Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, & Jim Zub
Pencils: Paco Medina
Inks: Juan Vlasco
Colors: Jesus Aburtov & Federico Blee
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Avengers #687, part 13 of the No Surrender storyline, is a quiet issue that allows the readers to catch their breath before we enter into the final act of this massive undertaking. Over the course of the first twelve parts of No Surrender the Avengers have dealt with the Earth being moved from reality so the Grandmaster and his Challenger can use it as a game board in a contest to see who can claim to be the true Grandmaster. While the Challenger has been using Thanos’ Black Order as his surrogates the Grandmaster has chosen the Lethal Legion to represent him. The Grandmaster also rewrote reality and placed his daughter, Voyager, as a founding member of the Avengers so he could have an ace in the hole when needed while the Challenger goaded the Hulk into a rampage to further his interests. Most of the Avengers have been frozen in stasis and those still functioning have been crisscrossing the earth trying to stop the escalating battles between the Lethal Legion and the Black Order. It’s been a roller coaster ride so far and I can only imagine it’s going to build to a break neck finish.
Avengers #687 is a refreshing break for what has been a non-stop action event. The Avengers finally get some answers about Voyager and her infiltration of the team. Bruce Banner gets one hell of a pep talk from Jarvis. After the rampage the Hulk went on over the past two issues Bruce is despondent over his other half, about his failure to control the monster within him. Jarvis reminds Bruce that we all fall and our mistakes and failures are within us but what truly defines us is how we rise up after we have fallen. It’s a touching scene that will no doubt come back as we race toward the epic conclusion of No Surrender. The action of the issue comes from our players of the game as Challenger confronts the Grandmaster over his cheating by placing Voyager in the Avengers as a wild card. Their disagreement comes to a violent conclusion and sets the stage for the end of this story and possibly the end of the Earth.
No Surrender has been a fun Avengers story. It’s felt like sometime since we had a grand Avengers tale. Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub have plotted a fun read and I’ve really enjoyed that the story has steered away from the big three and the A list Avengers and instead used an eclectic mix of characters that has been a fun combination. The art has been stellar as well, with Pepe Larraz, Kim Jacinto, and the artist on this issue Paco Medina. Although three wonderful artists with distinctions amongst them they are still similar enough that the story flows from issue to issue even when the artist changes. I’ve always enjoyed Paco Medina’s art and he is in top form with his work on No Surrender. Avengers #687 was a much need breather before the story ramps up to its conclusion. The quiet issue was an enjoyable change of pace and although it was light on action it was more than satisfying as a continuation of No Surrender.