Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub
Artists: Kim Jacinto & Stefano Caselli
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Nico Sprezzatura
The Challenger has arrived on Earth, and he’s not happy. What does this mean for the planet’s Mightiest Heroes? The climax of “No Surrender” begins in this week’s Avengers #688.
THE BIG BIG BAD?
At this point, The Challenger —now calling himself Grandmaster Prime— has staked his claim as the main baddie of “No Surrender.” With (the other) Grandmaster out of the picture, he’s ready to throw away their game board, which just so happens to be our beloved little planet. But luckily for the Avengers, they have some key aces in their hole…
… such as Voyager, who finally gets to make the Avengers rally cry in this issue. Her arc all throughout “No Surrender” has been a super interesting one, shifting from a heroic figure to a not-so-heroic one, and now she’s getting a chance to atone for any sins she may have committed since her father’s game commenced. I’m very curious to see where she ends up in the Marvel Universe next… assuming she survives the next two issues, anyway.
THE LIMELIGHT AVENGER
This week’s issue is told from Quicksilver’s perspective. It’s interesting timing, since his “No Surrender” spinoff-interquel title begins next month. Avengers #688 does somewhat play like a backdoor pilot for that limited series, but not necessarily in a way that seems forced. Quicksilver is among the second-ever class of Avengers (along with sister Scarlet Witch, who also features prominently in this storyline) so it makes sense that we’d get his view of things here. Those two in particular have a really touching scene together that builds on their relationship that’s been strained since Civil War II, so if you’re a Maximoffhead, Avengers #688 is for you.
WORDS AND PICTURES
“No Surrender” mainstay Kim Jacinto is joined by guest artist Stefano Caselli on this issue. It’s an overall well-drawn issue, but it doesn’t quite feel as cohesive as some other installments of the story. You can definitely parse which pages are Jacinto’s and which are Caselli’s in a way that some other double-billed issues of “No Surrender” haven’t, but it’s hardly the worst problem a comic book could have — especially not when Caselli draws a damn fiiiiiiine Sunspot.
THE VERDICT: Buy it.
With just a couple more issues left in the “No Surrender” saga, Avengers #688 provides a poignant showcase for a stalwart member, and one very sexy Sunspot.