“Avengers World” #16 wraps up a two-part “AXIS” tie-in, where Valeria Richards and Doctor Doom have tried to draw together a handful of heroes who haven’t been temporarily turned evil. But what we really get from Nick Spencer, Frank Barbiere, Marco Checchetto and Ramon Rosanas is a book where characters do remarkably little until a title for next year is set up in the final pages. That’s right, it’s a tie-in that is serving as a second tie-in. A pity no one thought to just let “Avengers World” tell its own story, instead.
Perhaps even more so than most titles disrupted by the events of “AXIS,” “Avengers World” had a lot of storylines still being juggled after its first, 14-issue storyline. So while a random tie-in story is rarely welcomed, this one feels all the more blatant in how little it has to do with anything involved with the “Avengers World” concept. Most of the Avengers assembled here have little or nothing to do with the actual plot of the comic. With the exception of 3-D Man running quickly to grab the Scarlet Witch, or Stingray jumping in the water to rescue a child, do any of these characters accomplish anything in this issue that couldn’t have just as easily been a Doombot? (It’s a rhetorical question, of course; they don’t.) This isn’t just sloppy plotting, it’s genuinely boring for the reader. This isn’t a story about Avengers, or even Avengers allies. And ignoring that this is taking place in “Avengers World,” it’s a distinctly uninteresting story.
Checchetto’s art is reasonable if a little hard to see what’s going on at times. The Scarlet Witch commanding an army of Visions should be dramatic and attention grabbing, but instead they’re drawn in such a manner that it’s hard at times to even tell who’s attacking our group of generic heroes. There’s a little too much in the way of explosions, colorist effects, or speed lines for backgrounds here, which just adds to a sense of sameness smeared across the page. Rosanas draws the final two pages, the setup for what’s still to come, and his art is much more appealing and clean looking. Since Rosanas is drawing the title that’s still to come, it’s smart to have him slide in on these last pages.
Then there’s that ending. It’s fairly problematic. I get why it exists, to bring back a character who’s going to be in the supporting cast for a new series in 2015. But considering this character was killed off by the creative team who had transformed her from a random background face into a major character, it’s hard to keep from feeling like this character maybe should have stayed away. The proof will be, of course, in what happens with the character moving forward; for all we know it’ll be utterly brilliant. But looking solely at “Avengers World” #16, this feels nonsensical and more than a little out of the blue. Then again, it’s hardly the only problem with this issue. This is not a shining moment for a normally more interesting series.