Comic Reviews: Avengers: No Road Home and Amazing Spider-Man!
Avengers: No Road Home #1 (Marvel Comics)
Last year’s Avengers: No Surrender was an entertaining, if a little over long, success for Marvel. Naturally, that means the publisher has set up a sequel with Avengers: No Road Home. But unlike Surrender, this event won’t be taking the place of the main Avengers title during it’s run. Instead, it’ll serve as it’s own series that’ll run alongside the current Avengers title (probably because it’s selling better than when No Surrender came out). However, as good as this opening issue is, I’m not quite sure that the combined forces of Mark Waid, Jim Zub, Al Ewing, and Paco Medina are enough to convince readers to buy another Avengers title.
Something monstrous is coming to the Marvel Universe, and it’s caused Voyager, the daughter of the Grandmaster, to reach out to some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes again. Assembling Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, the Hulk, Hercules, and Rocket Raccoon, Voyager brings the heroes to Olympus, which has been devastated in a new attack. As the gods lay dying, a distraught Hercules seeks revenge, but can his power, and the power of his friends, be enough to stop the oncoming threat?
I summed up this first issue pretty quickly, but make no mistake, this is a long comic. At forty pages, Mark Waid, Jim Zub, and Al Ewing certainly put in the time to set up this new adventure, but that comes at a detriment to the actual issue. Unlike No Surrender, this new adventure feels like it has to set the stages too much to get our characters together and ready to fight. While the three writers work really well together, and make sure to have some fun character interactions (especially between Hulk and Hawkeye and Rocket and, well, everybody), the book does feel a little like a slog at times, almost like the writers had to work too hard to get every player in the same place.
On the art side of things, Paco Medina still showcases his penchant for fantastic visuals and style. Medina is right at home with this type of book, which allows him to showcase his dramatic and slightly bombastic style, plus his penchant for quiet character moments too. Hopefully this is a sign of other, bigger things to come for Medina at the publisher.
While No Road Home doesn’t have quite the bombastic opening of No Surrender, it’s still got potential to be a worthy sequel to that event now that the set up is out of the way. With the type of talent involved in this, that should come as no surprise, but it’s nice when creators put some of the lesser-showcased Marvel heroes into the spotlight to show what they can do.
Amazing Spider-Man #15 (Marvel Comics)
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an issue of Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man, but it’s been a pretty solid ride since the title was relaunched following Dan Slott’s exit. While Ryan Ottley hasn’t been the main artist throughout the series, Spencer’s been backed up by Spidey mainstays like Humberto Ramos and Chris Bachalo, who fills in on the art duties here.
Following the events of the previous issue, Amazing #15 finds Spider-Man searching the rubble of a restaurant for his beloved Aunt May. Frantically searching through the debris, he’s distracted from Taskmaster and Black Ant outside, who, even though their assignment is to get The Rhino, won’t hesitate to nab Spidey while he’s there as well….
One of the strengths of Nick Spencer’s run is his ability to rework the long history of Spidey in new ways. It’s really reassuring to know that the Nick Spencer who’s writing this series is using the same tone he used for Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and not, well, the tone from every other comic he’s written. Spencer balances a lot of different plot points in one issue, but he doesn’t make it feel like one is overshadowing the other. Plus, he makes great use of Taskmaster here, a character that I’ve always loved and am happy to see get a bigger spotlight in recent years at Marvel. Here’s hoping Spencer has a spin-off featuring him and Black Ant in the works.
Chris Bachalo’s style is very unique, and doesn’t work for everything. But he’s a surprisingly great fit for Spider-Man, giving the character the weird limbs and poses he’s known for, but also making his enemies physically imposing as well. He also draws one of the best versions of the Lizard ever, and I’m really excited to see what happens with the rest of that subplot under Bachalo’s pencils.
Amazing Spider-Man has kept up a very solid streak of issues, and shows no real signs of slowing down. Yeah, I may be biased because of the main character, but I have to say, it’s been a really great time to be a fan of Spidey, and the fact that the comics have remained so engaging has been the icing on the cake.
Posted on February 13, 2019, in Comic book reviews, Comic reviews and tagged Al Ewing, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers No Road Home, Chris Bachalo, Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Marvel Comics, Nick Spencer, Paco Medina. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.