Avengers: No Road Home #10 Review

by Charles Martin on April 17, 2019

Avengers: No Road Home #10 Review
Writers: Mark Waid, Jim Zub & Al Ewing
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Colourists: Marcio Menyz with Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

10 weeks, 10 issues, and it all comes down to this: Vision, alone, squaring up with "a primal being, greater than gods."

They're locked in a house. Do you bet against the primal being? Of course you do, and this comic gives you the best reason in the world: Because Vision figures out the nature of the house.

It's the House of Ideas.

In a metaphorical structure whose windows look out on 80 years of heroic storytelling, Vision has a literally endless supply of allies to call on, and that's exactly what he does. 

The entire Marvel universe teams up to defeat Nyx, and if it's a bit of a feel-good "gimme" victory, the exquisite craftsmanship invested in the words and art make sure that it feels really good.

This was surely a dream assignment and a nightmare challenge for Sean Izaakse, and his response is surely a sight for the ages. It is simply not possible that characters created by dozens of hands across eight decades could come together in a cohesive, consistently appealing way, yet Mr. Izaakse makes it happen. He draws all of Marvel battling against the dying of the light (rather literally) and fully pays off the promise of the setup.

There's considerable artistic excellence to be found even outside the Kirby-tastic action scenes, though. Vision and Nyx's conflict starts off as a battle of wills and wits, and Mr. Izaakse keeps that interesting with remarkably expressive faces. Insightful emotional work pays off at the end, too, helping to make the aftermath of the conflict meaningful.

Colourists Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega are also working overtime on this spectacle. They bring every trick in the book to the big battle to keep a vast roster with a ridiculous number of superpowers clear and distinguishable. And they have attention to spare to paint the medium just a bit, putting screentone into the backgrounds to remind us that this is, first and foremost, a comic book.

The formidable colour work continues past the victory. Each of the aftermath scenes gets its own palette, and the adroit changes between them help emphasize the truly intergalactic range of places the Avengers land.

But back to that big showdown: I have to emphasize that it's a blockbuster in words as well as art. The premise is a deus ex machina. It's skillfully defended against any accusation of cheapness by the Vision's uplifting, moving dialogue. His role in the victory is invested with meaning by the sheer power of his words.

When the battle is won, the last third of the issue is devoted to dispersing its heroes back into the world and showing how they've changed. Here the comic succumbs to the inevitable slowdown that comes after a big win. 

Some of the epilogues are terrific, but others bounce softly off the reader without engaging her interest. After climbing to a pinnacle of all-time greatness at the climax, the story descends back into the prosaic rambling that has characterized its slower moments throughout.

Closing No Road Home with a reminder that its main story is built out of many separate stories is appropriate, though. The last act is a whispered line of emphasis drawn beneath the love for Marvel shouted out by the climax.

In the finale of No Road Home, the heroes' triumphant victory takes shape as an ode to the limitless possibilities of storytelling in the Mighty Marvel Manner. This issue, like the series as a whole, features exquisite visuals and occasionally questionable plotting. Not every development will hit big, but the ones that do - and this issue's climactic fight certainly does! - can be unforgettable home runs.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Ya know who'll really love this comic? Roy Thomas. Vision? Conan? Golden Age callbacks? It's a Roy Thomas joint through and through, this comic.