Review: Avengers #34.2

Review: Avengers #34.2
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Bengal and David Curiel

A few months back, Marvel ran Avengers #34.1 which focused entirely on Hyperion, a lesser known character with extreme power that I honestly didn’t care about in the slightest. That issue, though, delivered a very tight one and done story that put the reader into the mind of Hyperion and I dare to say it was one of the best reads I had last year. So this week Marvel is trying to make lightning strike twice with Avengers #34.2, this time focusing on Starbrand who is yet another lesser known character with extreme power I honestly didn’t really care about.  So does this issue change my mind about Starbrand like 34.1 did for Hyperion or is this issue an overpriced waste of time? I’m leaning more towards the second option here.

The Good

I’m not going to lie, this issue has some decent humor in it. Nightmask himself is pretty amusing throughout because he obviously doesn’t really know what’s going on or how to interact in the real world. I also enjoyed the basic premise of this issue. The villain was interesting and unique. I can also say that the art in this issue was pretty consistent. There were some issues that I will address later, but overall the exaggerated style wasn’t bad.

The Bad

I think the main problem that I have with this issue is Starbrand himself. Yeah, Hyperion was kind of a jerk in his one shot issue, but at least you had that really intense internal monologue that put in to context why he was a jerk. Here, Starbrand is seemingly just a jerk for no reason. He acts like a sixteen year old who is angry at their parents because they “just don’t understand me”. How can I cheer for a guy that annoying? When Starbrand does decide to actually be a decent human being, it feels forced. If it takes a cleaver wielding lady possessed by a zombie star god  trying to kill you to turn you into a decent person then you have issues, bub.

Now that I am done trowing hate at the main character, lets talk about some of the art hiccups. Two things really stuck out at me in this issue. First was that Cassie, the little girl that “believes” in Starbrand, is by far the creepiest thing I have seen all year. I swear, if she came up to me on the street in real life with that wide eyed, open mouth expression  then I would run away screaming because I would have seen the face of pure evil. The second thing that I noticed didn’t really bother me. In fact, it kind of amused me. That said, it definitely distracted from the story so its a negative. That problem is that I swear everyone in this issue looks like they came straight from Dragonball Z. I mean, when Starbrand powers up, his hair goes straight up, spiky, gold, and he has an energy field around him. All I thought about when I saw this was Super Sayian and that watching an episode of DBZ would have been a much better use of my time than reading this book.

The Verdict

I know I was kind of hard on this issue in this review, but that is because it failed me so hard. I really wanted to care about Starbrand the way I care about Hyperion now, but this issue only made me dislike the character as opposed to just not caring at all. This issue also wasted about three hours of my life because it made my want to watch some DBZ and that is a crime that is inexcusable, folks.

Story: 2 out of 5
Art: 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

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