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Avengers #688: Review

Apr 2018
Mark Waid, Kim Jacinto

Story Name:

No surrender: part 14

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #688 Review by (April 21, 2018)
Once again Al Ewing and Jim Zub share the scripting with Mark Waid. And Stefano Caselli helps Kim Jacinto with the pencils and inks.

The cover includes references to many early Avengers. Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer, Bruce Banner and Hulk's heads, Jan-Wasp and a couple of Iron Man masks represent the 1st iteration (minus Henry Pym who's currently Ultron). Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are there from the 2nd bunch (but why no Hawkeye?). And Vision was arguably the next major addition.

On the other hand its central image is Wanda and Pietro with Quicksilver wearing a crown of thorns(?) to represent his sacrifice.

No Iron Men actually appear within, even frozen. The masks could belong to the current Ironheart and Iron Dr Doom. On the other hand they could be Iron Tony Stark and War Machine (probably dead James Rhodes not Punisher).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #688 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Elders of the Universe Grandmaster and Challenger stole the Earth to use as a gameboard. Now the game is over but Challenger, in a fit of pique over not winning, vaporised his opponent and decided to destroy the world. Most of Earth's superbeings are in stasis with only some Avengers allowed to take part in the game. But now Quicksilver has detected a blue miniblob whizzing around the globe that he suspects is what's keeping the others frozen, and he's set off to catch it.

As he zooms round the world Pietro Maximoff sees signs of global disaster but his mission means he can't stop to help people. He passes frozen heroes like Sub-Mariner, She-Hulk and Black Panther and villains such as Wrecker and his Wrecking Crew. But he can't catch his prey, and eventually stops to rethink his plan.

Challenger arrives at the site of the destroyed Avengers Mansion in Manhattan to announce the imminent destruction of the Earth but his message is heard around the globe. He gives the people 5 minutes to recognise his 'victory' and pray to him in his new name Grandmaster Prime.

The Avengers themselves are in their Auxiliary HQ. Grandmaster's daughter Voyager is with them. She tells them that an Elder doesn't have the personal power to bust a planet, but her father had a machine on his satellite that keeps the Earth stable in its unaccustomed position. By stopping that Challenger could just let the Earth tear *itself* apart. Roberto Da Costa says they need to send a team up there with a mix of science and power, and he suggest involving Hulk/Bruce Banner. But Edwin Jarvis pops in to say that loud noise they just heard was Hulk smashing through the roof on a solo mission. (Other Avengers seen here are Toni Ho (ex-Iron Patriot), Falcon (Sam Wilson) and Wasp (Janet Van Dyne).)

Hulk's leap lands him next to Challenger who he proceeds to beat up. His anger is mainly fuelled by the fact that the Elder brought him back to life yet again, or as we now know it he woke him from long-desired sleep. But then his foe hits back and sends Hulk into orbit, coincidentally near Grandmaster's satellite containing his game room.

Voyager has just teleported there with Da Costa, Toni Ho, Hercules, Lightning and Thor (Jane Foster). They find it in a mess due to Challenger's fit of rage last issue. The world-engine doesn't sound healthy. Voyager says it itself is almost indestructible but its attendant machinery supplying data and power has been trashed. It's running out of control (causing earthquakes and such down below) but eventually it will run out of energy and the Earth will die.

Lightning and Thor will supply the missing power. But someone needs to hold the spinning engine steady. Hercules is ready to do that but Toni thinks they also need a Hulk and they've run out of them. (She's referring also to their Red Hulk who lost his power in #685.) But Roberto steps up. He removes the headband which regulates his Sunspot power and adds his strength to Hercules even though it might kill him.

Quicksilver returns to the HQ and locates Synapse and Scarlet Witch (his sister Wanda Maximoff). He wants Wanda to use her magic to boost his speed (even if that might kill *him*). Synapse suggests that his mind might try to stop him so they agree she will use *her* mental power to prevent that. Emily Guerrero and Pietro regret that their relationship hadn't had a chance to progress, and brother and sister exchange "I love you"s and then he's off.

With their help Quicksilver exceeds his personal speed barrier. We look in on Hercules and Sunspot straining to keep the world-engine stable as Lightning and Thor provide the power to keep it going. We see Wonder Man and Rogue getting hit by Challenger. And then finally Pietro grabs the speeding bullet. And Wanda collapses saying she's lost contact with him.

Voyager returns from space to the Auxiliary HQ Just as Captain America, Daredevil, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Squirrel Girl unfreeze. She mentally contacts other Avengers including Beast, Cannonball, Doctor Voodoo and the unfrozen Black Panther. And then she brings them together with Falcon, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Synapse, Wasp and Wonder Man plus Hawkeye and the other Wasp (Nadia Pym).

Kim Jacinto
Kim Jacinto
David Curiel
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)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

(Sam Wilson)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Emily Guerrero)

(Jane Foster)

(Nadia Pym)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Cannonball, Iron Patriot (Toni Ho), Lightning (Miguel Santos), Squirrel Girl.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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