February 8, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Avengers No Road Home

The Greek gods are massacres by one of their own and endless night may soon hit the entire universe unless a small group of Avengers can stop it.

Back in June, I finished Avengers: No Surrender, a mini-series meant to act as an endpoint to various Avengers books at the time from writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub.  It was fine, but nothing great.  If anything, it felt resoundingly average, somewhat disappointing considering the caliber of work Ewing and Waid at least are capable of.

But there was a sequel mini-series of sorts, Avengers: No Road Home.  Same writers, same length, many of the same characters.  Would I like this one better?

What seems like an ordinary day on Earth changes when the entire planet plunges into night.   As it turns out, the same thing happened throughout the universe.  Voyager, the daughter of the Grandmaster who became an Avengers in No Surrender, notices from afar and heads off to recruit a powerhouse team of Avengers to fight back.  Her squad would seem to be able to handle just about anything from the looks of things.  There’s Hercules, trying to live a sober life after realizing he was seen as little more than a drunken clown for ages.  The Scarlet Witch is there, trying to settle into a normal life with new love interest Dr. Voodoo.  The Vision is dying, but he sees that as the final step to being human so he’s glad about it.  Monica Rambeau, now going as “Spectrum,” is concerned since she is now apparently immortal what that exactly means.  And since there’s eternal night, the Immortal Hulk is there too.

Also along for the ride are Hawkeye, who insisted on coming, and Rocket Raccoon, who kinda was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As it is, Voyager will need Avengers of this level of power.  The villain of the piece is the Greek goddess of the night Nyx and her children.  They just slaughtered the other gods of Olympus, and if Zeus and his brood couldn’t stop them, can a group of mortal heroes?

For all that No Surrender felt very bland, I really dug the hell out of No Road Home.  The core group, that eventually includes the return of Conan the Barbarian to Marvel, bounces off each other well, and the group takes a lot of trips to weird places throughout the Marvel Universe, ranging from Nightmare’s realm to a library for the gods every universal pantheon.  The whole thing works as a tribute to the Marvel Universe itself, particularly given how Nyx is finally beaten in the end.

Oh, and this is clearly the Immortal Hulk  from early in that series, given his craftiness, more homicidal methods, and the way he keeps threatening Hawkeye due to how Clint assassinated Banner at the start of the second superhero Civil War, despite the fact Clint did it at Bruce’s request.  There’s something nice about seeing this Hulk act not quite as a team player but someone who may actually have a better idea about what’s going on than all the other heroes present, but not really being willing to share.

Really, I just enjoyed this one.  It’s fun, not overly consequential, and ends with a nice moment for Hercules…oh, and the promise of maybe another sequel that, as far as I know, hasn’t happened yet.

9 out of 10 interesting trips to Long Island.

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