REVIEW: Avengers #685

AVENGERS #685 / Writers: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, & Al Ewing / Penciler: Paco Medina / Inker: Juan Vlasco  / Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov / Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit / Cover Art: Mark Brooks / Publisher: Marvel / March 21, 2018

Hulk’s back and on the attack in Avengers: No Surrender #685. Voyager, our “Faux-venger”™ @AlannaWrites ‏, threw a big fat wrench in Grandmaster’s (her dad’s) plan to tip the scales of the game in his favor. Who will win and take the title of Grandmaster? It’s going to come down to Hulk vs Voyager and I don’t think we’ve seen all her powers yet. Audiences are in for an exciting ride.

Smash! Bang! Crash! Everything, and I mean everything this week is action. Hulk’s doing all his Hulky things in an attempt to get past the Avengers and destroy Voyager and capture the final pyramoid. Every fight in this issue indicates Hulk is a monster very much divided from his human alter ego. Is it permanent? I keep waiting for a glimpse of Bruce to emerge. Somehow, I’ve convinced myself, that if we can get a glimmer of something good, Hulk will find a way to turn on Challenger and the game and blow the entire thing out of the water. He’s the Immortal Hulk now. Let me see how far he can go! This issue has me excited to see what’s next.

Where Hulk is all action, Valerie’s time on the page is more insular, narrow. Revelations of family history hint at her current motives. She’s been a slippery character from the start. Powers? Can she only move people between two points in time? I’m betting there’s more to her and I’m begging to know what else she can do. How can she stack up against Hulk’s sheer brute force?

The art takes center stage this week. An issue so heavily reliant on action has to back it up with compelling art. Well, consider me compelled, because these pages pop. Medina, Vlasco, and Aburtov made reading this issue feel like I was getting thrown around with the Red Hulk. There’s so much movement in the placement and shape of the panels, nothing feels steady, as if we were getting knocked about just trying to keep up. Letting Hulk dominate full pages only added to the foundation that Hulk is stronger than everyone in that Avenger’s HQ, he knows it, as does most everyone else.

Beyond the topsy turvy panel structure, most of the fight scenes take on an aggressive angle or focus sharply on one element of the fight. This drew my attention and just as my head wrapped itself around what i was seeing it would swtich up, change perspective or angle, and my head went snapping back trying to keep up. That sounds painful but it wasn’t and it was fun to read.

All in all, Avengers: No Surrender #685 took me on a fun ride and wanting more. I’m walking into next week’s issue wondering two very important things:

  1. What’s Voyager got up her sleeve? There’s no way hiding in the vault is the end-all of her plan
  2. How does Hulk have such perfect teeth?

Verdict: 5 out of 5 Hulk smashes

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I'm a curious, creative, comic(al) woman. I am unapologetically Team Cap, but not HydraCap because there is a line in the moral sands of the universe and that whole thing is on the other side of it. I teach high school students all about the joys of mythology through comic books, graphic novels, and films. I wandered into the comic book world in 2015 and is a proud member of the #DoYouEvenComicBook gang.

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