Vengeance 5 (January 2012)

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Oh, Joe Casey, so cute when you try to be smart… but so lacking in even the ability to Google.

This issue reveals the big secret behind the Red Skull’s presence. It turns out–and this discovery shocks the leader of the Teen Brigade–the U.S. Government covered up Skull killing a bunch of Soviet super-soldiers. So not only is the leader of the Teen Brigade a flake, he’s not particularly well-versed in political realities.

The report he reads talks about the Geneva Convention, which, in traditional parlance, refers to the articles adopted in 1949. Well after the period Casey’s writing about. Marvel’s not big on fact-checking, apparently.

Anyway, the issue’s decent, even if Miss America is starting to get annoying (we gto it, she’s Hispanic). Great, crazy action from Dragotta.

But no way Casey wraps this up satisfactorily… He’s got too many balls in the air.

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Vengeance 4 (December 2011)

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Huh. For the first time, Vengeance didn’t overtly impress me. There are some good scenes–like a WWII flashback to the Red Skull patting himself on the back for saving the world–and Casey writes Kid Loki well, but there’s definitely something missing.

Maybe it’s the confusion. The only confusing scene this issue involves the Defenders (or whatever Nighthawk’s team is called) apparently condoning the former Deathlok’s sale of SHIELD secrets. But maybe not. The scene’s pointlessly obtuse; hopefully Casey’s got a good pay-off for the subplot. As of now, however, it seems like it will be lackluster.

Also lackluster is the forbidden romance between the Teen Brigade’s leader and the only bad girl. It’s a complete misfire, including the reveal on her face. After four pages of being obviously secretive about it, Casey reveals it immediately with no dramatic purpose.

Great Dragotta art, particularly the fight scenes, helps.

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