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Avengers: No Road Home #1 (Marvel Comics)
Last year’s Avengers: No Surrender was an entertaining, if a little over long, success for Marvel. Naturally, that means the publisher has set up a sequel with Avengers: No Road Home. But unlike Surrender, this event won’t be taking the place of the main Avengers title during it’s run. Instead, it’ll serve as it’s own series that’ll run alongside the current Avengers title (probably because it’s selling better than when No Surrender came out). However, as good as this opening issue is, I’m not quite sure that the combined forces of Mark Waid, Jim Zub, Al Ewing, and Paco Medina are enough to convince readers to buy another Avengers title.
Something monstrous is coming to the Marvel Universe, and it’s caused Voyager, the daughter of the Grandmaster, to reach out to some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes again. Assembling Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, the Hulk, Hercules, and Rocket Raccoon, Voyager brings the heroes to Olympus, which has been devastated in a new attack. As the gods lay dying, a distraught Hercules seeks revenge, but can his power, and the power of his friends, be enough to stop the oncoming threat?
I summed up this first issue pretty quickly, but make no mistake, this is a long comic. At forty pages, Mark Waid, Jim Zub, and Al Ewing certainly put in the time to set up this new adventure, but that comes at a detriment to the actual issue. Unlike No Surrender, this new adventure feels like it has to set the stages too much to get our characters together and ready to fight. While the three writers work really well together, and make sure to have some fun character interactions (especially between Hulk and Hawkeye and Rocket and, well, everybody), the book does feel a little like a slog at times, almost like the writers had to work too hard to get every player in the same place.
On the art side of things, Paco Medina still showcases his penchant for fantastic visuals and style. Medina is right at home with this type of book, which allows him to showcase his dramatic and slightly bombastic style, plus his penchant for quiet character moments too. Hopefully this is a sign of other, bigger things to come for Medina at the publisher.
While No Road Home doesn’t have quite the bombastic opening of No Surrender, it’s still got potential to be a worthy sequel to that event now that the set up is out of the way. With the type of talent involved in this, that should come as no surprise, but it’s nice when creators put some of the lesser-showcased Marvel heroes into the spotlight to show what they can do.