Monday, 23 September 2013

Marvel Universe Vs The Avengers by Jonathan Maberry and Leandro Fernandez Review

This is the third in Jonathan Maberry's Marvel Universe Vs books - the first featured The Punisher and was pretty good; the second featured Wolverine and was pretty terrible; the third supposedly features The Avengers though it mostly features Hawkeye and should more accurately be called Marvel Universe Vs Hawkeye. Plus it's the weakest, most boring one of the bunch.

If you've never heard of the Marvel Universe Vs books, they're all about some unknown virus infecting everyone in the world, particularly every character in the Marvel Universe, turning them into zombies that are less like the classic shuffling Romero zombies and more like a mix of 28 Days Later's RAGE virus zombies and Garth Ennis' Crossed. Each book is about the same zombie virus event but told from the perspective of the title character who's survived the initial craziness and winds up fighting their now-transformed former allies and friends.

It was interesting to read about the zombie apocalypse in the Punisher book partly because it was the first time we'd seen this event and the Punisher is a natural choice for anti-hero in that scenario. He's a predator and survivalist and because he's not superpowered, it was fun seeing how he'd take down the zombified heroes who still retained their superpowers. It was less interesting with Wolverine because it was the same scenario, told again with no variation, and Wolverine is essentially un-killable so it wasn't as involving to see how he'd take down the threats (one word: SNIKT!).

With Hawkeye, we're reading about the same zombie apocalypse for the third time with again no variation of the scenario, from the perspective of a bland hero - this Hawkeye is more classic purple design Hawkeye with none of the charm of Matt Fraction's rebooted character. Sure, he's horrified at the change in people, yeah he hates having to kill his friends, but we've seen all of this in the first two books and Hawkeye's perspective provides little insight into this fairly straightforward, already-mined-of-material event. The one difference is Doctor Doom's arrival claiming he has a cure which inevitably fails.

Leandro Fernandez's art is usually pretty good but looks very rushed in this one. The drawings lack detail, the character lines are sketchy, and there aren't any panels that stick out for better or worse - it's a forgettable story matched with forgettable art. If you want to read a better book featuring the zombie apocalypse in the Marvel Universe, check out the first book, Marvel Universe Vs The Punisher, and don't bother with the rest. Marvel Universe Vs The Avengers is predictable and boring - here's hoping this latest Marvel Universe Vs book is also the last!

Marvel Universe vs. the Avengers

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