Comic Book Review: Avengers #685
Just when things were looking up for the Avengers, the game gets flipped right on its head through two agents of chaos. On one hand you have Voyager who is not actually Voyager and playing her own game against the Grandmaster, then on the other hand you have the Immortal Hulk on the loose and taking no prisoners with who stands between him and that next pyramoid. Can it get any worse than that? I’m sure the answer is yes.
What we had to brace ourselves for this issue was the Red Hulk versus the Immortal Hulk. The most even match up for the heroes at hand, but nonetheless a scary situation for the guy who can barely maintain his Red Hulk form for the hour that he is supposed to. Adding the Iron Patriot suit was shook things up where he had a bit more firepower on hand, but even then you couldn’t say what the outcome would be until they came to blows. So like I said, it was a scary exchange of blows between the two. The last thing you want to see is a hero getting pummeled to a bloody pulp, but that is what you brace yourself for when they decide there is a possibility in slowing down the Hulk. It was shocking in that moment to see that the Immortal Hulk could reveal a new trick that the Hulk I don’t think has ever done before in his right mind.
The reaction from the rest of the Avengers was fitting when faced with a severe amount of loss to the Immortal Hulk. Things started to feel more like a game when their actions are reflected upon what they have been able to figure out about the contest so far. Pieces were moved around, bold decisions made, and the right Avengers were able to step up to the plate. Which is not to say that this changes much about this version of the Hulk. Truthfully I was a bit taken back by the name, but he is certainly living up to it both through physical prowess and mental toughness.
Who jumps in at the last-minute was a bit unexpected, but I do like that this creative team wants us to keep readers guessing as to who or what can turn the tides of this game given the opportunity. I mean this was definitely the most questionable hero in general to be a part of the story when the only guy not actually fighting so to speak. It was I guess inevitable that something relevant would be done with said character eventually since there is an expectation that everyone has a role to play. That aside, this issue was a big moment for Grandmaster’s daughter, because now was the time for her to make her intentions known. She made her big move last issue, but even then nothing was too certain with what her plans were for the pyramoid. We knew, but everyone else was still in the shadows.
The art team did wonderful with this issue. I had some expectation of what to see from this issue visually, and they nailed the impact, quite literally. There is an unshakable sense of excitement when you look at that cover and realize what may or may not come of this clashing of Hulks. It was brutal, bloody, and you could really see the difference between a Hulk in control and one that is really letting loose. Just those few close-ups of the Red Hulk said all you needed to know about the difference in power. I appreciate that they didn’t hold back showing what would actually happen to someone’s face if they tried squaring up with the Immortal Hulk physically. Now as I said above, it was cool to see this new power in play as well. There are some things you just don’t expect from a green Hulk aside from punching and what not. They nailed the atmosphere of the scene through the inking and blast of green. Other characters did some things new as well, and visually that kept the action fresh when a lot of the fighting at this point has been pretty straightforward.
This was indeed the fight of the Avenger’s lives as they are facing dangers from all sides. Nothing new for the Avengers, but this really is it if they can’t pull a rabbit out of their hat. Avengers #685 cranked the dial to eleven when this was the time where a hero really has to ask how important their life is to save the world.