Friday, 9 November 2018

Quasar 6 - Acts of Vengeance

Although not quite the newest hero around, Quasar's low profile and restricted field of operations before he got his own series means that he hasn't attracted much attention so far. At times he seems to be the only Avenger free to deal with menaces, whether the attack on Avengers Island or here. Being relatively inexperienced (though not unskilled - he's had Shield training), it also means that most villains will not have encountered him, thus it should be easy to find foes for him

Quasar #6

Story: Mark Guenwald
Pencils: Paul Ryan
Inks: Danny Bulanadi
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Paul Becton
Editor: Howard Mackie
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

So it's a surprise that one of the four he encounters in this issue is Klaw the Master of Sound who he has clashed with before in his days as head of security at Project Pegasus, which even gets referenced. However this is partially explained away as he's the only Avenger available to go and round up escapees from the Vault as they show up, rather than any of the leaders of the alliance explicitly assigning them to deal with him. Klaw ultimately only appears over three pages and drops out of the action (literally) when another foe shows up. But even this is not the quickest with Venom, prominently advertised on the cover, taken out in just the first two pages. It can be easy to forget just how quickly Venom took off, having debuted less than two years earlier (and his appearance hasn't yet been refined by Erik Larsen), and this appears to be his first appearance outside the Spider-Man titles. A glance at the cover and issue suggests that the marketing department wanted Venom prominently highlighted on the cover, hence the addition to the cover, but both Mark Gruenwald and editorial didn't care much for him, hence the rapid dismissal.

The main action comes when the Living Laser shows up to free Klaw, only to find his energy tapped by Quasar, causing him to flee and end up on the Moon. There in the Blue Area they find the home of the Watcher before Quasar finds he's disturbed a burglary by the Red Ghost. It's good to see a mixture of foes and even a cosmic entity in the series, but the bitty nature of it suggests a plot rushed together that kept on having to add foes as there's nothing really linking Venom, the Living Laser and the Red Ghost beyond encountering Quasar. None of them appear to be part of the broader operation and the Red Ghost isn't even an escapee from the Vault. Instead we just get a random set of foes in the course of Quasar's adventure as though the series is having to mark time.

As a result this is a rather disappointing chapter in the saga. This is a pity as the series is being pushed as one of the core titles due to Quasar's involvement in the Avengers (hence its presence in the main Omnibus rather than the Crossovers), but it's a reminder that large crossovers can often demand more issues of a title than there are things to do.

Quasar #6 has been reprinted in:

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