AVENGERS ASSEMBLE: PART 9 – THE PENULTIMATE CHAPTER!
The greatest battle in the history of the Multiverse is raging, featuring Avengers from throughout time and space, countless different versions of Captain America and Iron Man and the God of Thunder.
Yet somehow, it all comes down to one Starbrand and one Ghost Rider, who unfortunately are the only Avengers whose powers don’t seem to be working.
COMICONWith each issue of this epic climax to Jason Aaron’s mammoth five-year run on The Avengers, the scale of the battle between the Avengers of infinite Earths and the Multiversal Masters of Evil has only increased. And so we get Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, thrown into the mix. And, why not? While I have tired of this ongoing battle across both The Avengers and Avengers Forever titles, as we come to the end, I find myself gripped once more. Indeed, I have mostly been entertained by this whole series and this penultimate chapter is no exception. (...) A frantic, fearless issue deftly seeing up an all-consuming climax in the forthcoming Avengers Assemble: Omega #1. I cannot wait! After years of swearing off Marvel, Aaron and Kuder, with this series in particular, have made me an acolyte one again.
Fortress of Solitude
Comic WatchKeeping with tradition, Avengers Forever #15 is another issue carried by the talents of its penciller, inker, and colorist. “Carried” feels like a minimizing term, however, as the art within does not simply keep this barebones story afloat but allows it to soar despite its flaws. The impressive amount of striking imagery worked into this issue is a much-needed dose of ambiance for a climax that has begun to lose its sense of grandeur. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is how Aaron Kuder, Mark Farmer, and Frank Martin’s efforts combine to grant weight and scale to the more enormous spectacles. Kuder generously uses a worm’s-eye view when drawing Galactus and Mephisto, keeping readers in the characters’ shoes at ground level. The black line art has varying levels of thickness, which bring depth to each character and help to frame them distinctly against the action occurring in every background. (...) The art team of Avengers Forever #15 bring the comic's visuals to new heights, delivering the most stunning issue of this current arc yet.
Major SpoilersThe basics of Avengers Forever #15 are solid enough, with several story moments that land, leading up to a big reveal of Mephisto’s secret motivations that lands well enough, but for some reason, it doesn’t quite have the dramatic heft of the previous issue, but better-than-average art and some strong moments in dialogue still come together to earn 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I have enjoyed this crossover so far, and I hope that the closing chapter pulls it all together without flying off the rails.
The Comicbook DispatchAvengers Forever #15 is the penultimate issue of this Avengers Assemble storyline, and it’s underwhelming. We do get some good art from the art team, but it’s the story that’s lacking unfortunately. There is a nice talk between Robbie and Brandy (the Starbrand girl) but that’s really the extent of their presence. There’s a weird moment with Doom Supreme and Dark Phoenix that feels out of place, you’ll know it when you see it. And the action with Mephisto in his current giant state is sadly mundane compared to all the crazier action going around him. The ending sets the stage for the final part in this storyline to get crazier, and hopefully the creative team can stick the landing.
ComicBook.comThe penultimate chapter in this Avengers' saga chases its tail in a circle to arrive at the same cliffhanger found in Avengers #66, albeit with a slightly larger Mephisto now threatening to end all of existence. Motivations? Character arcs? Clear stakes? These are things for lesser tales; this is simply a story for more. There are too many characters to trace from The Avengers, Avengers Forever, and various spin-offs for any individual to receive notice for more than a page or two, so there's little resonance to be found in each new incident. Instead, the heavy lifting of import or impact is left to narrative captions which explain why "Avengers Assemble" should hold significance largely absent from these pages. While reviews of these interwoven issues have come to feel repetitive, that's because the underlying material has recycled itself to such a degree that even artist Aaron Kuder cannot elevate the hordes of interchangeable superhero designs on the page (especially with inks far too heavy for his finely detailed work). The greatest triumph in Avengers Forever #15 is the promise that it will all end with the next installment.