AVENGERS #675 starts with a bang and ends in a mystery. While there is more action than characterization in this book, I found it compelling enough to have me wanting more. The artwork is spectacular and is the highlight of the issue.
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Chaotic Start
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After months of anticipation, AVENGERS #675 hits comic book shops! What does this weekly series have in store for us fans?

When “No Surrender” was announced, I felt a thrill of joy. “Finally,” I thought, “a weekly Marvel series chronicling a story in detailed manner.” There are three solid writers on the title (Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub) that assure fans the series has enough writing power to last however long it needs to on its busy schedule. There is also a new artist each month. When I heard about this large staff of writers, my mind jumped back to DC’s 52, the weekly series from 2006. Much of my excitement derives from that title, so it will be interesting to see how it matches up.

AVENGERS #675 Starts With A Bang

This series certainly hits the ground running. For over a week now, we’ve known the first six pages of this series, so we expected the chaos. However, with each turning page of the book, the chaos continues its reign. The Earth and its Moon literally disappear, leaving Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight aghast. On the planet itself, the likes of Black Panther, Vision, and Beast attempt to coordinate and deduce the layered atrocities affecting Earth.

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

We don’t learn of the cause in this issue. Instead, we find different teams taking on different issues. We see neat fantastical ideas at work: Human Torch attempting to burn out a tidal wave in San Diego; Hercules imitating the famous Atlas pose as he rescues pedestrians; Hawkeye using an E.M.P. arrow to defuse live wire; Toni Ho putting a forcefield around an erupting Mount Vesuvius.

Eventually, a large selection of caped characters is frozen. This includes heroes and villains. Yes, you read that correctly. A lovely blue coats them. This is a nice touch from David Curiel, the colorist. They appear stuck in whatever action they were performing when the freezing occurred. Why has this happened? We don’t know. The issue ends with Living Lightning’s narration and a call to arms (heroes assembling, if you will) dictated by a mysterious woman apparently named Voyager.

What Does It All Mean?

I’ll be honest: I had to do some research after the reveal of “Voyager.” Who was this? Why did characters like Quicksilver say “after all these years…”? She’s even a part of the statue of the founding members outside of the mansion. What does this mean?

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Well, I did some proper research (Google) and found Bleeding Cool’s post about it. I scoured the comments section (because I hate myself) and saw some theories. A few people were throwing around the idea of Sentry, and my mind raced back to Bendis’ NEW AVENGERS run. I personally enjoyed Sentry, but I don’t want to witness a recycled idea in a series that should be breathing new life into Marvel.

So I’m going to wait to make judgments. It’s possible the inclusion of this mystery woman is simply a part of the first arc. There’s no telling if she’s going to be another Sentry or not, and there’s no way to say for sure if the recent events have caused her “return.” I have a lot of trust in the writers — specifically Al Ewing — to deliver solid and original storytelling.

The Sky’s The Limit

There are so many directions this series can take, and that’s what frightens me. I was hoping for a slow start (like 52) where we are introduced to our players and are given multiple plot lines. That isn’t the case in AVENGERS #675. Instead, the writers and artists throw us into fire, forcing us to gasp for air between pages. If you’re not a seasoned Marvel reader, I can see this series being challenging. There’s a lot of action and a lot of characters from multiple teams being tossed around. This is definitely not an Avengers series to jump onto if you’ve been out of the loop for the past few years.

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That being said, the series can hit the breaks and explain some concepts. Who is this Voyager? Why have certain caped crusaders become frozen? Where has the Earth gone?

I’m still eager for this series, but Ewing, Waid, and Zub are going to have to really work on their pacing to make sure this series delivers. This is especially true if Marvel is somehow going to connect this to AVENGERS INFINITY WAR. Of course, this is only issue one of a weekly series, so there is still time to gain traction. I just hope it reaches its full potential instead of losing steam after such a loud start.

The Artwork of AVENGERS #675

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

Criticisms aside, the artwork in this issue is absolutely grand. I’ve come to really appreciate Pepe Larraz’s artwork at Marvel. His facial representations of distress on characters like Captain Marvel and Falcon are convincing, and his scaling and perspective make scenes of epic proportion easy to follow. The colors added by David Curiel really make Larraz’s images pop, too. I specifically enjoy the blues used in scenes with water and the freezing of characters. I can see the art being the highlight of the first month of AVENGERS “No Surrender”

 Final Thoughts

Overall, my opinion of AVENGERS #675 is cautious but hopeful. While I find the artwork compelling and even beautiful at times, I am worried about the plot. I can see this being a rushed series and that bugs me: there’s so much potential! It would be nice to see subplots dealing with Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight. I liked what I saw of characterization in this comic, so I think the writers need to pounce on that positive. I also hope this mystery woman winds up being more original than Sentry and also doesn’t take over the entire plot of “No Surrender.”

I’m excited for the next issue, so at least that’s a good thing to take away. A weekly series needs to be anticipated, so let’s hope that stays true in the weeks to come. We’ll find out what happens next in seven days!

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