The heart and soul of the team is at death’s door. In Avengers #683, can Beast and the unstoppable Wasp cure Jarvis’ alien pathogen before it’s too late? Is it good?
Nadia, don’t be a hero. Well, I mean, that’s what Avengers do. But you’ve got your whole life ahead of you! Beast has already screwed up the timestream and made enough people hate him to fill a dozen lifetimes!
But maybe this is his time for redemption. Within Jarvis’ brain Beast discovers the truth about Voyager, and while the faithful butler might be saved, the game may be ultimately lost.
And that’s about all you’ll get out of Avengers #683. The previous two issues of the weekly “No Surrender” story were jam-packed with action and plot developments from all around the web of interconnected narratives, but this one stands pat with Jarvis + Beast + Wasp, with a little Voyager (who barely even speaks here) sprinkled on top. It was a nice vacation while it lasted, but now we’re back at Decompression City.
But if nothing else, this concentration on a once-again heroic Beast is at least gratifying. Not that his descent into oblivious megalomania in the X-titles hasn’t been entertaining, but this is the Beast Avengers readers remember seeing, and he sure is a lot easier to root for.
Easier than, say, Valerie Vector AKA Voyager, whose scheme (whatever its intentions) is undone in a pleasing way, thanks to Jarvis being a “living history” of the Avengers. The writing team of Jim Zub, Mark Waid and Al Ewing bring the reverence of the Avengers’ “legacy” to the forefront more than at any other time in “No Surrender,” so it’s got that proud nostalgia going for it.
Paco Medina handles the pencils of Avengers #683, and with colorist Juan Vlasco, is able to maintain continuity with the rest of “No Surrender.” In an age when people complain about “rotating” art teams, this is a success that can’t be overstated. A weekly series could have needed wildly mismatched visuals to stay on time, but so far everything, for once, is going as planned and hitting on all cylinders.
Avengers #683 is a little disappointing, in that it can’t maintain the momentum from the previous two issues of “No Surrender,” but it might be worth it to see a less despicable Beast and a glimpse inside the the head of Jarvis. The art team helps maintain a remarkable consistency, and depicts some pretty cool ghosts, to boot. It’s not the most satisfying issue of this massive story, but it’s at least worth a couple smiles and knowing head nods.