Writer: Mark Waid & Jim Zub & Al Ewing
Artist: Sean Izaakse & David Curiel
Letterer: Cory Petit
Release date: Feb 28, 2018
Avengers: No Surrender has been bringing us fast-paced action from minute one. This issue reminds us that sometimes admits the chaos you have to take a minute to stop and think. In this issue, we get this journey into Red Wolf’s head, who has shown up with Hawkeye at the end of the previous installment. The pacing of this issue still feels pedal to the metal all out, but while focusing on Red Wolf it seems to slow everything down. While he’s watching the fight rage on he’s observing trying to find some sort of clue to the problem. What we get is a very vivid fight in the background of very important character development. He ultimately deducts that the pyramoids don’t kill the people who touch them.
He does so by observing the Lethal Legion they wouldn’t fight so fearlessly if it meant their death in the end. He takes it upon himself to grab the pyramoid with Hawkeye’s help. This issue also progresses on the medical situation of Jarvis. Beast finally has a breakthrough in finding out Jarvis’s problem and developing a cure for it, but this is quickly interrupted by the last pyramoid appearing at the same hospital Jarvis is at by the will of the Grandmaster. Jarvis awakes from his coma at the same time unable to say anything else but: “It’s all a lie” before he starts flat-lining. At the end of this issue, we finally get a look at Hulk which had been teased to be The Challenger’s ace in the hole this entire time.
Sean Izaakse is one of these artists that doesn’t receive quite enough praise because the man can draw. Seeing his name on this issue felt good because his work always looks tremendous. He knows how to draw characters who have the right feel for an Avengers book.There’s a few shots of Red Wolf that made me smile because of how well-drawn they were. One particular panel that struck me was featuring Hawkeye it was simply perfect. A lot of credit to David Curiel too because his use of vivid colors on the characters highlighted them perfectly during the fights making them contrast with the brownish background. The art was really enjoyable to look at and you can really tell the artistic team gave this issue their best work.
I really liked the Red Wolf centric approach this issue took. He’s a very interesting character with a lot to offer who’s growing relationship with Hawkeye, during Occupy Avengers, kept me coming back month in and month out. We get to see this aspect of their relationship at play in this issue and it’s simply delightful. We truly got to see how smart of a character he truly is. While all the heroes were busy fighting he was observing and deducting. In the end, he took the ultimate chance to save everyone else. The writers really gave us some great character moments that will surely affect the story going forward. I really hope we see more of Red Wolf during Marvel’s “Fresh Start” because if this issue showed us anything is that he can be a very interesting character.
My biggest gripe with this storyline has been the same from the start. Nothing really seems to be happening. The stakes seem high, it’s action-packed and everything is moving fast, but plot-wise there isn’t much to write home about. In previous issues, we’ve had the questions of Voyager, Challenger and the Lethal Legion explained, but apart from raising questions and giving exposition, I feel like I’m still waiting for things to move along. This isn’t me throwing shade at the writers because they’re all extremely talented I just think the concept of a weekly epic isn’t well suited for comics. They have to tell a story in 16 weeks so they can’t have one million things happen each issue they have to take things slower, but I feel the format is hurting their what they’re trying to say. It’s a slow burn, for now, we will surely have more answers in the coming weeks once the last pyramoid is out of the way, I’m just very impatient to see where everything leads.
Despite my problem with the format, I still find this story very enjoyable. It keeps me coming back every week because I just have one million questions that need answers. If it continues giving us satisfying character moments for characters we care about, like it did in this issue, I will keep coming back. I’m really intrigued to see how they use Hulk and where they bring this story to. This could be the perfect swan song for the last 3 years of Avengers as they usher in this “Fresh Start” in a few month. Great art, good character moment and fun action is the best way to summarize this comic I will give it a 4/5 because of these reasons, ultimately I think this story will come out ten times better in trade format, but that’s just my opinion. Thank you all for reading this short review and I’ll catch you all next time!
Review by: Vincent Gauvin