Finally, some mysteries revealed!

In Avengers #681, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes figure out that no matter who wins the game being played out in front of them, the world loses. Can they stop the inevitable? Is it good?

The Skinny

The point of view switches yet again, as much of Avengers #681 is narrated by Glah-Ree, AKA Kree warrior Captain Glory. We get to learn more about him, and when Psynapse finally gets in his head, she learns more than she bargained for. For the sake of Pete, don’t let the Lethal Legion get that next Pyramoid!

Elsewhere, we also get to know Voyager a little better, too. Man, she sure does get tired a lot! Maybe because in true Silver Age fashion, a horrible science accident gave her the ability to stretch physics to its limits. But can she help turn the tide?

Or is up to the Amethyst Archer? Uh-oh, what happens when the “immortal” Jolly Green finds him still on the scene?

The Lowdown

Hey, stuff actually happens in this issue! A lot of stuff, and the writing team of Al Ewing, Jim Zub and Mark Waid juggle it all well. The window into another villain is better received in Avengers #681, as it’s not the only thing going on the whole issue. And you actually really feel for the guy — lose, and the Grandmaster sends his team back to certain death!

Voyager’s story fits in nicely, although the science is a little goofy, even for comics. We’re still not sure how she got here or why she’s important, but at least we’ve made some headway into the mystery. The final action scenes bring the issue to a climax, providing far and away the best pacing “No Surrender” has seen yet, and it’s always good to see a little desperate villain betrayal.

Kim Jacinto continues to rock the pencils, with help from Mike Perkins this time. The combination hurts the overall presentation a bit, as the Voyager scene looks kind of washed out and scratchy, even for a flashback. David Curiel’s colors keep the whole thing cohesive though, so while it’s not completely consistent with the preceding issues, it’s not the worst departure, either.

The Upshot

Avengers #681 is probably the best issue of the weekly “No Surrender” story so far. For once the tale doesn’t seem dragged out, and most of the multiple important characters get to shine, while the story is finally and suspensefully advanced. The art stumbles a little, but it’s been remarkably consistent for such a brutal publishing schedule. It feels like the “creative by committee” ensemble has finally gelled together. As the action kicks into high gear, let’s hope they can keep that momentum going.

Avengers #681
Is it good?
It's the best we've seen yet, with all the important characters getting a word in, and some new ones joining the fray. Is the train finally on the tracks?
Writing team deftly handles multiple sub-plots while moving the whole story forward
Art is as consistent as it possibly could be
Always good to see some villain-on-villain violence
You can tell Jacinto needed help in parts
Why's Hawkeye got the flower on his face again? Did I miss something?
8
Good

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