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Avengers #16: Review

Mar 2019
Jason Aaron, David Marquez

Story Name:

A fistful of blood

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #16 Review by (March 23, 2019)
Once again there's nothing about War Of The Realms inside.

Iron Man isn't in this issue apart from a message at the end.

Johnny Blaze recently became king of Hell during the Damnation event while Mephisto was away fighting Dr Strange in Las Vegas. He then used that power to help Strange defeat and imprison Mephisto. To do all this he had to stop being Ghost Rider, and I believe that's still true despite appearing here in that form (but in Hell?).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #16 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
There's a vampire civil war. In #13 the rebel leader the Shadow Colonel allowed himself and his 'dog' Sarge to be captured by the Avengers so that they could turn Robbie Reyes' Ghost Rider into the more-typical Spirit Of Vengeance version. Then they escaped with him last issue and went to kill some vamps in Madripoor. But Robbie baulked at killing vampire children. Blade, Captain America, Captain Marvel and Thor intervened, and the Colonel set GR on *them*.

Robbie feels trapped inside the new Ghost Rider. This manifests as him in his Hell Charger car stuck in a never-ending demonic freeway jam. He prays for help and a flaming figure drives up to him and warns him about who might answer his prayer.

In Madripoor GR and Thor are locked in battle and Thor isn't holding back. Captain Marvel tries to rein him in because they don't want to harm Robbie. Thor points out he's not causing much damage so far, and has at it again. But it only makes Ghost Rider angrier, and Captain America has to defend the Thunder God with his shield.

Shadow Colonel notes that the vampire kids have taken the opportunity to escape. He tells Baroness Blood to leave before the building goes up in flames. Blade shoots Sarge with silver bullets to get the Colonel to stay and face him. But it's the hellhound who fights back while the Colonel and Baroness flee. In another room the Carpathian and Snowsnake are fighting She-Hulk and Black Panther respectively.

The main bout is still the Cap's and Thor vs GR. CA tangles Ghost Rider's flaming chain with his shield. Thor is busy fighting the flaming Hell Charger car! So it's up to CM to blast GR. But he uses his Penance Stare on her.

Dracula, head of the other faction in the civil war, has taken asylum in Russia. But they are keeping him encased in a metal straight-jacket with a Hannibal Lector-style grill over his fanged mouth. Ursa Major and Vostok of the Winter Guard take him to see Red Widow to discuss a deal. At 1st the old-fashioned Count refuses to bargain with a woman, even though she's standing over vampire corpses. They let a load more vampires in who have also come seeking asylum and she adds them to her pile.

Widow then asks Dracula why he deserves any better. He says he has the secrets of the rich and powerful who came to him seeking eternal life. He also says he can give her the Avengers, which her master(?) really wants. The Widow guesses in return he wants the Winter Guard to defeat Shadow Colonel and his Legion Of The Unliving, and himself restored as Lord Of The Vampires. Dracula says he's tired of that responsibility and only wants to live the rest of his life in peace.

She ups the ante. More vampires are brought in, Dracula's consorts both female and male. She slashes 1 of them into pieces slowly. Then she asks him to tell her all the secrets now, and she'll give the rest quick deaths.

Back in Madripoor as the other Legion vampires turn to mist and escape Blade is having a difficult time with Sarge who has eaten his sword. Panther offers to send She-Hulk to help but Blade attacks again with nunchuks (probably). Meanwhile Carol Danvers overcomes Ghost Rider's Penance Stare so instead he threatens the Penance Bomb (new to me!). It looks like he's going to blow up the whole place so the 2 Cap's pile on him and Thor lifts Hell Charger to throw at him. But then Blade just bites GR's neck and the foe collapse. Blade claims he's sucked the demonic infection out.

Sarge the dog has gone. Hulk and Panther join the others. Ghost Rider is now Robbie Reynolds. Blade tells him that if he's got anyone he cares about he should quit being GR now.

In the Sol-Iletsk prison, which apparently is not where Red Widow and Dracula are now, last issue's riot is over and Crimson Dynamo (with Darkstar and Vanguard) returns to Moscow. But that night the Legion Of The Unliving are watching the place, and the Rat Bomber sends his rats in armed with bombs containing vampire blood. The explosions kill many dangerous inmates and turn them into vamps, strong ones to replace the weak that have been culled. Black Panther gets a message from Tony Stark telling the team to meet him in Russia, because he's heard about this event.

And we learn that the person who met with Robbie Reyes at the start of this issue was Johnny Blaze, the earlier Ghost Rider.

David Marquez
David Marquez
Erick Arciniega
David Marquez (Cover Penciler)
David Marquez (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther


(Eric Brooks)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)

(Jennifer Walters)

Ursa Major
Ursa Major

(Mikhail Uriokovitch Ursus)

Plus: Baroness Blood (Lily Cromwell), Carpathian, Crimson Dynamo (Dmitri Bukharin), Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Legion Of The Unliving, Rat Bomber, Red Widow, Sarge, Shadow Colonel, Snowsnake, Vanguard, Vostok, Winter Guard.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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