AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #8 / Writers: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, and Al Ewing/ Artist: Carlo Barberi / Letter: VC’s Joe Sabino / Colorist: Jesus Aburtov / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Published: April 3, 2019
I absolutely loved Avengers: No Surrender by writers Al Ewing (The Immortal Hulk), Mark Waid (Doctor Strange) and Jim Zub (Champions). It was an epic adventure worthy of the Avengers. I was very excited when I heard that they were doing a follow-up with Avengers: No Road Home. I like the way that the events in Avengers: No Surrender have directly led to the events in Avengers: No Road Home. You can’t help but wonder if they can top themselves and I believe they have.
They have introduced a very formidable villain in Nyx the Queen of Night resulting in an adversary that is more than a match for the Avengers.
The Story So Far
The strength of the series is that the writers can draw on so many characters that have been Avengers or have interacted with the Avengers in the past. The way they brought in Conan the Barbarian was brilliantly played and rivals the revival of the Hulk in Avengers: No Surrender. Each issue gives different characters an opportunity to standout. This issue feels like it’s Hulk’s time.
In Avengers: No Surrender #8 we find the Avengers still broken into two teams: Team Hercules and Team Hulk. Team Hercules is in the Hyborean Age with Conan, the Scarlet Witch, Spectrum, a severely damaged Vision, and Voyager. They are left to confront Nyx the Queen of Night’s daughter Oizys, the Goddess of Misery. Considering this particulars team’s emotional baggage ranging from Voyager’s emotional guilt to Spectrum’s doubts regarding her humanity you can bet that Oizys has an ample playground.
Meanwhile Team Hulk is on the planet of Euphoria and includes Rocket Raccoon and Hawkeye. The tension between Hulk and Hawkeye is well-played. Hulk has disdain for Hawkeye and takes every opportunity to let him know it.
Team Hulk is left to deal with Nyx. Hulk has the second shard of Nyx’s soul. He claimed it from the Nightmare Realm after killing Nyx’s son Hypnos. There is a third shard somewhere on Euphoria. Whoever gets it first will gain ultimate power over the night. Considering that Hulk’s time is the night you can see why he wants it for himself. Let’s just say Hulk’s motivations are less than heroic. Nyx and Hulk battling to decide who gets the shard is one of the highlights of this issue.
This issue of Avengers: No Road Home keeps the story moving. The story doesn’t drag at all. The series is strong largely due to the unique makeup of the various teams and how the characters interact with each other. The characters get to display their humanity whether it’s Hercules or even Vision. I like how the writer’s take opportunities to explore the emotional vulnerabilities of the characters. The writers put this to effective use during Team Hercules battle with Oizys as she begins inflicting them with misery and despair.
The writer’s handle character consistency well. For example with Al Ewing as part of the creative team the Avengers: No Road Home Hulk is consistent with his persona in Al Ewing’s The Immortal Hulk.
I am impressed with the art team Carlo Barberi and Jesus Arbutov. Barberi draws a very menacing Hulk. His action scenes are well-done. He draws the character in such a way that they display real emotion.
There is another mystery is added just before the eerie cliffhanger. It makes you appreciate that this is a weekly rather than a monthly series. You don’t have to wait as long to get that next pulse-pounding issue. All in all this is just another outstanding issue in an outstanding series.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
Martin Reese is a writer and creator of innovative, dynamic sci-fi and fantasy projects for transmedia platforms. He is the author of the blog Martin’s Theory of Relativity where he discusses topics relevant to People of Color in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comics. He is also the author of the story book Mulogo and His Quintuple of Trouble.