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Avengers: No road home #1: Review

Feb 2019
Mark Waid, Paco Medina

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers: No road home #1 Review by (February 23, 2019)
This is a 10-issue weekly series by the same creators as the Avengers: No Surrender story arc. But apart from the cast including Voyager and some of her team from that story I don't think it's a direct sequel.
Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jim Zub share the writing again, and the art team is copied from Av#683-687.

The cover includes a Legacy number #708. The current Avengers #14 has Legacy no #704, suggesting that this series is supposed to follow Av#17, and before the War Of The Realms Av#18.

Hercules was an Avenger in their 2017 series which led to him being 1 of the main chars in No Surrender. He wasn't picked for an Avengers team after that but *was* part of the assembled heroes in the Venomized mini-series and the Punisher: War Criminal arc.

This issue says Rocket's here by himself because the Guardians Of The Galaxy have disbanded, and this issue occurs before the new GOTG#1. Rocket isn't *in* that issue, and Groot says there "We don't talk about Rocket", suggesting he's fallen out with them. However there's no sign of discord (or any more than usual) in the most recent apps (the Infinity Wars series, Shuri #2-3 and Fantastic Four #5).

Rocket met Hulk way back in Hulk #271, his 2nd app if his tale in Marvel Preview #7 is counted as canonical. This was long before he joined the GOTG. However when he says it's been a long time since they've seen each other he's obviously forgotten Secret Wars #6.

Scarlet Witch & Dr Voodoo began their relationship in the Quicksilver: No Surrender limited series, which *was* a direct sequel to the NS arc of Avengers. They successfully went looking for her brother Pietro who was lost outside of time after the earlier story.

In order to save his life, Bruce Banner's Hulk powers were transferred to Amadeus Cho in the Totally Awesome Hulk series. But he feared becoming the Hulk again and arranged for Hawkeye to kill him if it started to happen, which did happen in Civil War II #3. After 2 abortive resurrections Banner/Hulk finally returned during No Surrender. Hulk realised he is immortal, hence the title of his latest series. Hawkeye was also involved with his Occupy Avengers partner Red Wolf in No Surrender, and since then he has started the new West Coast Avengers.

Vision and Hulk were on opposite sides of the game in No Surrender. Hulk broke the synthezoid's body but Toni Ho, who was also in the story arc, rebuilt it. However in Champions #22 he revealed that the damage was worse than believed and he is dying despite Toni's efforts. But Vision is accepting his fate calmly.

Spectrum & Blue Marvel are also in a relationship which developed in Captain America & Mighty Avengers. They are both effectively immortal. They went on to be part of the Ultimates. Neither of them were in No Surrender

Kadesh has been Blue Marvel's base in the Mariana Trench since his opening mini-series Adam: Legend Of The Blue Marvel.

The Amphisbaena is a genuine monster from Greek myth, born from the blood of Medusa, but there are no legendary battles with Gods.

Nyx is a primordial Goddess in Greek myth, the mother of many other beings outside of Zeus's family, who did fear her.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: No road home #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In a New York street Hercules tells how the 2-headed giant snake Amphisbaena was defeated in titanic battle in ancient times by himself and the Gods of Olympus (Artemis, Athena, Hermes, Poseidon and Zeus). And they followed it with an equally epic victory celebration. But the police he's talking to are too busy worrying about the Hardware, Tools & Toys shop they have surrounded. Their leader tells him there's an alien in there. They haven't seen him but they've heard his creepy laughter and he's fired lasers at them.

Herc decides to resolve the situation on his own. He leaps in and gets shot at. He charges forward and we see that the enemy is Rocket Raccoon armed with the usual big gun. Who's not happy when Hercules asks if he's a dog. The demi-god bats aside the gun with his axe just as Rocket fires it. And brings the building down around them. Herc steps out of the rubble holding the miscreant aloft. Rocket claims that he just went in to buy stuff and the staff freaked out and ran away. But when the head cop also refers to him as a dog he pulls out a Gravi-nade. But before he can use it it all goes dark.

In a Los Angeles diner Clint Barton (Hawkeye) is relaxing with Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch). He congratulates her on her new relationship with Jericho Drumm (Doctor Voodoo). She says they're looking for a condo to share in LA, to see whether they can make a go of living together. Clint suggest they could join the new West Coast Avengers that he and Kate Bishop (the other Hawkeye) have set up. Wanda says she's not interested in being in a team right now.

