Avengers #683 Review

Avengers #683

Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub
Artist: Paco Medina
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

The (Immortal) Hulk may be back to the land of the living after last issue, but this week’s Avengers #683 is more concerned with resolving a subplot that began at the beginning of “No Surrender” — and it’s a real doozy. Plus, a fantastic voyage inside Jarvis!

THE BIG BIG BAD?
Nothing to report this week, but the below section might pique your interest…

VOYAGER WATCH
I’ve mentioned how weirdly absent Voyager has been throughout “No Surrender” up to this point —despite receiving so much focus at the start— but oh boy, Avengers #683 finally delivers on some development in regards to her character.

I won’t give it away here, but if you had any lingering doubts about Voyager’s true intentions, or if she’s really who she says she is, then let’s just say things are going to get a lot more complicated from here on out. But what will it mean for “No Surrender?” I’ve got no idea — and that’s an exciting feeling!

THE LIMELIGHT AVENGER

This week’s issue is almost entirely concerned with Beast, Nadia, and Jarvis, with the good doctor himself taking narration duties. We’ve seen vignettes of his and the (Unstoppable) Wasp’s efforts to resuscitate a comatose Jarvis since the beginning of “No Surrender,” and Avengers #683 resolves their arc in fantastic fashion.

Beast is a classic Marvel character with lots of history (and cross-pollination between franchises) so it’s good to check in on his inner psyche and how he’s processing the craziness happening around him. He and Nadia in particular have been on the sidelines of the story up to now, so they both offer a perspective we haven’t yet seen in “No Surrender.”

One of the funnest aspects of characters in the Ant-Family is their size-changing prowess, and this issue follows Beast as he’s shrunken down and sent into Jarvis’ unconscious body. It’s classic genre trope that’s been used on more than one occasion over the years —a particular Daredevil story with Nadia’s father Hank Pym comes to mind— but it doesn’t come across as rote here. A lot of that is down to the writing and art, and speaking of which…

WORDS AND PICTURES

This issue reintroduces Paco Medina back into the fold, and his contributions to the story are reliably solid. After delivering some classic superhero-villain battle scenes in the first part of “No Surrender,” Avengers #683 forces him to go smaller — in a sense.

Like I alluded to above, this issue features a lot of Fantastic Voyage-esque visuals, and Medina is more than up to the challenge. You can tell when artists have fun drawing a book, and I get the impression that this issue was very much that to him.

And on a storytelling level, his scenes inside Jarvis’ brain are crucial to the Voyager reveal I spoke about earlier. Without giving it away yet again, you’ll notice several details missing from the butler’s memories, specifically ones that were revisited earlier on in “No Surrender.” Considering he’s been out of commission since around the time Voyager revealed herself, it’s very intriguing and almost too subtle for most readers, but if you go back and look for it, then you’ll realize what Medina and the writing team are doing.

Speaking of the writing — great Beast voice. It’s hard to say which of the writers (Waid, Ewing, or Zub) had a bigger hand in this issue, but I’ll hazard a guess and say it was Zub, since Beast featured in his Uncanny Avengers arc. Good going, guy!

THE VERDICT
As if the (Immortal) Hulk’s return last week wasn’t enough, Avengers #683 throws yet another curveball at Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

Nico Sprezzatura

Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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