What happens when the fastest man alive goes a little TOO fast? Find out in Quicksilver: No Surrender #1! Is it good?
If you read the recently concluded, weekly epic, Avengers: No Surrender, you know the premise of this book. In an effort to nab the cosmic doodad that had frozen most of Earth’s heroes, Quicksilver pushed the limits of his speed like never before, even getting an unlikely assist from his magical sister, Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch.
Pietro Maximoff accomplished his goal, but promptly blinked out of existence — so we thought. The truth might be much more frightening, as he’s instead unstuck in time, moving fast through a world that’s completely frozen around him. It’s lonely, but a ribald speedster can still have fun in such a situation!
Until a ghostly doppelganger tries to kill someone, then it’s time for some of that hero stuff! How many times can you save the day in a single moment?
If there’s one word to describe Quicksilver: No Surrender #1, it’s stylish — and I don’t mean that in a bad way. A special tone is set-up immediately on the introduction page, with several images of Pietro flanked by slivers of different colors, evoking motion. It’s all very 70s and trippy, which makes for a nice point of view for a character who must see the world very differently from everyone else.
It’s a perception writer Saladin Ahmed painstakingly reveals, both literally and through metaphor, in the first few pages of Quicksilver. In so doing, the personality traits we’ve come to associate with Pietro are further emphasized in a subtle way, and juxtaposed later in the issue when we see that even someone so aloof can still get lonely.
Novelists sometimes have trouble adapting to comics, but Ahmed uses those descriptive tendencies for the best. Yes, it’s flowery and expositive, but it’s broken up into text boxes and discrete enough that it enhances the narrative, rather than detracting from it. Well, at first. As the story progresses, Quicksilver’s inner monologue becomes a little heavy-handed, telling us things that should have been evident in the art, mostly in facial expressions.
That’s where penciller Eric Nguyen has the most trouble, as it’s hard to read Pietro’s thoughts from his appearance. Everything else is magical, though. The panel layouts exude speed, and the decision to leave the backgrounds black and white, with little detail, is inspired and powerful. Good thing Nguyen does the inks, too! Rico Renzi’s colors complete the package, adding Tron sensibilities to the mix. The final page is a thing to behold!
Quicksilver: No Surrender #1 is a beautiful book, proof that high art can even come from what some might see as a cynical event story. The art team does a magnificent job with everything but Pietro’s facial expressions, leaving Ahmed to fill in the blanks with more words than should probably be needed. Nevertheless, the plot is well-defined and Quicksilver’s character traits are evident, so overall, this is an impressvie melding of artistry and superhero storytelling.