enjoyable experience for the 20 minutes or so it takes to read through an issue.







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