AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 / Writer: Jim Zub, Al Ewing, and Mark Waid / Artist: Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Jesus Aburtov / Letterer: Cory Petit / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Feb 15, 2019
Last year’s Avengers: No Surrender delivered an outstanding story that cumulated three years of Avengers stories into an epic finale. Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and the countless talented artists that joined them on telling this story crafted an instant classic Avengers tale. The writers are back, joined by artists Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov, and letterer Cory Petit to deliver the already exciting sequel Avengers: No Road Home.
The story opens up with Hercules recounting his days fighting alongside the gods of Olympus to a police officer attempting to control a situation caused by none other than Rocket Raccoon. Meanwhile, Wanda and Clint are catching up over breakfast while Spectrum, Blue Marvel, and Tony Ho are attempting to figure out how to fix Vision. All these events are quickly interrupted by sudden darkness. Voyager appears before the Hulk and the various other heroes to warn them that they need to assemble because a great threat is on the way. She then transports our team of misfits to Mount Olympus where things turn dire.
This first issue of Avengers: No Road Home perfectly lived up to my expectations. I had mixed feelings when this book was announced because of how Avengers: No Surrender embodied an era of Marvel that solidified my love of comics. On one hand, I was happy seeing these heroes together again, but on the other, No Surrender was a great send-off and I didn’t want it to water down the magic of the original. The writers managed to put my fears at bay in just one issue. It holds the same energy No Surrender had without feeling like a carbon copy.
The plot starts calmly, catching us up to the lives of our characters, but all the while making sure through narration to set up an aura of discomfort. The pacing is quite steady despite the jumps between characters before they come together. Despite the grim atmosphere that hangs over our characters, there are snippets of humor sprinkled throughout the narrative that provide an interesting variety in tone. There is a great use of foreshadowing at the start with Hercules that builds up the emotional distress in the Mount Olympus moment. In the same fashion as No Surrender, I appreciate the united voice across three writers that allows the story to flow organically. The plot leaves on an intriguing cliffhanger that feels genuine because of how they built up the threat.
I appreciate a lot the cast of characters that were portrayed. Our returning stars are Hulk, Vision, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Hercules, Voyager, and the two new additions in Rocket Raccoon and Spectrum. I’m interested to see the dynamics at work between all of them. We’ve seen bits and pieces that promise hilarious interactions, but the chemistry of this admittedly weird team is captivating. One of my favorite moments is between Vision and Spectrum going through a debate about life and death. I’d like to see this exploited later on in the story, but I feel that it will be kept for another arc. When I saw Monica, Vision, Blue Marvel, and Toni Ho together I felt a tease of a possible new Ultimates run with these characters at center stage. Maybe I was just happy to see Blue Marvel and Toni Ho once again, but I would be down for that.
The art in Avengers: No Road Home is astounding. The pencils of Paco Medina, the inks of Juan Vlasco, and colors of Jesus Aburtov come together to create this modern comic book style which I love so much. The level of details in the pencils mixed with heavy inks made the characters stand out in every scene. The dynamic colors had my eyes glued to the page for every panel. Overall, I have nothing bad to say about the art in this book; the entire team gives a great performance.
I find the entire issue to be top-notch. I can’t wait for the second issue to see how things end up developing. The creators did a good job all around and crafted something that once again captures the classic Avengers feel that No Surrender had, too.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 Militarized Dogs