What secrets lie in the memories of Edwin Jarvis, the living repository of Avengers history?  Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers #683 awaits!

Avengers #683AVENGERS #683

Writer: Jim Zub, Mark Waid & Al Ewing
Penciler: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Avengers: “Jarvis’ life hangs by a thread.  Only by voyaging into Jarvis’ mind can the Beast save him – but what terrible secret is lurking inside the memory of the Avengers’ loyal butler?”

MEANWHILE, AT AVENGERS HOSPITAL

The fifth strange pyramoid (the objects that the Lethal Legion and the Black Order are fighting over in the name of the Challenger and the Grandmaster) has appeared directly in the building where Jarvis is being treated by The Beast and The Wasp, young Russian genius version.  Wasp has created a serum that she thinks will bring Jarvis out of his coma, but before The Beast can sacrifice himself so that she can use it, she shrinks him down and sends him into Jarvis’ mind, a nice throwback to Ant-Man’s ‘Journey To The Center Of The Vision’ back in the Kree/Skrull war.  While she fights to protect the denizens of the medical facility, Beast fights his way into Jarvis’ mind only to find that the thing that is keeping Jarvis in a coma is literal parasite.  It goes poorly for him, and Beast loses the injector, and all seems lost.  Suddenly, Nadia swoops in for the save.  As Jarvis awakens, the pyramoid appears in his hospital room, only for Voyager to arrive to claim it…

I *KNEW* IT!

…and then the other shoe drops.  And without going too far into the game-changing moment at the end of this issue, I would like to say that I was right, I was right, I was rrrrriiiight!  This issue once again features three different writers working seamlessly together, juggling a lot of places and people while focusing readers’ attention right where they need to be, hence my picking up of the subtle clues that they’ve laid in this series thus far.  Medina’s are is exciting throughout the issue, even when focusing on a hospital room, and the battle sequence of Beast versus alien virus thingy is really well constructed.  The cleverness of the premise (a certain number of Avengers are in play at any given time, meaning that when one falls or is removed from the game, another awakens, seemingly at random, making for a variable ensemble in any given issue) works, but as we move through this crossover, I do keep feeling like I’m missing things, here and there.  Last issue’s resurrection of a Marvel mainstay overshadowed a lot of what has been happening, and even though this issue’s plot has been simmering on the back burner since the first issue of the crossover, I do feel like we’ve lost track of a couple of things along the way…

BOTTOM LINE: NICE USE OF JARVIS AND THE BEAST

I have enjoyed this crossover so far, partly because they have benched a lot of big overshadowing names in favor of U.S. Avengers and Unity Squad heroes who don’t always get to be front-and-center in these kinds of things, and while I like this issue for its resolution and for the bits and pieces relating to Jarvis and his memories of Avengers’ history, it does feel like we’ve taken our eye off the cosmic ball for a bit too long.  Avengers #683 is a nice change of pace from the big battle sequences we’ve been seeing, with solid art throughout, but the focus on only two (well, technically three) Avengers here makes me feel like we’ve lost track of too many players, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  My big hope is that we won’t see all of these characters thrown aside by the upcoming new Avengers status quo…

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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