But she's also brought him a box of his stuff from Avengers Mansion. Inside he finds some old arrow heads and a dog-eared biography of Captain America's WWII days. Clint says he bought it in his earliest days as an Avenger when he was looking for info to use against his 'rival'. And he also unearths a vial of Pym Particles from when he temporarily switched from Hawkeye to Goliath to get more respect. And then it goes dark.

In Washington Spectrum is performing a test on Vision with help from Blue Marvel and Toni Ho in Kadesh Base in the Mariana Trench. The synthezoid is slowly 'dying'. They are using this perfect clear-skied day to check if the fault is in his intake of solar energy. But that turns out not to be true. All they still know is that it began after Hulk tore the top of his head off (Avengers #685 during the No Surrender arc). But Vision isn't concerned. He's accepted death because it makes him more human. Monica Rambeau wonders if her functionally immortal energy form makes her *less* human.

They try another tack. Spectrum changes to electricity and merges with Vizh to check his internal systems. Toni Ho says at least they know he can absorb all the solar energy he wants to keep fighting his decline. She jokes that it's OK as long as the Sun doesn't vanish. And then it goes dark.

In New Mexico Bruce Banner is walking along a road when it goes dark. His immediate reaction is that he hasn't actually escaped from Hell (where he and Hulk have been in Immortal Hulk #10-13). He turns into Hulk. And someone greets him.

There has been a voiceover commenting on the previous events. Talking about hiding from the darkness and just watching from afar. But the Avengers taught her that a team can face anything, so she's going to assemble some Avengers again. Now we find that it is Voyager from No Surrender, Va Nee Gast daughter of the Grandmaster.

She has come to recruit Hulk as the strongest there is. He asks if she, or any of the Elders Of The Universe, caused the darkness. No, but the being that did is the most frightening creature she's ever seen. "Almost" she adds, and Hulk is pleased with the implied compliment.

Her next targets will provide strategy and power. We return to Vision who detects none of the effects that would accompany the Sun disappearing or the Earth suddenly rotating to put the US in night. Toni Ho confirms that it's dark all over the world. Adam Brashear has contacted various alien races (including Skrulls, Shi'ar, Chitauri and a planet with 5 suns) and they are in darkness too. Then Voyager teleports in with Hulk to collect Spectrum and Vision.

Clint Barton is trying to keep the inhabitants of the diner from panicking (by referring to the darkness as a routine Sun outage which the Avengers will handle). Voyager and friends pop in to gather Scarlet Witch for her magic. She agrees and uses a spell to change to her super-costume. Hawkeye says he'll bring in the West Coast Avengers but Hulk dismisses him as a puny archer. Clint asks if it's really because he killed Bruce Banner (at Bruce's request in Civil War II#3). Hulk says Banner may be OK with it but *he* hasn't forgiven him. Hawkeye can come with them but he'd better be careful never to be alone with Hulk.

Voyager wonders if she was wise to include the unreliable behemoth. So she heads next to recruit someone who might be able to stop him if he turns on them, although she was hoping to leave him until she'd gathered some more allies. And they all reappear beside Hercules (and Rocket). (And Hawkeye now has his sort-of costume and his bow and arrows - more Wanda magic?) Va Nee tells Herc he's needed.

The police aren't happy to see Hulk, who recently destroyed a town in Iowa (it was Immortal Hulk #7, the town was empty and anyway it was the Avengers what done it). While Hercules persuades the police to let them all go save the universe, with a promise that Tony Stark will pay for the damage, Hulk and Rocket greet each other as old acquaintances. Rocket considers his Gravi-nade and tries to steal a bit of Vision to improve it, but Vizh turns intangible.

Voyager tells Hercules there's been an attack on Mount Olympus. She wants to recruit more Avengers but Herc demands she takes them there immediately. As she forms her portal Rocket tries to slip away but Hulk drags him along for the ride.

They find Olympus in ruins and flames. Hercules sees dead relatives everywhere. Va Nee has no reply when he rages that she must have seen this happening so why didn't she bring him earlier? But then Athena makes it known she is still alive - barely. When Hercules rushes to her side she tells him that they were killed by the Queen of the Night, whose name must not be spoken. And she dies as Herc bemoans the fact that he wasn't here to defend them.

Clint asks who this Queen of the Night is. Wanda names the Greek Goddess of Night as Nyx. And hearing her name Nyx materialises and plunges a hand through Scarlet Witch's head.


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> Avengers: No road home: Book info and issue index

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Paco Medina
Juan Vlasco
Jesus Aburtov
Yasmine Putri (Cover Penciler)
Yasmine Putri (Cover Inker)
Yasmine Putri (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Athena, Blue Marvel, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Iron Patriot (Toni Ho), Nyx.