AVENGERS #676 continues "No Surrender". This issue gives us more information on Voyager, and the character introductions leave readers on edge. While it is confusing at times, the artwork from Larraz and Curiel continues to carry this series. It's still a must read.
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Background Needed

AVENGERS #676 continues “No Surrender,” a weekly Avengers series dictating the contemporary Marvel Universe as we know it. This is part two of the “No Surrender” storyline. AVENGERS #676 gives us more clues as to what is in store for our heroes, but it also provides us more questions: some inquisitive, others simply confusing.

Last issue left us on our toes with the appearance of Voyager, a character seemingly being retconned into Avengers history. We learn a bit about Voyager’s history through the memories of key characters, but the rest is still murky. What can we expect?

AVENGERS #676 Strategically Places Voyager

The story begins with Falcon narrating the current predicament The Avengers are in. The panels then cuts to Avengers Mansion, where Voyager explains to her colleagues how she was “removed from normal existence.” (More on the repercussions of this later.)

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Voyager quickly reveals that she isn’t here to lead, however. The scene cuts to the leaders of the three leading Avengers teams: Rogue, Falcon, and Living Lightning. It was at this moment that I paused and peered at the panel: all three of these characters are minorities, and all three have been represented as very strong individuals, not merely tokens. It’s a subtle little head nod from the writers that’s subtle in its impact.

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

But then AVENGERS #676 becomes less subtle and more in-your-face. The scene then shifts from Avengers Mansion to Egypt. Here, we find The Black Order, Thanos’ former group, taking on The Lethal Legion. The battle is chaotic and rather confusing. I recognized quite a few of the characters, but it was hard pinpointing what this battle was even about. But then an overarching voice in red, followed by another in blue, tell the two groups they must wait to continue their battle.

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

Both teams wind up listening, but The Black Order decide to try something else. They make their way to Avengers Mansion, where Quicksilver notices them floating in an unknown area. Falcon, at the very last minute, notices their location is in fact above Avengers Mansion. But does he notice in time?

Thoughts on AVENGERS #676

I’m mixed with how I feel towards AVENGERS #676. On the one hand, it’s simply one chapter in a grand story, so it makes sense that all the pieces of the puzzle aren’t clear yet. But, on the other hand, it’s rather confusing. This series, a series meant to be the centerfold of all things Avengers, requires quite a bit of background reading.

The fight between the Black Order and The Lethal Legion truly was a mess. I understand that the writers don’t have all the time to introduce these characters, but it could have been a tad clearer. My mind races to SECRET WARS where Jonathan Hickman introduced The Black Order quickly but efficiently when each character’s role came up.

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And then there’s the whole Voyager thing. It’s like we’re in 2005 again with Sentry. But the question remains: will these false memories stick? Is this Marvel retconning or is Voyager actually something else? A villain? Adam Warlock? Who’s to say?

Because then the voices above during the skirmish between The Black Order and The Lethal Legion must be considered. Who are these two? Is this a Grand Master sort of situation? He was just in THOR: RAGNAROK, and he’s even in one of Voyager’s flashbacks. Does Voyager’s false history have something to do with this? I’m thinking yes, but only time will tell, of course.

I did enjoy the characterization of this issue. The banter between Quicksilver, Living Lightning, and Rogue is enjoyable, and Falcon trying to keep his cool during the entire issue is very real and human. I love Falcon as the narrator, so seeing this humanizing side of his gives the book a real hearty feel.

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

The Artwork Continues to Carry This Series

For as confusing as the battle between groups is, Pepe Larraz’s drawings keep things cohesive. His facial expressions are clear and represent the emotions of characters well, and his overall proportions give a strong dynamic to his scenes. This is all assisted by David Curiel’s colors, which provide the scenes with a very crisp and vivid feel.

I love the colors that make up Rogue, and I particularly enjoy the red skies outside of Avengers Mansion. The flashback scenes add a nice touch to this book. Both Larraz and Curiel change their style to give these scenes a solid vintage feel. They genuinely look like authentic AVENGERS comics from the 60s and 70s. It all also goes well with the cover of this issue.

Avengers #676

While I found this issue a tad frustrating in regards to character introductions, I continue to think this series is headed in an intriguing direction. I’m less skeptical of Voyager and now more interested in what Marvel plans to do with her. The two voices in blue and red give me hope that she’s temporary (or, at least, the retcon is temporary) and that’s a good thing because it shows Marvel isn’t copying its own ideas entirely. But this memory altering: is it similar to DC’s Rebirth? All of these questions have me curious and that’s always a good thing after reading a comic book.

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