This week, in lieu of the Cover Count, I offer a review. That review, as if the title weren’t any indication, will be of Avengers: The Initiative #14.

Now, let me start by saying that I’m a little miffed. I hopped on board with issue #13, as it promised a new class of recruits. (It helped that among those recruits is a favorite of mine, Prodigy.) And just as I decide to hop in, it starts a playing in Secret Invasion waters. …as it will proceed to do for a few issues. Ah well.

But just how good is the first part of the crossover? Actually not bad. The issue includes three important items: how the head instructor, Hank Pym, being a Skrull affected the Initiative (and the 50-State Initiative therein), the revelation of a few other Skrulls in the organization, and an adventure with Triathlon 3-D Man in Hawaii, the state in which he is assigned. Each of them is handled tactfully, but with a bit of humor. That’s about the extent of spoilers you’ll get here.

The Hank Pym stuff is more funny than it is interesting, especially the scene in the cafeteria. The Skrull reveals (there are two, not counting Pym) aren’t that shocking. The latter of them probably should have been more, considering it led into the climax of the issue, but it’s done with a bit of confusion at first. We don’t know how he was detected until a few panels later (and after a two-page ad). Well, unless you happen to know a bit about a certain 1970s superhero. It takes a little of the oomph out of the reveal, but nothing out of the climax itself.

The Hawaii team is fun to read about. First off, they’re called the Point Men. A fairly symbolic name that they explain in the issue. They have they’re very own Pigpen of Peanuts. And Devil-Slayer returns. They’re all very cool things.

Another thing I like is that Caselli returns for art duties. I just was not enjoying Uy’s art as much. There are other capable artists that could handle this title, and some of them I would probably prefer to Caselli, but he does a fine job. I have a complaint regarding a small bit in the fight of the issue, in which something important occurs that could be better portrayed, but I’m not going to spoil that. Try finding it yourself. Like a game of Where’s Waldo?

It’s a fun issue. It’s a funny issue. It has decent art, a decent story, and leaves us with an interesting cliffhanger (though albeit a confusing one).

The positives outweigh the negatives. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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