Avengers #677

by Charles Martin on January 24, 2018

Avengers #677
Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, & Jim Zub
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Last week's cliffhanger teased us with Avengers Mansion exploding. Not the most novel pitch Marvel's ever made for "this just got serious." This issue wastes little time in assuring us that our heroes made it out OK - but poor Pietro didn't even get a chance to recreate his evacuation scene from the Apocalypse movie.

Forgive me for feeling cinematic. Mark Brooks's cover showcasing Tom "Quicksilver" Cruise may have distracted me.

Instead, the Avengers are saved by still-mysterious and still-irritating canon immigrant Voyager. As more villain attacks kick off, everybody splits up to meet them. Action is just what Pietro wants, but he gets benched by Rogue, who still considers him untrustworthy. (You're facing global crises, you've got a super limited roster to work with, and you sideline your speedster entirely?)

A seething Pietro zips off to back up Rogue's team anyway, and he darn near saves the day. But his sis is trying to magic up a solution to the "frozen Avengers" problem and she accidentally throws a stumbling block right under her brother's feet. 

Perhaps the biggest revelation this issue has to offer is a peek at the forces that have stolen the Earth. If you had money riding on "this is all some Contest of Champions / Secret War nonsense," collect your winnings! And use them to buy booze, because we've got plenty of mysteries left to struggle through.

Something tells me the "cosmic playthings" angle is Al Ewing's baby. And the "oh, we all remember the beloved Voyager" bit is screamingly Mark Waid. (He did the same thing last year with his Avenger X story, so Voyager feels stale even before you get to the inevitable Sentry comparison.)

So that leaves Jim Zub to handle the workmanlike chores of characterization and dialogue. Feels like a poor fit. Here in his spotlight issue, Pietro comes across as impatient and immensely proud, just like you'd expect. Too much like you'd expect. This glimpse into Pietro's head offers minimal insight, which lines it up - in a negative way - with previous POV offerings from Lightning and Sam Wilson.

There's some genuine humour in Pietro's fury when Rogue turns him into The Weird Kid Getting Picked Last For Dodgeball. And the big reveal of one of the power players pulling the strings on this plot is pretty satisfying. These are feeble payoffs for a story that's already cost readers $13, though.

In the last act, Pietro's inner thoughts get laid over the spectacle of Rogue's team fighting the Lethal Legion. A lot of panels do double storytelling duty. It's not the most successful strategy; it steals needed attention from Pepe Larraz's fight visuals. 

Rogue's team - which includes Thor and Hercules - gets soundly pasted in Rome, but you're likely to forget all about it by the time you've closed the comic. At least the characters and finishes are highly polished, and the most artistically-satisfying part of the book is Pietro himself. His powers look impressive here. 

A small but satisfying revelation and a hint of hilarity are enough (just barely) to keep the "No Surrender" train chugging along. Pepe Larraz's top-tier art cries out for a more memorable story to tell, but so far the script refuses to rise to greatness. This is a decent arc so far - but is "decent" enough for a story demanding so much of its readers' time and money?

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
I'm not completely crazy on that cover, right? That is Tom Cruise in a Quicksilver costume, right?