Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Nico Sprezzatura
Weekly titles raise an interesting challenge to the writer: how do you keep the momentum of a story going four or five times a month? Monthly titles are also subject to this scrutiny, of course, but the increased frequency of weeklies means a lull in their narrative can feel like forever. Now in its third consecutive week of the “No Surrender” storyline, how does Avengers #677 fare in that regard?
Luckily, “No Surrender” hasn’t seemed to hit a snag just yet. With Avengers Mansion blown up at the end of last issue, our heroes seek refuge in an auxillary HQ that hasn’t been used in years. It may not offer the grand trappings of their former base, but it’s better than nothing — and now they need to keep moving forward.
Since I’ll be tackling this storyline on a weekly basis now, I thought it would be worthwhile to break up my reviews into sections that cover the main recurring beats of each issue. Let’s begin!
THE BIG BIG BAD?
Last week’s arrival of the Black Order and the Lethal Legion is elaborated on here, but with yet another complication added to the mix. I won’t spoil it here, but if you saw this week’s solicitations for April 2018, you may have accidentally revealed it for yourself already. In any event, [REDACTED] coming into play should fuel speculation of our story’s ultimate baddie even further, since we still don’t know who’s ultimately pulling the strings. Whoever it is, they must be pretty major.
We don’t get much in the way of answers about Voyager this week, but that’s fine. With the rest of the stolen Earth under siege by our warring villain factions, the Avengers can’t afford to chat up Valerie Vector. She seems fine with this, obviously, opting to help out instead of make everything about her. That’s what you would want from a teammate, right?
As for her true identity, again, nothing to ruminate on this week. I’ve seen people speculate that she’s an aged-up Kobik, and I could see it. If anything, it would explain why she seemingly came out of nowhere and inserted herself into Avengers history. But… I still think she’s some variant of Valeria Richards. Maybe.
THE LIMELIGHT AVENGER
Three times is a pattern, and if this issue is anything to go by, each installment of “No Surrender” will definitely be narrated by a different Avenger. Issue #675 was Lightning, #676 was Falcon, and #677 is told from the perspective of everyone’s favorite asshole speedster, Quicksilver.
There’s a lot weighing on Pietro’s mind lately. Not only is his relationship with sister Wanda on the outs, but he’s forced to deal with the guilt that came from accidentally putting Unity Squad teammate (and budding love interest) Synapse in a coma back in Uncanny Avengers. Like always, however, Pietro is his own worst enemy, and his brash impulsiveness might end up doing him more harm than good. But that’s not to say he’s lost any bit of his personality! One particular exchange between him and Cannonball actually made me laugh out loud, so any time a comic book is able to that, I’m giving it high marks.
WORDS AND PICTURES
Credit goes to Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub for holding my interest for a third consecutive week. Like I said earlier, weekly titles are hard to maintain, especially when you have as many cooks in the kitchen as those three. It really does feel like “No Surrender” is a perfect synthesis of each writer’s biggest strengths: Ewing’s cosmic-level melodrama, Waid’s character work, and Zub’s knack for interpersonal relationships between them. Keep it going, guys.
Pepe Larraz (one of Marvel’s newly-minted “Young Guns”) returns on art duties for a third consecutive week, and he continues to deliver some nice superhero action here. The moment between Quicksilver and Cannonball I alluded to above, for example, works largely because of Larraz’s visual storytelling. He just sells the moment so beautifully that it enriches the accompanying text, which is really what an artist’s job in comics is: help sell the material on the page. Next week is Larraz’s last issue on “No Surrender” until the penultimate one, so here’s hoping he concludes his contribution to the story in a major way.
…unless you’re deciding to catch up later when it’s all said and done. However, if you have been keeping up with “No Surrender” on a weekly basis, Avengers #677 continues its streak of thrilling superhero action.