Comic Book Review: Avengers #689
Last week was another power issue for Avengers: No Surrender. Just when you think this story is done rolling with the punches, they have just a few more up their sleeves. This time around in the form of Quicksilver who finally redeemed himself. Up to this point I was not impressed by his actions. During a crisis where everyone needed to be on the same page, he was too busy thinking he knew what was best as an individual rather than a team. What he did to break the Avengers out of stasis was wonderful for the emotion, execution, and reminder of the sacrifice in being a hero.
I think the heroes summed up the events of this issue very well. It was exactly as if someone was watching too many Michael Bay movies. With the exception of course that this kind of action has substance to it rather than doom and boom. When the Avengers sprang into action, this was another version of them that I have loved to see. One where it isn’t just throwing every body they have at the solution. They actually made use of their now large roster to form proper battle tactics. May have been easier with one single target to go after, though all the same thrilling. The Challenger has been one heck of an enemy to encounter so far. This is the kind of villain you ask for when you want to push the Avengers to go above and beyond. He knocked the Hulk out of orbit, took out multiple heroes at a time with single strikes. How they fought back took some thinking outside the box. The script for this engagement was smart considering who did what in the moment.
Now while the main team was engaging the enemy, it was worth it to spend those few pages or so to address what the other awakened heroes were doing around the world. Like I always try to make a point of, it makes a big difference when a creative team is open enough to what it means to write heroes that the world around them is as much a focus as the person. That means the people you save, and everything else in-between.
It was exciting to follow how the Avengers team were holding down the fort in the Grandmaster’s Cosmic Game Room. Some of them certainly caught us by surprise by the power they commanded in that moment. Lightning and Citizen V in particular. I still do love the narrative of Lightning as someone who has stepped up to the plate as a hero who you wouldn’t have normally called upon during such crisis. How he rises to the occasion was a commendable effort. I expected no less that someone was making the decision to put someone lesser known over someone who doesn’t need the attention.
The art team did jobs this issue as we hit the climax. It was in this moment that the story really felt event level. Which is not a bad thing at all as not every scene needs to be something out of a Michael Bay movie for it to be big. Nonetheless, Pere Perez blew me away from start to finish through the incredible amount of work he put into every character, place, and thing. It’s always important as well to control our engagement with something going on in every panel. I felt the team as a whole nailed this through full renderings of each setting, the varying disasters and the kind of dangers these regular people were facing in the middle of it. So many heroes were as well drawn with a full concept of their costumes and personalities. What truly grabbed my attention was the visual capturing of how each one of these heroes had their own way of reacting to these disasters. There was never one way to react and that is what makes them all human, and Avengers too. The colors were very strong this time around which worked wonders for matching the intensity of the story. They all overlapped and blended together very well considering the different auras these heroes gave off in the heat of battle.
Avengers #689 was an exciting exploration of what it means to be an Avenger. Some creative teams will miss that mark, but not this one. I don’t think they have ever once forgotten to capture the significance and that is what has made No Surrender so captivating. Ask for the full package of an event, and what you have is this.