Avengers 5: Adapt or Die

avengers volume 5 adapt or die cover trade paperback tpb
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10

Layered story

Not much fun

Comic Info

Comic Name: Avengers (Volume 4)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist:  Salvador Larroca/Esad Ribic/Mike Deodato/Butch Guice

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2014

avengers #24 cover variant x-men #137

Avengers (4) #24 Variant

Reprints Avenges (4) #24-28 (March 2014-June 2014).  The Avengers are used to facing crisis but this crisis literally could be a world ending event.  A rogue planet is threatening to crash into the Earth and the Avengers must determine a way to stop it.  A.I.M. continues their mysterious plans against the Avengers and an incursion by another Earth could reveal an unstoppable threat to the whole multiverse.

Written by Jonathan Hickman, Avengers Volume 5:  Adapt or Die is a Marvel Comics superhero comic.  Following Avengers Volume 4:  Infinity, the collection features art by Salvador Larroca, Esad Ribic, Mike Deodato, and Butch Guice.  The issues in the volume were also collected as part of Avengers by Jonathan Hickman—Volume 3 and Avengers by Jonathan Hickman Omnibus—Volume 2.

Hickman has a vision for the Avengers.  It is big, expansive and the story builds on the previous volumes and you can tell is building toward the future.  This makes Avengers one of the harder titles to read since you can just pick it up and put it down…you have to stick with it to keep on top of what is going on.  This collection feels a bit like a building collection.

avengers #28 cover vs hulk

Avengers (4) #28

One of the big problems I still have with Avengers is the scope aspect above.  My favorite team books are the books where the characters are family.  Avengers used to be a “family” book with the family members occasionally switched out and interchanged…which led to conflict and new development.  Saving the world almost always seemed secondary in the Avengers…here, saving the world is primary.

This is a smart take on superheroes, but it lacks fun.  Tony Stark has always been a jerk (in my opinion) and the least compelling of the comic book Avengers (he is potentially the best of the movie Avengers).  The more villainous and deceitful Tony does fit with the corporate raider Tony but it doesn’t make for a likeable character.  He has all the bad of American business, but not much of the good.  Likewise, the Hulk has been jerked around and tweaked for years.  The iterations don’t seem to stick very long, but I am not a big fan of Bruce Banner the mastermind.

Despite my criticisms, I still want to see what Hickman is planning for the Avengers after this volume.  I don’t like a lot of the subplots and don’t care about much of the espionage intrigue, but I wonder if Hickman can he redeem characters that have been turned into three-dimensional “real” people?  Can he return them to the fun characters that inhabited books years ago or are times so different that the “old” Avengers no longer exist?  Avengers 5:  Adapt or Die was followed by Avengers 6:  Infinite Avengers.

Related Links:

Avengers 1:  Avengers World

Avengers 2:  The Last White Event

Avengers 3:  Prelude to Infinity

Avengers 6:  Infinite Avengers

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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