With “AXIS” in full tilt, there comes a day unlike any other, when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were united against a common threat — except they are that threat. The Avengers as the world knows them are missing and the ones left in public sight aren’t exactly performing feats of heroic daring-do. Thus, the writing duo of Nick Spencer and Frank Barbiere use “Avengers World” #15 to recruit a handful of characters to serve as Avengers.
The catch is those newly-minted Avengers are less than famous, despite the fact that at least two of them have been Avengers before. The story itself is front-loaded, with Doctor Doom explaining the Inversion, his new mission and his plan to Valeria Richards through the opening pages of “Avengers World” #15. That digression is compounded when Valeria takes Doom’s plan to S.H.I.E.L.D., which affords Spencer and Barbiere the opportunity to infuse some humor at the rest of the issue yet to unfold. Valeria has always been a tough nut to crack, and her words and deeds in this adventure certainly make it easy for readers to lose sight of her youth, especially by the end of this comic book.
Marco Checchetto’s artwork is gorgeously gritty, with color flecks from colorist Andres Mossa that intimate magic and the floating debris inherent with the destruction present in this comic book. Checchetto doesn’t command the array of facial expressions some other artists are known for, but this story is less concerned with a knowing smirk and more with the overwhelming and, frequently, unbelievable situations these characters find themselves in. The quintet of characters Spencer and Barbiere provide Checchetto fit the artist’s style nicely, despite their unspectacular appearances. Letterer Joe Caramagna has a slew of word balloons to wrangle and does so quite nicely, keeping the artwork clean and the story flow crisp, despite the exposition heavy introduction to “Avengers World” #15.
“Avengers World” #15 promises to be another comic book that features the charming gathering of the heroes, but a lackluster collection of characters is all that’s left. This is definitely a story that needs “AXIS” to exist. Once the Inversion is explained, the writers provide some clues as to what is to come, but “Avengers World” #15 has a completely open ending since no one missed these “Avengers” before now, and they all appear somewhat expendable in this story. Couple that with a significant threat and Spencer and Barbiere give readers a suspense-filled book with high stakes in which anything can happen. After all, Doctor Doom is one of the good guys here.