Quicksilver Makes The Ultimate Sacrifice in AVENGERS #688

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AVENGERS #688 BY AL EWING, MARK WAID, JIM ZUB, KIM JACINTO, STEFANO CASELLI, AND DAVID CURIEL
Plot
Characterization
Art

Summary

AVENGERS #688 focuses on Quicksilver's attempt to save the world. His narration fits extremely well with all the subplots of this issue, and the artwork delivered by Jacinto, Caselli, and Curiel make AVENGERS #688 a true work of art.

87 %

Grandmaster Prime

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AVENGERS #688 hits the ground running as Quicksilver attempts to capture the ever evading beacon. This beacon — a moving blue orb — is what’s kept most of our heroes and villains frozen for the majority of “No Surrender.” With moving dialogue and storytelling from our writers, AVENGERS #688 gets the ball rolling for the eventual grand finale. Will Quicksilver’s speed be enough? Read on to find out!

The Challenger AKA Grandmaster Prime

This comic book is a rush. Between Quicksilver racing about the world in pursuit of the beacon and Grandmaster Prime (the Challenger) making his presence known on Earth, AVENGERS #688 is the true beginning of the end. Al Ewing, Mark Waid, and Jim Zub waste zero time adding to this rush. As soon as Grandmaster Prime reaches Earth, Bruce becomes the Hulk and engages in combat. It’s a formidable fight that leaves Grandmaster Prime surprised, but Hulk is soon flung into space. What’s really creepy is the slight laugh exuding from Hulk. It’s as if he’s happy.

AVENGERS #688
Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

During this battle, Voyager transports the heroes at Avengers Auxiliary HQ to her father’s space station. On the station, there is a machine that keeps Earth’s temperature and rotation alignment in check. However, the machine is failing out, causing chaos on Earth. From earthquakes to tsunamis, no piece of land is safe.

This is where the Avengers step in.

Calling All Available Heroes

There are some cliche heroic scenes here, but they work. Living Lightning and Thor step in to provide the power, while Hercules offers his muscle. However, even Hercules won’t be enough; there needs to be a bit more oomph. This is where Sunspot steps in. He even switches off his Regulator Headband, pronouncing, “Hi. I’m Roberto Da Costa. I’ll be your Hulk for the evening.”

Rockin’ and Slashin’ the Undead in ALL STAR FUBAR

It’s rather cocky, but it’s so fitting with his character. Toni protests for a few panels, but Sunspot has already made up his mind. This is when Quicksilver takes over for the remaining issue.

Perhaps paralleling Sunspot, Quicksilver encourages his sister, Scarlet Witch, to use her powers to increase the probability of Quicksilver catching the beacon. Quicksilver then asks Synapse (after a dramatic kiss) to assist him with his mental capacity: he needs all doubts of his limitations gone as he pushes to his limits.

Avengers Assemble!

What’s next is solid comic book storytelling. You can tell the writers and artists were all in sync when producing these pages. As Quicksilver races across the Earth to catch the beacon, he thinks how all of this is possible because everyone is working as a team. While he’s specifically talking about the assistance given by Scarlet Witch and Synapse, his narration also applies (as the art suggests) to the likes of Sunspot, Hercules, Living Lightning, Thor, and the rest.

Everyone is playing a part, everyone is helping. This is why the Avengers are so crucial. And just as Quicksilver catches the beacon, the frozen heroes are released. Voyager then gathers all those near her to meet Grandmaster Prime. Scarlet Witch notes Quicksilver is “gone,” but at least our heroes are free.

Will it be enough?

The Artwork of AVENGERS #688

avengers #688
Image courtesy of Marvel Comics

As mentioned, the artwork in AVENGERS #688 really flows well with Quicksilver’s narration. I admire how Jacinto and Caselli are able to depict scenes that match exactly what Quicksilver is thinking in regards to himself. Clearly this is due to proper scripting from our writers, but it’s a skill to properly implement it.

I love how Jacinto and Caselli draw Quicksilver here. The way his body is sketched, it’s clear Jacinto and Caselli are trying their hardest to show how this energy is depleting his body. I feel as though I’m reading Flash in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. The coloring from David Curiel also makes each iteration of Quicksilver come to life. From the mixture of purple and white to the blue and white lightning-like beacon, these pages are true works of art.

This Week in Unsung Marvel Moments – April 4th, 2018

What’s Next in AVENGERS #689

I’m curious how our unfrozen heroes will react. Will they question Voyager? Will their memories be foggy towards her? What if they have no memory of her at all? How will this fight scene with Grandmaster Prime work out? We see Rogue and Wonder Man taking potshots at him, but clearly he’s shrugging it all off.

There are only a few issues left, so I don’t see Voyager taking center stage until at least the end of “No Surrender.”

But the best question of all: how will Hulk land back on Earth?

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