AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 is comic book writing at its finest. The writing team delivers a smooth, exciting issue from start to finish. Paco Medina’s art is superb. I can’t wait to see how this series progresses.
98 %
A Rousing Success

Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jim Zub, the team behind AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER, team up again with AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1. This issue serves to reintroduce us to all our main characters as well as introduce the main threat of the series. Much like with NO SURRENDER, the three writers’ separate styles really meld well into one unifying script. I never once felt any sort of tonal shift, even though the book has three writers. The book picks up on some plot threads left open after the first weekly series, as well as some that popped up in other books (i.e. THE IMMORTAL HULK and WEST COAST AVENGERS). Paco Medina lends his stylized artwork to the book, and it fits quite well. This successful issue proves that lightning can strike twice since it’s just as enjoyable as the first series.

Voyager Returns in AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1

In AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER, the Grandmaster revealed that he had a daughter, Voyager. Initially, she was inserted into the Avengers’ ranks in order to give the Grandmaster an advantage over his opponent, the Challenger. Her time with the Avengers changed her, and she assisted them in ending their game and was last seen trying to rehabilitate her father. In AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1, a major threat leads Voyager back to earth. Before she arrives, we’re reintroduced to our main characters. Hercules responds to a disturbance at a hardware store, only to find Rocket Raccoon is the one causing the commotion. Meanwhile, Spectrum assists the Vision in figuring out why his internal systems are slowly losing power, but the Vision has accepted his impending demise.

In California, Scarlet Witch meets Hawkeye at a diner, and she reveals that she’s moved in with her new partner/beau, Doctor Voodoo. Finally, Bruce Banner walks by himself along a deserted desert road.

AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 page 7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

All of these moments are interrupted by a strange occurrence: the entire Earth becomes blanketed with darkness. As this happens, Voyager shows up to recruit each of these Avengers (and Rocket) to fight an ancient evil. What’s happening? Who caused this? Why did she choose these Avengers specifically? Read AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 to find out!

The Dream Team in AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1

AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER surprised many readers. Weekly comics written by multiple writers aren’t anything new. DC had multiple running at the same time during its NEW 52 days. Marvel also had the WOLVERINES series at that time too. However, not all of those books were too successful, critically or otherwise. AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER was a huge success though. It ran weekly for 16 weeks and had three top-tier writers: Mark Waid, Jim Zub and Al Ewing. Those three return for AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1. If this issue is any indication, they’ve managed to pull this off as well. This issue is a tight, well-paced issue. It’s an extra-sized issue, but it doesn’t feel its length. It bounces between multiple groups of character, but there’s never any tonal whiplash. That’s the work of true professionals.

I’m no stranger to praising Al Ewing (who’s writing possibly the best book of the decade, so far, with THE IMMORTAL HULK). However, he’s not the only A-list writer in the group. Jim Zub has written, and continues to write, some truly enjoyable books, such as CHAMPIONS and THUNDERBOLTS. And, of course, you have industry legend Mark Waid, who wrote the, arguably, greatest FLASH and DAREDEVIL runs in recent memory. Although they all are top-notch writers, that doesn’t mean that putting them together on a book will pay off. However, it did with this issue, and in spades. I was constantly excited at what was happening on each page, and was eager to find out what would happen next.

Medina’s Masterful Art

Paco Medina, who drew some of AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER, returns in AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1. His stylized, slightly cartoony-looking art really works well for this somewhat lighthearted issue. The issue’s end sheds much of the lighthearted nature, but his art still fits well. His art really shines at the beginning of the issue, though. The goofy, action-y meeting between Rocket and Hercules was tailor-made for Medina’s style. I especially love the panel where Rocket’s introduced. He’s in such a cool, dynamic pose, with flames swirling by his leg. I’m a huge fan of the goofy aspects of comic books. I love when superhero books lean into their stranger aspects. And there’s nothing stranger than a humanoid raccoon brandishing a large weapon in front of a display with nail guns and a buzz saw.

AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 page 8. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Medina doesn’t play up the ridiculousness, though, which I enjoy even more. The fact that he plays it straight makes it even more enjoyable than if it was cartoonish and winking at the audience.

Final Thoughts: AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1

AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 is a wonderful book. It proves that the original weekly series wasn’t a fluke. Zub, Ewing, and Waid are a true dream team.

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