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Preview: Avengers #687

Avengers #687

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub
Art: Paco Medina
Ink: Juan Vlasco
Color: Jesus Aburtov, Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Variant Covers: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Marcio Menyz, Jamal Campbell
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
NO SURRENDER Part 13
The Avengers confront the traitor in their midst – but as the Earth begins to fall apart around them, their greatest enemy may be their best chance at survival.

Review: Avengers #686

As Wonder Man struggles to get through to the Hulk, the Black Order attacks Avengers HQ! The grand cosmic game comes to its shocking conclusion – but the war for Earth is just beginning!

I’ll admit, I thought last issue slipped a little as it focused on a lot of punching and not much else. Avengers #686, part 12 of “No Surrender,” corrects that and then some.

Written by Jim Zub, Mark Waid, and Al Ewing, the issue focuses on Wonder Man’s attempt to reason with the Hulk. What’s revealed though feels like a Hulk we’ve never seen. And, that revelation is scarier than anything presented last issue. Gone is the thoughtless machine of destruction. Now it’s clear this is a being full of rage, one full aware of what it’s doing, with a clear agenda and reasoning. Hulk has been many things and presented in so many ways but what we see here feels frightening and had me pause to say, “oh shit.”

Where the last issue was a giant action sequence, this is the portion that adds some depth to it all as we see things from Simon, aka Wonder Man’s perspective. Zub, Waid, and Ewing have done an excellent job in this series shaking things up when it comes to the narrative. This isn’t an event about punching things. Where you think an issue might be that, it turns out to be presented in a different way. The trio regularly change the narrative and in doing so keep the storytelling fresh and interesting.

The art by Paco Medina, with ink by Juan Vlasco, and color by Jesus Aburtov is fantastic. The Hulk feels intimidating in his size and strength compared to everyone else. And, while it’d be easy to go over the top in the destruction, things feel focused here. What’s even bigger is the perspective of Simon. You can see the fear and his working through the situation on his face. The artistic team does a solid job of presenting the various emotions Simon goes through. And through his realization of the horror, we experience it too. The lettering by Cory Petit enhances that emotion with emphasis on key words.

Just when you think things might have fallen into brainless punching, the series event series has no problem showing it can shake things up. Here we get a depth to the destruction and fighting that’s unexpected and through subtle moments we also get different perspectives. A wonderful issue that continues the excellent narrative that’s been weaved. “No Surrender’ is proof that big events can work and is one of the most unexpected positive surprises of the year so far.

Story: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks Variant Cover: Dale Keown, Jason Keith
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #686

Avengers #686

Story: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks Variant Cover: Dale Keown, Jason Keith
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

NO SURRENDER Part 12
THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
As Wonder Man struggles to get through to the Hulk, the Black Order attacks Avengers HQ! The grand cosmic game comes to its shocking conclusion – but the war for Earth is just beginning!

Review: Avengers #685

The Avengers are in the fight of their lives trying to end the Hulk’s rampage, but nothing can stop the unstoppable. And when an Avenger betrays the team, can the rest of the heroes hope to survive?

Brutal is the best way to describe Avengers #685 which has the team fighting a rampaging Hulk. In his way is Rulk with a little help from some armor. Writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub create scenes and a flow that not only make feel like taking on the Hulk is an impossible task but also the results are devastating without crossing the line of killing someone. They make their point without going over the top and falling into traps that take the readers out of the story and paints things into a corner.

It’s an interesting issue with the team focused on this one obstacle but at the same time things also feel a little stretched out as Voyager decides what to do.

If this were a film, this would be a few minutes in a 2 hour length. It’s a small snippet that has the entire issue dedicated to it. There’s good in that it reintroduces the Hulk and makes his defeat seem impossible but it also stretches things out a bit too.

What’s really nice though is how the issue ends. Through all of the fists and destruction, there may be another way.

And all of that brutality is rendered beautifully by Paco Medina with ink by Juan Vlasco and color by Jesus Aburtov. There’s some fantastic sequences and quite a few that had me lingering on the page to soak in the battle and what was happening. There’s also some solid use of panels and page spreads. Add in lettering by Cory Petit that adds to that feeling desperation and chaos and you have an issue where the art and story match up so well.

As I said, if this were a movie, it’d be a sequence that was just a few minutes. But, visually we’d have our jaws dropped and shocked as to where things go. In comic form though, it feels a little drawn out but there’s some great dramatic effect. As part of the greater “No Surrender” storyline, it all feels great and adds to the epic nature of it all. This Avengers story continues to impress.

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Variant Cover: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #685

Avengers #685

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Variant Cover: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

NO SURRENDER Part 11
THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
The Avengers are in the fight of their lives trying to end the Hulk’s rampage, but nothing can stop the unstoppable. And when an Avenger betrays the team, can the rest of the heroes hope to survive?

Review: Avengers #684

Back from the dead! He cannot be reasoned with. He will not be stopped. Bruce Banner isn’t home right now. There is only THE IMMORTAL HULK.

It’s been building for a few issues now, but the Hulk returns in Avengers #684. But, what’s his journey and why is he back? Writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub plot out an interesting issue that’s split in a way revolving around “origins.”

While the “main show” is the return of the Green Goliath, the issue also focuses on the truth about Voyager. Who is she? How did she trick everyone and change memories? That’s all answered here. That aspect is pretty interesting and while it falls a little short in the delivery, the potential impact of it all has me excited about what’s to come.

