AVENGERS #683 focuses on the subplot of Beast, Wasp, and Jarvis. Jarvis is resuscitated only to reveal an apparent truth about Voyager. While the pacing is a bit off, the characterization and artwork of AVENGERS #683 are spectacular.
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After weeks of action amongst the Avengers, the Black Order, and the Lethal Legion, AVENGERS #683 hits the breaks and focuses on Jarvis’ hospital stay. This subplot has appeared in nearly every issue but hasn’t been given proper attention. Now, we receive an entire issue about it. What is the alien pathogen inside Jarvis? What do his memories hold? And where does Voyager fit into all of this? AVENGERS #683 reveals all!

A Noble Wasp and a Tiny Beast

“No Surrender” has had many plusses and minuses for the past two months. Its main draw has been the artwork, but the characterization has been a huge plus, too. In AVENGERS #683, Al Ewing, Mark Waid, and Jim Zub focus on Beast and Wasp (Nadia Pym). While Beast has had over half a century to prove his heroic merit, Wasp is relatively new to the game. However, she’s completely selfless in this comic, choosing to sacrifice herself in order to save Jarvis and the other patients in the hospital.

She does this by shrinking Beast with Pym Particles and lodging him into Jarvis. She then attempts to grab the Pyramoid that is causing chaos in the hospital. However, she’s unable to do so. Why? We’re not sure, but it seems as though Voyager has the answers when she unexpectedly appears in the final pages.

Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

Before all this, however, we follow Beast in his Gulliver-like travels inside Jarvis. He’s a tiny blue man with a gun, what’s not to like? While Beast is spitting off scientific knowledge as he heads to the Pathogen in Jarvis’ brain, Nadia is saving lives in the outside world. When Beast finally reaches the brain, we’re shown comic-like images of the Avengers and their past, from Captain America to Ms. Marvel. But guess who isn’t in these images? Voyager.

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This is the climatic ending. Nadia winds up saving Beast at a critical moment. They destroy the pathogen and grow to a larger size. Jarvis rattles off a few unclear words until eventually declaring Valerie Vector is a fraud: she has never been an Avenger. So what is she?

Is Anything as it Seems?

The fact that Voyager is a fraud is no surprise to anyone. In fact, it would have been a bigger surprise if Marvel chose to retcon Avengers history and claim she’s been in the Marvel Universe from the beginning. I can’t help but believe that maybe, just maybe, she’s more than a generic villain that only Jarvis can pinpoint. We’ll have to wait, but I’m digging the suspense. The way Voyager moves in and out of battle has raised my eyebrow, so seeing this solidified in AVENGERS #683 makes perfect sense.

But why can’t Nadia touch the Pyramoid? Is she not part of the event? The rules to the Grandmaster’s game aren’t entirely clear yet, so anything could be the reason behind this glitch.

The Minor Hiccup in “No Surrender”

My only major gripe with this issue has been one I’ve had throughout the series: the pacing of the story. In AVENGERS #683, Beast and Nadia understand the Pyramoids perfectly well, even though our other heroes have only recently learned about them. Also, the cure for Jarvis is created quite fast, even for two scientists. Obviously, this is a comic book crossover, so pacing isn’t a major priority. But because of this quickness, it seems as though anything can happen in the blink of an eye. There’s no limit to what our heroes can do which ruins the suspense a tad.

The Artwork of AVENGERS #683

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Paco Medina does pencils in this issue, and there’s no awkward transitioning from previous artists. In fact, he really only improves in areas he adds his own spin, notably his portrayal of Beast. I love the way Hank is drawn here. He has the monstrous look that was given to him in ALL-NEW X-MEN, but it’s clear Medina also has influence from the X-MEN TV show. From the way Beast shows off his dexterity to his off-handed scientific knowledge (I love how he notes he is the size of an oxygen molecule), the animated series Hank shines through in Medina’s art.

Then there are the colors of Jesus Aburtov. The purples he applies for the spirits pop with smoothness, and his choice of blue for Beast’s fur really sticks out, particularly when Beast is inside Jarvis’ bloodstream. There is also the old school coloring used when inside Jarvis’ memories that adds effects of comic nostalgia.

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The Immortal Hulk Strikes Next Issue

The biggest disappointment of AVENGERS #683 was the lack of Hulk! I was hoping for at least a glimpse of the monster in this issue. He’s on the cover of AVENGERS #684, and he’s in Marvel’s preview video as well. However, I really liked the decision to let Beast and Wasp do their thing in this subplot, and it increases the anticipation of Hulk’s return. But what will that return entail? Only time will tell!

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