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The Fifth Color | Vengeance is a State of Mind

by  in Comic News Comment

The Marvel Universe sure does a lot of “venging,” don’t they? Avenge, revenge and now this new mini-series Vengeance by Joe Casey, Nick Dragotta and Brad Simpson.

Without getting into spoilers, I can tell you it’s a six issue mini-series for $3.99, and it’s a high concept for a high price. I can tell you that Brad Simpson is the colorist, gets third billing on the book and is pretty awesome. Likewise Nick Dragotta has an awesome name and an awesome website. Joe Casey is a Man of Action and has plenty of fantastic comics under his name. So by the creators alone, this book should be added to your pull list.

Or should it? Shakespeare and Michelangelo could make a really bad comic book, so why pick up anything on name alone? What is Vengeance about, really? It’s got Magneto on the cover; is it a mutant book? It’s got quote from someone about the generation gap; is it about kids? Is it about Ghost Rider?

From the solicitation, “When MAGNETO of the X-Men tries to rescue a young Mutant on the run, he accidentally kicks off a series of events that will shake the very Marvel Universe to it’s core! Who are the new TEEN BRIGADE?! Who are the Brotherhood and what do they want with the YOUNG MASTERS OF EVIL?! And how is the RED SKULL pulling the strings from beyond the grave? Joe Casey (AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST) joins Nick Dragotta (FANTASTIC FOUR) for some major acts of VENGEANCE!

Aside from all the questions posed, we know that Magneto starts off something and that there’s gonna be some vengeance.

WARNING: Yeah, I’m going to tell you what Vengeance #1 is all about. The long and short of it is it’s a great book, so go get one, read it and let’s compare notes, shall we?

Okay, so they weren’t kidding about that Teen Brigade thing. In fact, what they should be promoting is that there are tons of weird and awesome loose threads being woven up through this like you would not believe. It’s kind of like the New X-Men, where new and kind of gonzo ideas are being brought in on the back of common comic continuity. You want the Red Ghost, we got the Red Ghost at a bar. You want the Red Skull, we got a flashback of him talking to Hitler. You want a bunch of hackers sitting around in a dark room like it’s a LAN party? Well, if you really want it, we have that, but one of the kids has Forge’s Neutralizer Gun from that time Storm got shot with it and lost her powers.

This series would make for some great annotations, because there are things coming at you that go by very fast and seem rather obtuse until you think on it for awhile. I think maybe Marvel doesn’t have this in the X-Book camp or as a Fear Itself tie-in or as a Youth in Revolt back-up because it’s all these things and none of these thing at once. There are interviews with Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, and they try and couch their terms in as broad a language as they can, calling it an “exploration of villainy in the Marvel Universe” or the youth reaction to Fear Itself. Both those ideas are cool, but they don’t tell us anything of what content we’ll get, what “really matters” and with a $3.99 price tag, I fear a lot of people aren’t going to find out.

Sometimes a comic book is just a comic book. Vengeance is one of those books you are going to have to define by terms it’s already using. There’s no breaking it down into small, more digestible bits, because the book is going to jog your brain for heroes unmentioned and villains rediscovered and people, the most important ingredient of the Marvel Universe.

Please buy this book. Give it a chance and see what just telling stories can be outside the hype where your brain lives.