Review: AVENGERS #675

Written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub
Art by Pepe Larraz, David Curiel, Cory Petit
Edited by Alanna Smith, Tom Brevoort
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 10, 2018

“Well. I got nothin’.”

That sliver of dialog launches the “No Surrender” story set to blend the various and sundry Avengers titles together over the course of the next fifteen (or so) weeks. Living Lightning (streamlined to just “Lightning” here) serves as the point-of-view character for this issue, which opens in Texas and crosses the globe, even hopping out into space for a check-in with Captain Marvel along the way. Lightning might officially get more panel time and character development in the first few pages of Avengers #675 than he has since his somewhat regular appearances in West Coast Avengers.

As mentioned, Lightning is our guide through this issue. Other Avengers have roles to play, but Miguel Santos is telling this chapter to us. I’ll be sure to share the feature Avenger in my reviews of future issues, should the spotlight shift from Lightning.

The writing crew of Mark Waid (Avengers and Champions), Al Ewing (U.S. Avengers and Ultimates), and Jim Zub (Uncanny Avengers) collaborates nicely in this issue, clocking thirty pages that move quickly, checking in with twenty-eight characters and introducing a McGuffin to get the crisis kicked into gear.

There is no major villain, per se, at least not yet, but Avengers #675 does give readers one cliffhanger, a page for roster, a text page, and Voyager’s first (?) appearance. The Avengers trio of writers do a nice job representing each of the Avengers’ squads and each of the major Avengers (save Iron Man and Thor Odinson) have a dynamic panel or two for artist Pepe Larraz and colorist David Curiel to celebrate the Avengers’ roster.

Avengers #675 kicks off an exciting adventure anchored by some fan-favorite characters with open possibility for more characters to find their way into future chapters. The first active-duty Avenger we see is Falcon, as the action gets underway, transforming from McGuffin to mystery and, perhaps, back again.

Larraz and Curiel celebrate the vast (and evidently changing) canvas of the Avengers history nicely, including an unmistakable acknowledgement to the King of Marvel character creators as Avengers #675 has so many Kirby dots scattered throughout backgrounds and into the backmatter text pages.

Some of the art is a bit fast and loose, which is great to convey the energy of the adventure through Larraz’s drawings, but he sacrifices a bit of detail for pizzazz. One prime example is Red Wolf’s flashlight, which is more inline with the Excalibur character of Widget than an AA-battery-powered handheld lamp. Another instance occurs with what appears to be Beast almost flying as he departs to keep Wasp (Nadia) company. On a re-read, I found Beast again after he had left, but I won’t spoil the where, letting you readers have your own version of “Where’s Waldo?” except with Hank McCoy.

Per usual, Cory Petit is on target with his word balloons, placement, and treatment. In the collapsed buildings of Alamina, New Mexico, a trapped civilian’s word balloon trails into a panel, floating on a squiggly line, like a three-day-old helium latex balloon. Exclamations claim the panels they appear in, leaping from the speakers, and big scenes take the sound right out of the characters’ mouths, despite this issue having three writers.

Larraz and Curiel give readers plenty of those breath-stealing, big-screen moments, propelling Avengers #675 into a cinematic, pre-credits hurry. This is no more a standalone issue than the first issue of the historic Crisis on Infinite Earths. Avengers #675 isn’t as lush, nor does it quite feel like it is on the same scale. At least not yet. This is a great start, the weekly pace should battle any story or memory atrophy, and the character assortment has enough for every reader to find an anchor.

The Verdict: 8.5/10


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