Comic Book Review: Avengers #678


Quite the shocker to find out that your home is being used as a gaming board for cosmic beings for the damage they cause in the process. To go so far as to move the entire Earth to make this happen was going to some great lengths as well. Especially since doing this to any planet will throw it into chaos internally from the shift in atmosphere and conditions. No Surrender so far is satisfying as an Avengers story we haven’t gotten before. Right now that is all you can ask for as the plot is slowly unfolding.

Moving into part four, what shakes the story up currently are the troubles that these heroes bring themselves. This may be an Avengers story, but there are s many different teams and dynamics working together here. Many personal problems thrown into the mix as well. It is unfortunate that one or two troublemakers will make this harder than it should be, but I suppose they had to have their own challenges if unfreezing the rest of the Avengers wasn’t enough to deal with. Still it takes some time to adjust to a hero like Rogue being in this position of leadership, but it is hard to ignore the fact that she has come a long way to be able to take charge of a team like this. Falcon on the other end slips into this role easier, though it goes without saying that the true engagement from him is the way this responsibility weighs on him. The opportunity to get into their heads more than anyone else makes a big difference in establishing the urgency of this situation. Those like Human Torch and Quicksilver only hurt the story in my opinion. You get the role they play as obstacles, but it doesn’t mean you enjoy their presence for it. Hopefully what happens at the end of this issue will serve as a wake-up call.

The battle between the Lethal Legion and Black Order is the source of all the action you need currently. Sure you may want to see the heroes taking charge of this situation, but there is something refreshing about the way these bad guys take command of a scene. Not only are they formidable in battle, they have fun in the pain they inflict on each other. The Black Order especially who are known to thrive in this kind of conflict. As for the Lethal Legion, it is exciting to have this opportunity to get to know them as the fights progress. It was smart to develop them through action than solely words.

Now the Grandmaster and whoever this “Old Foe” is have been a point of interest since the first appearance they made. Someone had to be pulling the strings of this so-called game, and they keep things interesting with everything we don’t know about their intentions and motivations. Something had to lead to this game between them, this probably couldn’t be the first time they have done this, and something big must be at stake for whoever either wins or loses this game.

This week’s issue was more action packed than the last now that it is time to jump into the fray. The art team of Pepe Larraz and David Curiel did a standout job of capturing the intensity of this game. Things were a bit all over the place, but I appreciate that we at the very least have an artist who does quality work on pencils and inks. Plenty of things were going on at the same time and yet it was still easy to separate who was doing what and to who. It was important to have a strong outline as well for those scenes where objects could have risked bleeding over each other. With that said, the layout work of the panels was creative in engaging us from page to page. Whether it was the distinct shapes they took or the way they overlapped, these decisions added a bit of flair to the action. That aside, the color work was impressive. Curiel was the perfect choice as the colorist for an event such as this for his bold and vibrant selections. These are powerful heroes and villains in play and he was able to capture the energy that should pop from each one of them. Being able to do this without taking away from what the characters are actually doing was a plus. Some colorists unfortunately might get carried away and force you to have to squint to see through the colors.

The first Avenger does indeed fall by the end of Avengers #678, and honestly? I’m not so sure that I could feel all too bothered by it. Not completely in a bad way because that hero who pays the ultimate price in turn will help the others better understand the game. I’m just hoping that these obstacles removed from play will allow for more focus on what matters to these Avengers who need to get it together.

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