Avengers, Issue Twenty-Three

Writers Jason Aaron & Stefano Caselli

Penciler Stefano Caselli

Color Artist Jason Keith

Letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Cover Stefano Caselli & Frank Martin

So many pencils!

Avengers isn’t a book I intended to write on anytime soon. It’s such a big book with, I’m sure, bigger and better people to talk about it. It’s one of the many books I read every time it comes out but don’t feature here. Two pages in, I knew I was going to have to write about this book to talk about the wonderful job that artist Stefano Caselli did on it.

The story line and writing of Avengers under Jason Aaron and Stefano Caselli has been entertaining and it’s been a nice change of pace from all of the universe-shaking events and big arcs of the recent past. I have no complaints about it at all in that department, or any aspect of the book honestly. Truly, there are always things you wish were in a book, or decisions you wouldn’t have made, but I’ve been having fun reading it.

The pencilwork featured in this issue is exceptionally good. The scenes that take place in hell, with the new Ghostrider racing the old Ghostrider who is now the new King of Hell, had so much creativity and detail I was floored. 

I’ve never been a Ghostrider fan, it’s not that I don’t like him when he’s in other books, but I’ve never felt the need to actually read one of his books, so I don’t know how much of what I was loving in this book is straight from Caselli’s mind, or what he’s lifting from previous books in his depictions of hell and Ghostrider antics, so bear that in mind. 

From all the skulls growing from the exhaust and flames of Johnny Blaze’s ‘bike, to the panel showing both Ghostriders racing across “The Great Lake of Fire,” and the panel showing all of the previous Ghostriders, together, giving Robbie Reyes, the new Ghostrider, advice, were packed with so many details and new sight-gags I’d never seen, that I was starting to get a headache due to the feelings of inadequacy this artist’s casual greatness stirred in me. There is a lot to look at and enjoy in this book. Well done Mr. Caselli, thank you for what must have been a real labor of love!

The colorist, Jason Keith, was not shirking in his duties either, and he, I thought, did a superb job bringing life to Caselli’s pencils. His coloring of Black Panther with glowing pinks and purples showing the mystical protection T’Challa deployed against the demonic intruder inside Avengers Mountain was striking. Also, the first panel in the book showing “The Circulator” inside Avengers Mountain was something I especially enjoyed, I’m usually a sucker for bright, pastel-like, pinks, purples and reds.

I fear I should have kept my mouth shut, Marvel has a tendency to replace the artists on books as soon as I realize how much I like their work, oftentimes sooner. 

If you can’t afford this book, make a deal with Johnny Blaze so you can…

Read It!

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