But, the main focus is the return of the Hulk. The issue takes us through how he’s back and why he’s so pissed. We learn that his healing factor is so good that he’s basically immortal and we’re shown numerous instances where he’s died to emphasize all of that. It’s a logical next step for the character and connects dots in a way that’s interesting. While not a retcon, it uses past stories to create a stronger one here and adding a new twist to the character.

Waid, Ewing, and Zub also add a lot of pathos to the character as he just wants to rage to end. There’s something even more tragic about it all. This is a person who realizes he’s a monster and just doesn’t want to continue but keeps being brought back. Again, it’s interesting and sets up an exciting future.

From there, it’s the Hulk doing what he does best, being an unstoppable force.

The art is a little hit and miss with this issue. Art duties are handled by Joe Bennett and Paco Medina and the flashbacks are in stark contrast with the present battle. The flashbacks are a little meh while the battle has some fantastic details. It’s noticeable and a disappointment for an event that has been so good both in story and art.

The issue is the first bump in the event, but it’s still an entertaining one. The creative team give us a break to catch up readers as to the Hulk’s history while also setting him upon his destructive path. It’s an issue that sets things up and has me scratching my head as to how the Avengers are going to deal with this new x-factor.

Entertaining though a bit flawed.

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Joe Bennett, Paco Medina Cover: Mark Brooks
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.45 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #684

Avengers #684

(W) Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub (A) Joe Bennett, Paco Medina (CA) Mark Brooks
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 14, 2018
SRP: $4.99

NO SURRENDER Part 10
THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES IN THIS OVERSIZED ISSUE!
Back from the dead! He cannot be reasoned with. He will not be stopped. Bruce Banner isn’t home right now. There is only THE IMMORTAL HULK.

Review: Avengers #683

Jarvis’ life hangs by a thread. Only by voyaging into Jarvis’ mind can the Beast save him – but what terrible secret is lurking inside the memory of the Avengers’ loyal butler?

If you haven’t been reading “No Surrender,” you’ve been missing out on one of the best Avengers stories in year. The action has been excellent, the art amazing, and character interaction top notch. Writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub have been balancing that action with some great character moments packing in so much into the series.

Avengers #683 focuses on one of the plot threads, Jarvis’ battle with the strange disease that’s attacking him. Beast and the Wasp do what they can to save him and there’s some fantastic moments, especially from the new Wasp, Nadia, who stands up in a way that’s beyond heroic and what being a superhero is all about.

Again, the writers shift the story up a bit taking us away from the titanic battles elsewhere to give us this more focused issues. Instead of dozens of character we get a half dozen. Instead of wide open battlefields, we get the confines of a hospital (and Jarvis’ brain). It’s this shift of the narrative that has prevented this event from being one giant fight scene.

The issue too has a big reveal that I’ve been waiting for and has been hinted at, especially in this issue… no spoilers here!

That reveal is first hinted at the art and for those paying attention, they’ll pick up on the twist towards the end of the issue. The art by Paco Madina, with ink by Juan Vlasco, color by Jesus Aburtov, and lettering from Cory Petit, helps deliver the excitement of the issue. The issue really is a build up to that reveal and the art is a big driver of that. There’s so many hints there and for the eagle eyed, they’ll pick up on what’s been hinted at for a few issues now.

That reveal too throws into questions some of the statements from previous issues. Who’s the mysterious game piece that’s been off the board? Is it the Hulk who know is returning? Or, is it the twist at this issue’s end? We’ll find out soon (yay weekly!) but this series has been a fantastic ride that has kept readers on their toes and is constantly playing with expectations. This is a perfect example of what events should strive to be.

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina Cover: Mark Brooks
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #683

Avengers #683

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina Cover: Mark Brooks
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
SRP: $3.99

NO SURRENDER Part 9
THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
Jarvis’ life hangs by a thread. Only by voyaging into Jarvis’ mind can the Beast save him – but what terrible secret is lurking inside the memory of the Avengers’ loyal butler?

Avengers: No Surrender: Third Month Covers

Avengers: Disassemble! The epic weekly takeover continues this February when Paco Medina takes the reigns to draw the third month of Marvel’s biggest team adventure, and Marvel is excited to reveal the covers for issues #683 – #686 of Avengers: No Surrender by Mark Brooks as well as the first look at February’s interlocking variant covers by Nick Bradshaw!

Month three of Avengers: No Surrender takes its epic storytelling to another level, as Jarvis’ life hangs by a thread and the Black Order is on the attack. And as if the Avengers don’t have enough to worry about, they’ll need to deal with a betrayal of one of their own.

Co-written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jim Zub with art by Pepe Larraz, Kim Jacinto, and Paco Medina, Avengers: No Surrender unites the casts and creative teams of three titles into one weekly book of exciting action. It all starts with Avengers #675 this January, when the teams of The Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, and U.S.Avengers come together in a story as exciting and powerful as the Marvel Universe itself.

AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER #683
Written by MARK WAID, JIM ZUB and AL EWING
Art by PACO MEDINA
Cover by MARK BROOKS

AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER #684
Written by MARK WAID, JIM ZUB and AL EWING
Art by PACO MEDINA & JOE BENNETT
Cover by MARK BROOKS

AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER #685
Written by MARK WAID, JIM ZUB and AL EWING
Art by PACO MEDINA
Cover by MARK BROOKS

AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER #686
Written by MARK WAID, JIM ZUB and AL EWING
Art by PACO MEDINA
Cover by MARK BROOKS

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