Avengers #684

Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub
Artists: Paco Medina & Joe Bennett (pencillers), Juan Vlasco & Ruy Jose (inkers)
Colorists: Jesus Aburtov & Molly Hollowell
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura.

Voyager is a bad guy! The Hulk is Immortal now! And Nadia van Dyne is pissed! So many developments in “No Surrender” at the moment! Wow! Does Avengers #684 live up to the hype I’m drumming up right now! Let’s see!

At this point, it’s becoming very clear who’s really calling the evil shots in “No Surrender,” and that makes my job both easier and more prone to redundancies in recapping it! To find out what I mean by that, keep reading…

After last week’s blockbuster reveal that Voyager is a fraud who isn’t really a founding Avenger, this week delves further into her true backstory. And on that note…

Voyager is our Limelight Avenger this week! While this issue may feature Bruce Banner’s first full appearance as the Immortal Hulk, it’s Voyager whose perspective is more vital to the goings-on. I’ve been waiting for Voyager’s perspective throughout this storyline, and Avengers #684 finally gives us that.

I won’t spoil who Voyager is, or why she’s doing what she’s doing, but she has substantial ties to a very crucial character in “No Surrender” that —quite literally— change the game. That’s all I can say without getting into specifics, but it’s really worth finding out for yourself.

This week has perhaps the most expanded art team we’ve seen on “No Surrender” yet, and it’s a mixed bag. While Paco Medina handles most of the issue’s pencils, he’s joined by co-penciller Joe Bennett and inkers Juan Vlasco & Ruy Jose, while usual colorist David Curiel is subbed by Jesus Aburtov & Molly Hollowell.

For the most part, Avengers #684 doesn’t stray much from what Medina and Kim Jacinto have visually established, aside from Bennett’s Hulk prologue, which is a noticeable shift from the aforementioned pencillers. Bennett’s contributions to the issue are more house style-y than any other artist who’s worked on “No Surrender,” but I’m not classing that as a bad thing. It’s just different from what we’ve been seeing up to this point!

Aside from that, you can hardly tell that Medina isn’t inking his own pencils this time around, or that Curiel’s colors have been replaced with someone else’s. This issue very much fits into the larger framework of “No Surrender.”

On the writing front, the Voyager stuff is genuinely interesting stuff that I hadn’t anticipated, so well-done to Waid, Ewing, and Zub. Plus, they even got me interested in the idea of an “Immortal” Hulk! Considering how Ewing is the one on tap for Immortal Hulk, I’ll take a guess that a lot of that is him. Classic Al Ewing magic right there.

With a genuinely surprising plot twist at its core, Avengers #684 is an essential installment of the weekly “No Surrender” saga.

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

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