AVENGERS #680 BY JIM ZUB, AL EWING, MARK WAID, KIM JACINTO, AND DAVID CURIEL
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
AVENGERS #680 gives readers more hints as to how the Grandmaster's game shall be played. The artwork is stellar, and there are a few scenes that will make Marvel fans widen their eyes quite a bit.
90 %
Intriguing Issue
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Beware; possible spoilers for AVENGERS #680 below!

Another passing week reveals more secrets about the events affecting our beloved heroes. AVENGERS #680 confirms speculations regarding the blue crystallization of key characters: there can only be a certain amount of heroes “active” in the game at a given time. However, with Johnny Storm’s death, Janet van Dyne has been unfrozen. Why? That hasn’t been made clear yet. What is clear is that this is another strong issue of “Avengers: No Surrender.” The dialogue and characterization are stellar, and the artwork continues to shine.

A Fast Paced Story In AVENGERS #680

A reoccurring trend in “Avengers: No Surrender” has been how quickly the plot moves along. While this is mainly true for the battles, it’s also been applicable for calmer plot points. This is particularly relevant in this issue.

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Rogue struggles with the death of Johnny Storm. Her internal monologue is very true to the character, and it shows how difficult it can be to lead a team when you have such emotional turmoil leaking in your mind. However, Rogue is intelligent and strong-willed. She focuses on what she does best and suggests to her team that they take the offense when it’s learned that two more beacons have appeared: one in the Antarctic, the other in Los Alamos.

Rogue takes a team to the freezing Arctic and lays out all her anger into Corvius Glaive of the Black Order. She loved Johnny, and remembers how he noted she “made bad choices but wasn’t a bad person.” This memory makes Rogue chuckle as she takes off her glove and absorbs the power of Corvius Glaive, eventually killing him.

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I dig this brutality, especially from Rogue who’s a bit of an emotional mess in this issue. It shows Ewing, Waid, and Zub aren’t pulling punches and how serious this comic series is. After this, we’re given small hints of returning Avengers… the last page being the most curious.

What To Make Of The Plot Threads

AVENGERS #680 is a great issue. There are tons of good character interactions. I sadistically chuckled when Hercules gives a hesitant congratulations to Rogue when he notices her kill. I really dug how a potential character is hinted in the depths of Nevada, and I loved the jaw-dropping page at the end of the issue revealing a highly discussed Avenger. On top of this, Rogue’s anger and sadness really drove this issue.

AVENGERS #680
AVENGERS #680 page 13. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

However, as I said, this issue moves a bit too quickly at times. My previous criticisms have been with the quick battles, but in this issue, the plot jumps too quickly and easily. There’s a point where Wonder Man drops in on Beast, the (All-New) Wasp, and the struggling Jarvis. Within just a few panels, Beast quickly reevaluates Wonder Man’s powers and instructs him to seek the supposed radiation around Jarvis and transform it into ionic energy that he can absorb.

This winds up not working because it isn’t radiation that’s keeping Jarvis in such a state. Regardless, this scene felt entirely too rushed. One moment Wonder Man is simply dropping in, and two pages later he has new abilities. I understand this comic is on a schedule, but this moment simply added to one of the few issues I have with “Avengers: No Surrender.”

The Artwork of AVENGERS #680

AVENGERS #680
AVENGERS #680 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Kim Jacinto does an excellent job depicting Rogue’s emotions in this issue — the sadness in her eyes as she remembers Johnny, the anger as she battles the Black Order, and the stoical calmness as she decides her team needs to go on the offensive. It’s all great, and it’s all because of Jacinto’s wonderful style. Of course, this is all assisted by the hues of David Curiel, who has been with this series from the beginning. I love the depiction of the Arctic. Curiel focuses on the black night sky rather than the freezing ice, and this makes for a clearer battle.

What to Expect Next in “Avengers: No Surrender”

I’m very excited for what’s coming next. With a member of the Black Order taken out by Rogue, that adds a bit of drama to the story. Will they retaliate? Will the Challenger receive a replacement player? We still don’t know these rules. I’m curious if more unfreezing will take place, and how those outside of Earth’s orbit (like Alpha Flight) will come into play if they do. Thank heavens this is a weekly series!

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