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Avengers #14: Review

Feb 2019
Jason Aaron, David Marquez

Story Name:

The fall of Castle Dracula

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #14 Review by (February 16, 2019)
Erick Arciniega does some of the colouring again.

Our #14-17 were advertised as leading up to War Of The Realms. But apart from the cover saying "War Of The Realms is coming in 2 months" this issue doesn't mention it. And unless the Vampire Civil War itself is connected to WOTR it doesn't seem like the next 3 issues will be any more relevant.

Monster Metropolis is a city beneath Manhattan where Punisher was resurrected as Franken-Castle in his 2009 series and joined the Legion Of Monsters. Recently it's been ruled by Shiklah, wife of Deadpool. And most of Dracula's apps since 2014 have involved Shiklah and/or Deadpool.

The Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider has been presented as different from all the previous ones. He gets his powers from being possessed by the ghost of Elias Morrow. Zarathos and Mephisto weren't involved. However when Sarge transforms him to Ghost Rider at the end of this issue he invokes the names of Mephisto and Zarathos among others. And earlier Mephisto intimated that this GR *is* connected to the others.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #14 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Romania Castle Dracula is napalm-bombed by bats, its vampire inhabitants killed by rats with sunburst grenades and its undead guards mown down by a rotary cannon firing 2,000 wooden stakes a minute. But the Shadow Colonel and his Legion Of The Unliving find Dracula's coffin empty.

The Shadow Colonel is an armoured figure who seems to have a baby Man-Thing draped over his shoulders. He's accompanied by a large skull-headed Hellhound who we'll learn is called Sarge. His Legion includes a giant bat and another armoured vamp who possibly controls the rats. Plus a female with a crossbow and a masked Japanese female with the obligatory pair of swords.

There is a Civil War amongst vampires.

Roxxon Air Flight 959 has been hijacked by vampires over Symkaria. The pilot is dead and Captain Marvel is flying the plane with 1 hand while fending off vamps with the other. She uses the PA to advise human passengers to move to the rear of the plane while Blade the half-human half-vamp Daywalker deals with the undead. They tell him they need the plane to get away from what's after them. He just brings out his silver nunchuks and wades into them.

Other vampires have invaded the Great Vibranium Mound in Wakanda. They are the Adze clan (previously seen in Tomb Of Dracula (2004 series) and Death Of Dracula (2010 1-shot)) and they want the metal for unknown reasons. Black Panther and Iron Man kill them all with solar rays from gauntlet and repulsor beam. Tony Stark tries to tell himself they aren't human, T'Challa knows they once were and regrets not being able to cure them.

Near the burning Castle Dracul in Transylvania Captain America leads villagers to safety in the Church while overhead Thor blasts flying vampires with lightning. Cap tells the vamps that the Avengers will take them to safety from the Vampire War and give them synthetic blood. But the vamps just want to feed now to give them the energy to escape under their own wing-power. So Steve Rogers hefts a large cross from the church and prepares to keep them out.

In Monster Metropolis under Manhattan Ghost Rider and She-Hulk are fighting more vampires. Robbie Reyes sends then to Hell via the trunk of his Hellcharger car. Mephisto appears to him as a young boy demon who can read his thoughts and tells him he doesn't belong in the Avengers because he's a monster like all the previous GRs. And soon the team will realise it. She-Hulk breaks his reverie and shoves him into his hellfire car so she can throw them at some vampires as a "Fireball Special".

Back to Transylvania where the vamps suddenly run from Cap in terror as Thor lands. But it's not him they're afraid of because the Shadow Colonel and Sarge have arrived too. The Colonel says the Vampire War will be over if they tell him where Dracula is.

But instead he allows himself to be taken captive to Avengers Mountain where he is imprisoned in a cell in the intestine level of the dead Celestial that they live in. Scans have shown the Colonel to be a vampire but his armour is rigged to explode if they try to remove it. So they send in Blade to interrogate him while Panther and the 2 Captains watch through a 1-way mirror.

The Colonel gets under Blade's skin. He reminds Blade that he had to be rescued from Castle Dracula by the Avengers (#10). And that as a half-human half-vampire Dhampir he doesn't belong with either race, and he certainly isn't a real Avenger. Blade loses it, but his foe calmly asks if he wants to know why he wanted to be here. Carol Danvers suddenly realises they don't know where his dog is.

Robbie Reyes is in the Boat Dock trying to get his car, or the ghost that inhabits it,  to tell him what the demon kid meant. Tony Stark calls down from the Brainbrary (Library in the Celestial's brain) to say he's just seen a ghost dog walk through the walls. (He mentions also seeing a talking gorilla in the showers recently, but I'm sure he really already knows about Gorilla Man.)

Suddenly comms and the lights are cut off in the Dock. Sarge is here and intones a chant that turns Robbie into a more fearsome version of Ghost Rider. Meanwhile Shadow Colonel nuts Blade with his helmet and then snaps the chains that bind him.

And on the Russia/Ukraine border Darkstar and Vanguard of the Winter Guard are standing watch to keep vampire refugees out. They mention that Ursa Major and Red Widow have just dealt with some. And then Dracula arrives asking for political asylum.


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David Marquez
David Marquez
Justin Ponsor
David Marquez (Cover Penciler)
David Marquez (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Darkstar, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Legion Of The Unliving, Mephisto, Sarge, Shadow Colonel, Vanguard, Winter Guard.