Marvel Adventures Avengers #33

Background

Five of the Big Seven are on hand—Spider-Man, Hulk, Giant-Girl, Storm, and Wolverine—with special guest star Ka-Zar.

Story 'You're Driving Me Crazy'

  Marvel Adventures Avengers #33
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor: Nathan Cosby
Writer: Paul Tobin
Pencils: Ig Guara
Inker: Sandro Ribeiro

Wolverine isn't at all surprised to see dinosaurs running up the street. He's cool like that. He also knows his limitations, so he calls in the other Avengers to help round them up. Giant-Girl and Storm lend a hand, and take out the dinosaurs with only a little trouble: Wolverine gets chewed on a bit, and that's all. Wolverine isn't pleased, though, and takes his frustration out on a tardy Spider-Man. Why was the webhead late? He was teaching Ka-Zar to drive.

Yes, really.

So why is Ka-Zar taking driving lessons? He's in town to provide some expertise on an unusual dinosaur bone that "the Natural History museum" has acquired. To get paid by the museum, he needs legal status; to get legal status, he needs a driver's license; to get a driver's license, he needs to learn how to drive.

Yes, really.

Anyway, the Avengers suspect there may be a connection between the dinosaur bone and the rampaging dinosaurs, so they head over to the museum to investigate. (Ka-Zar: "I'll drive!") They arrive to find the bone missing, and a nearby television, tuned to the Expository News Channel, explains why: it's been stolen by Stegron! Stegron is one villain I'm not familiar with, but he appears to be some sort of evil bipedal stegosaur. He's used the bone to "synthesize the powers of the ancient dinosaurs", or some such, and will soon become all-powerful. That's his story to the media, at least.

Wolverine goes off to track Stegron down with his preternatural senses. In the interim, Ka-Zar takes more driving lessons, Giant-Girl gets her hair done, and Hulk wrestles some dinosaurs. Finally, Wolverine gets a lock on Stegron, and it's on! The dinosaurs have been juiced up by Stegron, so they're tougher than the ones rampaging earlier, and Stegron himself is nigh-unstoppable. Even the Hulk has trouble going toe-to-toe with him. Thankfully, Ka-Zar saves the day by "driving" a Quinjet onto the scene and landing it on Stegron. The collision takes Stegron out, much to Ka-Zar's surprise – he was too busy paying attention to piloting the vehicle to notice where he was landing.

With Stegron defeated, the dinosaurs become docile, and the Avengers decide to ship them off to the Savage Land. Ka-Zar is fine with that, which wraps everything up... except for the fact that it's Wolverine's turn to give Ka-Zar driving lessons. Eep!

General Comments

A mix of good and poor, with the good stuff coming out on top.

I'll grant you that the story isn't very well thought-out. The whole thing hinges on the fact that Stegron has become dangerous because he has an unfossilized bone, but just how such a bone could survive this long without fossilizing, and why it should give Stegron such power, is neither obvious nor explained. It never bothers to explain for the uninitiated just who Ka-Zar is, or what the Savage Land is, or why Ka-Zar is such an expert on dinosaurs. And it ends just like the past two issues, with the Big Bad being felled with a single powerhouse blow. True, it's not the Hulk who lands it, but Ka-Zar with a jet, but still, this climax has gotten real tired.

Despite all that, there's things to like here. Ig Guara's gotten back in the game, and delivers some very nice pencils – especially when the dinosaurs are in-panel. The idea of superheroes giving driving lessons is an amusing juxtaposition, handled much better here than last issue's idea of superheroes paying taxes, because the Avengers don't behave childishly at all. (They're pretty rude to the staff at the Museum, which is unfortunate, but I'll take what I can get.) And the action sequences that bookend the issue are well done.

Overall Rating

It's by no means a classic, but it's better than recent issues. I'll be generous and give it three webs.