Avengers #33 Review

by Charles Martin on May 27, 2020

Avengers #33 Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Javier Garrón
Colourist: Jason Keith
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Dang, this incarnation of the Avengers gets its collective hinders handed to it a lot, doesn't it? Captain Marvel walloped them in her solo not too long ago and she's on the dang team. At least they clobbered the Immortal Hulk over in his solo.

Anyways, it's dive time again in #33, and the hinder-hander of the hour is a strangely-empowered Moon Knight.

If you're a wrestling fan, you know this process as "jobbing." I'm a tvtropes.org nerd, so I know it as "the Worf Effect." By any name, it entails building up a new (or altered) character as a big toughie by letting them clobber established tough guys.

Moon Knight carves his way through a slate of powerful Marvel heroes, starting with Iron Fist and Doctor Strange before progressing to full-on Avengers like Ghost Rider, Black Panther, and Thor.

(Where the heck does this fight card come from? Flip back to earlier Avengers issues and recall our old pals the Cave-Vengers. Ohhhh.)

There's a method to the madness of the Fist of Khonshu, of course, though this issue just barely begins to hint at it. Mainly it's just Fightin' Around the World With Moon Knight. (And his alters, who get a decent nod in MK's inner monologue.)

Which is plenty of fun! 

Moon Knight attracts a lot of ride or die fans, but that's not me. If I had to guess, though, I'd say die-hard Moon Knighters are gonna love this. He's a man on a mission. Seeing him carve a path of lunar beatdowns across the Marvel universe is going to be a treat for superfans.

And conversely, there's some decent wiggle room for people who think Moon Knight clobbering all of the above-mentioned adversaries is BS. Iron Fist and Doctor Strange both come at him with "let me help you" vibes that imply some punch-pulling.

No punches are pulled in the Thor fight, though, which features some over-the-top gimmickry that might be hard to swallow.

A big part of the fun here is that Javier Garrón is drawing up a storm. The fast, no-holds-barred action suits the recent evolutions in his style. Bigger panels and more detailed characters are perfect for these sorts of powerful one-on-one fights, and Mr. Garrón is terrific at the dynamic motion that makes super-fisticuffs feel real.

Jason Keith's versatile colours add to the fun. I particularly like the max-intensity colour contrast going on during the Dr. Strange fight, and Mr. Keith has a deep well of tricks for keeping an all-white hero from looking boring. Very detailed colour work also helps gussy up the backgrounds, particularly towards the end of the issue as things grow increasingly cosmic.

When it comes to the script, this is not a character-heavy issue. As noted above, we get some solid protagonist narration that honours Marc Spector's Dissociative Identity Disorder. Primarily, though, the business of Jason Aaron's script is arranging wicked-cool fight scenes peppered with appropriately memorable one-liners.

And brother, business is booming today!

As you may already have inferred, there are more critical ways to say what I've said above. For some readers, the lack of characterization and Moon Knight's nigh-perfect victory record are going to be deal-breakers. And there may even be folks with an aversion to Mr. Garrón's strong but distinctive style (He favours a particular facial exaggeration that I would call "bowtie mouth").

Finally, I note that this is only the first chapter in a longer arc. Future issues will doubtless give Moon Knight the more complicated motivation he lacks in #33. Taken on its own, though, this issue is about Moon Knight beating up powerful folks because he's Moon Knight, and Moon Knight is awesome. And that's not going to cut it for every reader.

So that's how I arrive at a score that sits roughly equidistant between "best of the best" and "merely average." Is this fight yarn put together with commendable storytelling skill? Yes. Is it a rewarding diversion when you play along with the "Moon Knight Kills The Marvel Universe" premise? Yes. Is it ground-breaking or emotionally moving or status-quo-shattering? Absolutely not. Not every comic needs to be those things -- but not every well-crafted comic needs to get called perfect, either.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Compare this review to the linked Captain Marvel #12 review and you can put together a working hypothesis that I just don't like seeing Thor get jobbed. And I couldn't say you'd be wrong.