Voyager returns, but it may spell disaster for The Avengers! Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers: No Road Home #1 awaits!
Writer: Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub
Penciler: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 13, 2019
Previously in Avengers: No Road Home: Not long ago, the Earth was stolen to be used as a cosmic chess board by two cosmic entities, the Grandmaster and the Challenger. As the heroes of Earth fought to protect their planet from the warring factions, the Grandmaster introduced his daughter into the game disguised as a long-lost Avenger named Voyager. But Voyager turned on her father and aided in the Challenger’s defeat. With Earth restored to its proper place in the universe, Voyager imprisoned the Challnger at the far reaches of the universe, hoping she could reform him.
But something is stirring in the dark…
SOME MUCH-NEEDED FOLLOW-UP
This issue opens with a very cool origin sequence for the cool, hip new super-team… of the 18th century BC. Hercules regales all around him with the story of how he, Hermes, Artemis, Poseidon, Athena and Zeus himself came together in their immortal power to defeat the Amphisbaena, a giant two-headed serpent. The story falls on deaf ears, though, as he’s chosen to tell it during a police standoff with a dangerous alien who is holed up in a hardware store. Upon investigation, he finds that the “dangerous alien” creature is actually Rocket Raccoon!
And then, the sun goes out.
Around the world, we see other former Avengers (Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch, catching up in LA;; The Vision and Spectrum in Washington DC, trying to diagnose his power problems; Bruce Banner walking the roads of New Mexico) realizing that it’s suddenly gone dark, when suddenly, Voyager arrives with a desperate mission.
A GREAT FIRST CHAPTER
Here’s the thing that makes this issue special: With the exception of the Immortal Hulk (On Sale Now!), all of these characters have been thrown curveballs but left behind by their respective comics, and it’s great to see the likes of Monica Rambeau (and, by extension, her beau the Blue Marvel and Toni Ho, helping to try and repair The Vision) in action. Add in some truly lovely writing (like the curt reunion of old pals Rocket and Hulk or the friendly teasing from Hawkeye to his ex about her new love Doctor Voodoo) and you’ve got an issue that works incredibly well to set up the imminent and terrible threat. There’s also a bit near the end of the book that ties into the opening fight scene and establishes our villain, but that’s something you have to experience for yourself. Suffice to say, it’s an effective shock moment. On the art side, Paco Medina really makes the issue work, delivering on quiet moments of conversation in diners as well as massive battle sequences and Voyager’s dramatic teleportation effects. And Rocket Raccoon hasn’t looked this good in YEARS.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS ONE’S A MUST-READ, IF YOU ASK ME
The best part of all this? There’s another issue coming next week, which means you don’t have to wait forever for the next appearance of this Avengers team, the latest in a grand tradition of make-shift groupings. Avengers: No Road Home #1 gives Zub, Ewing and Waid a chance to work with and perhaps provide some storyline closure for heroes unseated by Marvel’s endless relaunch culture, but does so with clever story and excellent art, as well as great care for the continuity, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you like old-school Avengers stories, this book is the place for you.
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AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1
A group of characters left adrift by the recent big Avengers relaunch brought together by a killer creative team? What's not to love?