In Avengers #680, the assembled bits from different teams come together to mourn one of their own. Or not, as Rogue is raring to unleash some of that rage. Is it good?
The Avengers are a man down, and they’re still not even really sure what they’re fighting for. You see a villain, you punch ‘im, right? Well, Rogue’s taking that ethos to heart. Take heed, Black Order!
Meanwhile, Wonder Man is reunited with Beast (which seems to happen a lot, let’s be honest). Simon was just stopping to say hi, but Hank babbles some uncharacteristically-poor-for-a Mark-Waid-book science at him, thinking he might be able to suck the bad “radiation” out of Jarvis. Turns out, this animal has been barking up the wrong tree.
Avengers #680 opens with a Rogue internal monologue on the “death” of Johnny Storm (didn’t we just do this?) and how she has to lead now no matter how it affects her. Whoever penned her words here, whether that be Al Ewing, Jim Zub or Mark Waid, has Rogue’s voice down well, but it’s hard to sympathize with her because we know what a revolving door Marvel death is, and we know he’s not EVEN dead this time!
Still, it’s nice to see a bad-ass Rogue take control and really rip into some bad guys again. Her arc in this issue might be a tad overlong, though, as the Wonder Man/Beast back-slapping doesn’t really feel earned, and we go another installment with very little Voyager involvement. Wasn’t she the big hook “No Surrender” led with? It’s probably better to focus on the “real” Avengers, honestly, but it feels like a major plot point is being dropped.
Artist Kim Jacinto continues his march to wide acclaim, with his sharp lines and a nice Red Hulk transformation. The one main action scene is beautifully rendered with a kinetic sense of motion, and a surprise Mjolnir assault from the side! David Curiel is back on colors, using different backgrounds to make each Rogue blow stand out, and maintaining a tonal consistency between issues.
Avengers #680 puts the focus back on the titular heroes, but the story still feels incredibly dragged out. In any other book, what’s done here might have been accomplished in five pages, leading one to believe that “No Surrender” is probably too thin of a concept to fill all these weekly issues. Rogue’s words don’t really ring true and the reveal at the end was spoiled by the company itself weeks ago, which of course is not a knock on the creators, but it is more evidence that this sprawling epic is more about marketing the moments than selling the story.