The Vampire Civil War Begins In Avengers #14

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Someone (or something) stormed Castle Dracula in Transylvania. The castle’s defenders were massacred, and Dracula himself is nowhere to be found. The perpetrator is the Shadow Colonel and his Legion of the Unliving, and now all vampiric clans around the world are now locked in a deadly civil war. The Avengers, with the new addition of Blade, are attempting to stop it. Captain Marvel and Blade intercepted a flight full of vampires, Black Panther and Iron Man are cleansing a vampire infiltration into Wakanda’s Great Mound, Captain America and Thor are fighting the swarm in Transylvania, and Ghost Rider and She-Hulk are halting a slaughter in the Monster Metropolis.

Avengers #14 cover by David Marquez and Justin Ponsor
Avengers #14 cover by David Marquez and Justin Ponsor

Avengers #14 kicks off the Vampire Civil War story, with the Avengers trying to stop countless deaths from the fallout of Castle Dracula’s fall.

It immediately opens up a number of subplots, namely Blade’s purpose and future, the mystery of Dracula’s whereabouts, the identity of the Shadow Colonel, and Ghost Rider’s potential corruption.

The Ghost Rider one is the most interesting, and it may lead to the return of a certain satanic Marvel character. I feel Robbie’s “true origins” and purpose have been in constant flux since his introduction, and that is a little bothersome–but Jason Aaron makes it interesting here.

The highlight of the book is the battle in Transylvania starring Cap and Thor. Steve and Thor tear through the vampires with the ease one would expect, and Steve is peak Cap here–it’s delightful.

Avengers #14 art by David Marquez, Justin Ponsor, Erick Arciniega, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Avengers #14 art by David Marquez, Justin Ponsor, Erick Arciniega, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

David Marquez joins up as the artist in this issue, and he is as good as one would expect. It’s a beautiful book, and his work hasn’t dipped in the slightest since he and BendisDefenders. The framing and composition of each scene is impressive, and the fights are fantastic. Erick Arciniega and Justin Ponsor handle the color work, and they compliment Marquez’s linework perfectly.

Avengers #14 is another excellent installment from Aaron and company. I’ve been looking forward to this vampire war story and Blade being brought into the fold, and the team did not disappoint. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Avengers #14 comes to us from writer Jason Aaron, artist David Marquez, color artists Justin Ponsor and Erick Arciniega, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Marquez with Ponsor, and variant cover artists Carlos Pacheco with Rafael Fonteriz and David Curiel and Matteo Scalera with Rain Beredo.

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