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Review: Avengers #680


Avengers: No Surrender continues with the stakes upped between the death of Johnny Storm and the return of the Black Order! But they are Avengers and they will fight to the end.

Yes, Johnny Storm is dead, though what the hell is going on with Marvel Two in One is anyone’s guess but I assume dude gets resurrected anyway since, well, it’s comic books. In superhero books, no one stays dead forever and this technically has happened to him before anyway. However, it doesn’t stop this issue from having heart to it. Because the character who is hurting the most is Rogue. In the very first issue, at least in the All-New All-Different Marvel era, Rogue had dated Johnny Storm but remained friends and in the Jim Zub run, there were more scenes of the two conversing and it’s clear what chemistry they originally had. And the writers do a good job conveying that loss and how far she went and boy do they show how far she went between the narration and the issue’s big action scene.

I admit, I’m taking about Rogue out of bias given she’s one of my favorite Marvel characters but Rogue is extremely well written here and how far she has been developed in other books since. Out of the three writers of this event, I think Zub understands her the most. He gets her voice very well, her actions are understandable within the context of the book and gave a lot of time for her to shine, it is glorious to behold and I felt for her through and through. And given a particular panel that I’ll mention later, there is promise of where Rogue could possibly go. It’s also why I feel Rogue as an avenger is well deserved than her as a member of the X-Men as by placing her on the Avengers, she not only has new people and scenarios to interact with but what she could also learn from them and how she deals with it. Rogue is a leader and she makes for a compelling leader and Zub is a writer who understands that and expands on the idea especially since given what had happened previously, it’s very personal.

But the other Avengers get a good amount of panels themselves as well however. We have sad moments with Nadia Pym/Wasp, Beast (that is the older, blue furry Beast) and Wonder Man (and it’s fun seeing the two together anyway especially with that hug which got a delightful chuckle out of me just thinking about it) which give the book some extra emotion. You really do get the sense of comradely with the Avengers in this event-probably even than before with the other books. Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jim Zub are among the writers who understand character and really nail the humanity of these characters hard whether they’d be at their lowest or at their most promising like the pages with Scarlet Witch and Brother Voodoo. Though, Voyager, okay, who she has a long story if you haven’t caught up yet but I will say, I don’t dislike. In fact, there is story potential with her but I don’t feel the connection with her and the other Avengers yet. I think she’ll need to be developed further as this event goes along or if she’ll appear in a future Avengers book after this one. She’s not a bad character, far from it but I just don’t get the sense of her emotional connection even with her origin but hey, that could change.

I’d say overall, writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Zub don’t skimp out in that department and the action scenes. The panels of Rogue taking on Corvus Glaive are appropriately brutal. It’s like you can feel the punches Rogue is delivering-especially the final blow and panel of Rogue standing on top of him. It’s a striking image. Really, nothing about this story feels slow, forced or even off. It feels like there is a lot of cohesiveness involved in what’s going on and the ending while obvious if you saw the marketing, does have some good build up to it.

The art by Kim Jacinto fits the tone of the story with its clean but also shaded look. The art adds to the writing especially with the aforementioned panels with Rogue which elevated than what was on page. Hell, the colors even add to the story’s epic tone.

Avengers: No Surrender continues to entertain but also provide emotion to the proceedings. Characters like Rogue are allowed to shine and be developed further that it’s not a bad event book for these specific titles. I’d say check it out-even if you’re just noticing this story.