The Avengers and The Champions must work together to save TWO Earths from the menace of The High Evolutionary. But things are more complicated than they seem on the face of it… Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers #674 awaits!
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Jesus Saiz
Colorist: Jesus Saiz
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Avengers: “Not long ago, The Avengers invited three younger heroes to join their ranks: Ms. Marvel, Nova and Miles Morales. But, in the wake of the second super hero civil war, the teenage Avengers became disillusioned with the team. They broke off to form The Champions, a group of young heroes determined to find a better way to change the world. But the High Evolutionary set a plan in motion to crash Earth and Counter-Earth together and create a new world from the ashes, drawing the two teams together once more to stop him. After “evolving” Viv Vision into human form, he tried to escape through a malfunctioning transport pad and seems to have perished, but the planets are still drawing closer to one another. The only way to stop it is to reach a machine at the core of Counter-Earth, but it’s protected by a threat so deadly even the High Evolutionary wouldn’t cross it!”
FIFTY-EIGHT MINUTES TIL DOOMSDAY
Having overcome the High Evolutionary’s defenses, the combined force of Avengering Championators make their way to the core of the planet, using Thor’s hammer, Cyclops force-beams and general mighty to dig to the center of Counter-Earth. There’s a lot of really strong character work in these pages (my fave-rave is a brief conversation between The Wasp and The Falcon about the technology necessary to keep them all from cooking at the core of the world), and The Vision finally tells Viv the truth about why he’s been so odd lately: He constructed her in such a way that she will have a normal, human lifespan and he will have to bury her they way he did her late mother and brother. Of course, that’s just a little foreshadowing, as the terrible force they find at the center of Counter-Earth is even more frightening than H.E. himself, and calls itself…
THE HIGHER EVOLUTIONARY?
The second half of the issue consists of the teams battling furiously against H.E.’s ani-man defenders while Viv has to convince the Higher Evolutionary that they’re heroes and not as cruel as his father. She barely convinces him/it that she’s not a threat when her own protective daddy comes busting through, undermining all her work. With only moments to spare, one hero gives their life to save both Earths, but… perhaps not? The ending is really intriguing to me, and coming hot on the heels of the rest of this crossover, I’m wondering where things are going to end up in next week’s issue of Champions. As for the art, this issue is beautiful to look at, especially the sight of H.E.’s defenders in action, but Diaz makes the tense back-and-forth conversation between Higher Evolutionary and Viv just as engaging as the big ol’ fighty-fighty, and the sight of the teams assembled around the headstone of their lost member is incredibly touching…
THE BOTTOM LINE: TENSE AND ENGAGING WITH A TRAGIC ENDING
I haven’t been reading Waid’s team books regularly enough to have as much negativity as some on the internet seem to have, but I have to say I found this issue to be a very strong one, especially in terms of Viv’s character and the excellent art. Avengers #674 made me happy just by having a number higher than 25 on the cover, but the quality of material inside makes it totally worth the price of admission, leaving us with 4 out of 5 stars overall, and the hope that this issue’s death is nothing more than a red herring.