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Avengers #685: Review

Mar 2018
Mark Waid, Paco Medina

Story Name:

No surrender: part 11

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #685 Review by (March 31, 2018)
Al Ewing and Jim Zub continue to share the writing credits with Mark Waid.

Toni Ho's broadcast call for help is basically the flashforward last page of #12 ending the US Avengers series.

Pod was a Planetary Defence, as Toni calls it here, created by 1 of Ex Nihilo's evolution bombs in Avengers (2012) #4. The armour was discovered to contain Aikku Jokinen, and Pod sacrificed it's sentience to save Aikku's life in New Avengers (2012) #15. Aikku became Enigma using the Pod undersuit which seems to have retained a bit of Pod-ness.

This issue seems to be aimed at finishing off the US Avengers as a team. Toni Ho already gave up being Iron Patriot. Squirrel Girl is 1 of the heroes in stasis so nothing bad can happen to her (and she can continue her own series). But now  Gen'l maverick has completely lost his Red Hulk-ness and Aikku's Enigma suit is wrecked. (So it seems Iron Hulk only existed for these last 2 issues.)

Mind you Toni Ho wears some sort of red, white and blue armour in the Search For Tony Stark in the Legacy Iron Man series. It is unclear at the moment whether that is before or after this story arc.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #685 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Grandmaster and the Challenger have stolen the Earth to use as a gameboard. Their alien teams have been competing for 5 Pyramoids. It's a draw so far with only the 5th Pyramoid to play for, but both teams  have nearly run out of players. However Challenger has released his secret extra piece the Hulk. But Grandmaster had an ace in the hole too - his daughter was disguised as a long-lost Avenger Voyager and hidden among the other Avengers. And she has telekinetically taken the last Pyramoid.

The only other pieces still active are Black Swan and Proxima Midnight of Challenger's Black Order, and they are speeding towards the Avengers Auxiliary HQ where Voyager has locked herself and the Pyramoid in a vault. Grandmaster mentally contacts her and asks why she hasn't brought the the winning point to him, but she's rebelling against him.

Hulk is already at the HQ and has already smashed his way through Cannonball, Enigma, Lightning and Quicksilver. Last issue we left him facing Iron Hulk - Red Hulk (Gen'l Maverick) in Iron Patriot's armour. Toni Ho, the previous occupant of that armour, is desperately trying to get the Avengers away teams to rally to the defence.

Hulk has thrown Iron Hulk into a room containing a fountain, and continues to beat him up in the pool. But suddenly Maverick repels him with repulsor rays and then gets his own licks in. But then as he blasts the green Hulk his foe breaks his gauntlet. And then grabs Rulk's head and drains all the gamma energy out of him. The General is left as a frail old man, no longer even red-skinned, and suffering from problems brought on by his use of the Hulk power.

The largest away team (Citizen V (Roberto Da Costa), Falcon (Sam Wilson), Doctor Voodoo, Scarlet Witch, Synapse, Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) and Wonder Man) hear Toni's plea in their quinjet. Wonder Man turns himself into ionic energy which will get him there faster. Scarlet Witch has a cunning plan - she uses hex magic to freeze willing Dr Voodoo into stasis, reasoning that the rules of the game will unfreeze Vision at the base.

She's right and Vision phases through Hulk making him drop Maverick. Quicksilver whooshes past taking Maverick and Enigma to safety in the med lab. As he collapses he says he sees the blue spots again (as last issue) but now he realises it is 1 very small blue object moving around very fast. Enigma awakes to see Toni checking the General's vital signs. Aikku Jokinen tells Toni that when Hulk ripped her helmet off last issue she thinks it killed what was left of Pod in the Enigma armour. Toni commiserates but says they'll need to make use of what's left.

Vision is switching between superdense and intangible to survive Hulk's attacks while getting in his own blows and solar eye blasts. Voyager is mentally watching the bout. In the next room Lightning wakes Cannonball before they get suffocated by the heat spilling out from the battle. They see Vizh reach an intangible hand into Hulk's head. They expect him to turn it solid and scramble Hulk's brain. But instead Hulk reaches out and tears away the top of the synthezoid's head. As Vision 'dies' Jericho Drumm unfreezes.

Cannonball and Lightning are wondering what they can do when Black Swan and Proxima Midnight enter through the door Hulk broke through last issue. Proxima easily swats Sam Guthrie aside while Miguel Santos' electric bolts can't get through Swan's forcefield. Until Aikku and Toni join in with handblasts from the Enigma suit and an eyeblast from the detached helmet carried by Toni. BS quickly falls and they turn their attention to PM.

But they know all this is useless unless they can stop Hulk who is battering at the vault door. But a purple glow zooms past them and the downed Vision and resolves itself into Wonder Man. Who tells Hulk it's time for a chat.

Paco Medina
Juan Vlasco
Jesus Aburtov
Mark Brooks (Cover Penciler)
Mark Brooks (Cover Inker)
Mark Brooks (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

(Sam Wilson)

(Bruce Banner)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Emily Guerrero)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Cannonball, Citizen V (Roberto Da Costa), Enigma (Aikku Jokinen), Iron Hulk (Robert Maverick), Iron Patriot (Toni Ho), Lightning (Miguel Santos).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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