Comic Vine Review

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Avengers Undercover #5 - Descent Part Five Review

3

Can anyone resist Baron Zemo's offer or would they rather face whatever punishment S.H.I.E.L.D. has in mind for them?

The Good

I confess I've been on the fence here and there with Dennis Hopeless' story, but the one thing that keeps me consistently pleased is Kev Walker's pencils. Along with Jason Gorder's inks and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's colors, the character work remains lively and even fun in this issue. It's a slightly animated look which really thrives with its variety of standout expressions and how the panels are framed. Thanks to this trio, AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #5's scenes will leave a lasting impression in your memory. Also worth praising: Francesco Mattina's cover illustrating the "choice" the characters face.

While I do have my gripes with the narrative, I do still find myself invested in some of these characters and enough is happening to leave me curious enough to see what'll happen next. This chapter briefly hones in on several characters and attempts to give us a logical approach to how some of them are feeling (this comes mostly from Hellstorm), but ultimately, this chapter's mostly set-up. It walks us through Baron Zemo's world and reveals how it has the potential to appeal to some of the group. The constant change of scenery is a nice compliment to the pacing and this issue effectively covers what appears to be most of the basics for the new storyline. I have to admit there's a small comedic bit with Zemo that gave me a decent laugh, too.

The Bad

This chapter tries to produce some heavier emotional moments (e.g. Nico's breakdown), but honestly, I didn't find it to be all that compelling, especially when compared to some of the more gripping moments this course of events has offered. The same applies to the cliffhanger. It's a development that'll likely keep many of us interested, but it isn't all that shocking of a twist and won't have you truly anxious for the next issue. Unfortunately, most of the laughs didn't really deliver for me, either (e.g. the "this is where the magic happens" banter). Last but not least, this is a huge change in direction for the book and an equally big decision they have to make, so it's a bit of a bummer they're apparently forced to make it by the end of this issue. I would have been all for having this part spill into another issue.

Minor gripe: there's a bit of dialogue that seems like a blatant jab at people who don't enjoy the book. If it really is, that just seems unnecessary to me.

The Verdict

Honestly, I'm left feeling down the middle about this latest chapter. On one hand, I love the artwork and, for the most part, it's a steadily engaging issue. But on the other hand, I can't help but feel as though this development is moving along a little too quickly and not focusing on the entire cast nearly as much as it should. That said, at least two strong developments are put in motion, so there's a decent enough hook to keep me around for the next chapter.

16 Comments
Posted by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

I don't see why a jab at people who don't like the book is in any way a bad thing. It's known to be especially polarizing (as is Hopeless) and why would someone who doesn't like the book be reading it anyway?

Edited by k4tzm4n

@brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie: Because it feels petty to me. I'd much rather see a continued focus on moving forward instead of taking a jab at naysayers. However, I said that's a minor gripe. Unless there's many of them, it has no real impact on the score.

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Posted by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

@k4tzm4n: Pssshhh please, there's no comic book writer more petty than Robert Kirkman and you guys love his stuff.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@k4tzm4n: Pssshhh please, there's no comic book writer more petty than Robert Kirkman and you guys love his stuff.

He says to the person that hasn't reviewed a single Kirkman book on this site.

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Edited by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

@k4tzm4n said:
@brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie said:

@k4tzm4n: Pssshhh please, there's no comic book writer more petty than Robert Kirkman and you guys love his stuff.

He says to the person that hasn't reviewed a single Kirkman book on this site.

WELP -- that's my bad. It bothers me a lot that everyone in general seems to love Kirkman without acknowledging his awful tendencies (like what you called Hopeless out on in this issue).

But I digress. In my opinion this series is still particularly fun and great.

Edited by Twix_Right_Side

@k4tzm4n said:
@brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie said:

@k4tzm4n: Pssshhh please, there's no comic book writer more petty than Robert Kirkman and you guys love his stuff.

He says to the person that hasn't reviewed a single Kirkman book on this site.

.........this is so irrelevant but I love that Iron Fist image.

Okay,I'm gone. Good review.

I was thinking about getting this,but mainly because of the Masters of Evil and I want to see the new roster.

Posted by SummersBlood

Anybody else catch the the Hellboy easter egg in the background? pretty great!

Posted by majingojira

I don't see why a jab at people who don't like the book is in any way a bad thing. It's known to be especially polarizing (as is Hopeless) and why would someone who doesn't like the book be reading it anyway?

Simple: in order to discuss the merits or lack thereof in any given subject, you have to be familiar with it in order to do so.

As an outspoken critic of both this series and Hopeless himself, I honestly didn't see any jab against detractors in this issue. I haven't done an in-depth read and could have easily missed it. For this issue, there isn't anything particularly bad that I saw, it was just bland and uninteresting. It's the average and forgettable Hopeless I recall from his Marvel Graphic Novels, with the added annoyance of the core of this series remaining cemented in a firm ignorance of legal matters and common sense without proper reasoning for that ignorance or worse--that we're supposed to accept that ignorance as plane faced fact in order for the story to work.

Since this isn't a full on comedy or pure mindless action, that really doesn't work.

But I am curious--what was seen as a jab against detractors? I can only assume it was the comments from Cammi to Chase about how bad it was and Cammi telling him to suck it up or some such. Well, if it is, it's an extremely flawed one for a multitude of reasons. So much so that I really couldn't see it having any meta-texual quality whatsoever.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@majingojira: Just to reiterate: I'm saying this seems like a jab at naysayers. I could be totally in the wrong here.

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Edited by majingojira

Thank you -- and that definitely could be read as a petty metatextual jab. We may never know if it is or not, but it definitely could be read as such, but I lean towards the unintentional end of things for a few reasons. But I won't begrudge anyone who reads that panel otherwise.

Posted by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: I'm assuming you're thinking way too much into it. I read it into thinking it was context to the plot not a jab on people hating Avengers Arena. Other than that I thought this was a great issue and I felt differently about what happened to Cammi. Maybe it's because I really like this character a lot and it's really pulling me into the series.

This is my favorite book of that week. I give it four stars and I think people should recommend getting it.

Posted by eamon542000

@iceslick: Really liked this issue as well :)

Posted by RaggedScarecrow

Can't say I was surprised by the ending, tbh it's been a long time coming. However, I was pleasantly surprised that Hazmat is the one who comes up with the plan. Walker's art is, as always, drop dead gorgeous.

Edited by MrMazz

I think I'm a bit more hooked on this book tan you but yea pretty much. As an end to the arc it kind of works but perhapsdidn't land as well as I wanted.

I didn't read that moment as meta commentary, it certainly can be but with how production on issues seems to go it would seem to be highly precient writing.

Now this is easily my cell of the issue.

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Posted by Noteworthington

Chin up folks, all part of the plan you know.