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Avengers #687: Review

Apr 2018
Mark Waid, Paco Medina

Story Name:

No surrender: part 13

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #687 Review by (April 15, 2018)
This issue's cover has Avengers bursting free from Voyager's brain, presumably symbolic of them overcoming her memory implants.

Al Ewing and Jim Zub are as usual co-writers with Mark Waid. Federico Blee helps Jesus Aburtov with the colouring.

Beast has got to the Avengers HQ with Jarvis somehow, but seems to have left Wasp (Nadia Pym) back at the hospital.

The other away team Citizen V, Doctor Voodoo, Falcon, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Synapse and Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) obviously got here in their quinjet after it was all over last issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #687 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Voyager has just told a bunch of Avengers (Beast, Citizen V (Roberto Da Costa), Doctor Voodoo, Falcon (Sam Wilson), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Hercules, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Thor (Jane Foster) and Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)) what's going on. They're trying to process that fact that she wasn't really a long-lost founding Avenger - those memories were just implants. (We see her fading from Wasp's memories - 2 images from Av#1 and 1 from Av#58.) I'm sure they'd already realised they were involved in a game, but it was news to them that the Grandmaster was behind it, and that she was actually his daughter.

Scarlet Witch traps her in a mystic force bubble and Dr Voodoo controls her mind (presumably to stop her teleporting). But Voyager tells them she wants to help and explains in more detail. Most of Earth's superbeings were placed in stasis leaving only a few Avengers to act as obstacles for the 2 competing teams of aliens. Vision was included in the stasis because she couldn't implant the false memories in his synthezoid brain (which is why the Witch wasn't alloowed to successfully revive him in #677-678).

Elsewhere in the Avengers Auxiliary HQ Bruce Banner is feeling sorry for himself when the Edwin Jarvis (recently recovered from his coma) brings him a flask of tea. He is deeply sorry for what he as Hulk did to some of the Avengers in the last few issues. And even more sorry for the guilt he as Bruce loaded on Hawkeye by getting Clint Barton to kill him during Civil War II to stop him becoming Hulk again. And that's made worse by the fact that they now know that Hulk (and by extension Banner) *can't* die. So now Bruce is in 'Hell' dreading Hulk's next eruption.

Jarvis quotes Milton about a man's mind creating its own Heaven or Hell. He says Bruce contains the potential for evil but then so do all men. The mark of the hero is to transcend their mistakes and failures by striving to do better.

In the medical bay ex-Iron Patriot Toni Ho doesn't have the equipment to repair Vision (Hulk ripped the top of his head off in #685). In the background Aikku Jokinen and Cannonball look after Gen'l Maverick. In the same issue Hulk drained the Red Hulk gamma radiation out of Maverick, and in #684 he ripped the semi-sentient Enigma armour from Aikku, killing it. Cannonball got beat up some too.

Lightning blames himself for Vision's state because his power wasn't enough to stop Hulk earlier. Wonder Man tells him it isn't raw power that makes an Avenger (or they wouldn't have let Hawkeye in). And he can't resist inserting his pacifist message that fighting solves nothing.

Quicksilver, who's also suffered damage in this story arc, tells them all to shut up while he concentrates. Pietro Maximoff can see a little blue blob zooming around faster than any of the others can detect (and also indetectable by machine sensors). Everyone thinks he's still suffering from concussion including Synapse. Pietro nearly had a thing going with Emily Guerrero back in Uncanny Avengers but his misjudgement caused her to get severely injured and he hasn't forgiven himself, even though she has.

But he rises past that and manages to keep track of the blob. He realises that it is the blob continually passing through them all that keeps the other Avengers in stasis. (We see 1 such Squirrel Girl who they have in the room with them.) He tries to catch it but it slips through his fingers. He advises Toni Ho to recalibrate the sensors because the blob doesn't emit visible light and is almost frictionless. And then he whooshes off to chase it.

Voyager continues her explanation. She tells the Avengers that her father Grandmaster is 1 of the effectively-immortal Elders of the Universe (but I'm certain most of them already know that) - each the last survivor of 1 of the earliest races in the universe. (But what does that make Voyager herself, and Collector had a wife and daughter too?) Each of them has concentrated on a personal obsession to pass the time. (We see Champion, Collector, Contemplator, Gardener, Grandmaster, Possessor and Runner - I myself am an Elder obsessed with Marvel Comics chronology.) She reminds them that En Dwi Gast has involved Earth heroes in his games many time (we see examples from Av#70 and Giant-Size Defenders #3).

Gast can't resist a challenge, and Challenger is another Elder who wants to take over his role. The loser of this game will die (previous issues have said he will be removed from reality). Earth has been taken to a distant part of the universe to act as the gameboard. Challenger resurrected the Black Order as his pieces while Grandmaster assembled his Lethal Legion. Challenger had Hulk as a secret pawn in reserve. Grandmaster hid his daughter among the Avengers not in stasis.

Voyager says she's lost contact with her father. We change our view to their cosmic game room where Challenger blasted his opponent at the end of last issue. All we see of Grandmaster now is a pile of dust blowing away. Angry Challenger decides to destroy the board Earth. On the Avengers' viewscreens we see superstorms, tidal waves and earthquakes. Wasp reminds Voyager that last issue she said she'd learned what it meant to be an Avenger and wanted to help. Well now they need her.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

(Sam Wilson)

(Clint Barton)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Robert Maverick)

(Anna Marie LeBeau)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Emily Guerrero)

(Jane Foster)

(Janet Van Dyne)

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

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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