In Review: Avengers #680

The focus returns to the heroes with Rogue on the offense.

The covers: Just two to track down for this issue. The Regular cover is by Mark Brooks and is a nice image of some Avengers jumping out of a Quinjet. Doctor Voodoo, Wonder Man, Hercules, and the Scarlet Witch are falling into the reader’s lap. A surprise hero on this cover is Janet van Dyne — the Wasp! Brooks is always aces with his work and this cover is tops. The Connecting Variant cover is by Nick Bradshaw and Jim Campbell and it logically connects to last month’s variant. This is without question the best connecting cover in this saga’s run so far. Front and center is the Beast carrying the broken body of Jarvis, with the faithful butler wearing an oxygen mask. Behind the mutant is Wonder Man flying to the left. Below them is the Scarlet Witch and the Vision. Something is exploding behind them, so there’s debris going everywhere in addition to considerable Kirby Krackle. This is beautiful. Overall grades: Both A

The story: In Rome, Rogue is wondering if she did all that she could to stop the Human Torch from dying. As she and the other Avengers try to process the hero’s fall, Voyager appears. The mutant says she’s done playing defense and asks Voyager where the bad guys are. She answers that beacons have been detected in New Mexico and the Antarctic. The team says they are with Rogue, which has her saying, “Okay, Avengers…let’s live up to the name.” At Avengers Auxiliary HQ, Roberto learns of Johnny Storm’s passing. He also learns of the two other beacons and where they are located. From Peru, the Falcon says they need to regroup. It’s at this point that something happens to the Red Hulk. The trio of writers, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, & Mark Waid, continue to juggle several characters successfully, creating drama for the team members and plenty of action when they confront the Lethal Legion or the Black Order. Three earlier characters join the team in Peru, while the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, has been released from stasis. “Our best guess is that whomever’s running this wants a specific number of heroes on the field.” There’s a neat scene from Lenox Hill Hospital as the Beast and Nadia realize another hero may have the ability to help Jarvis. Back on the battlefield, the fighting is now at the Antartic, where Rogue really shows she’s not to be messed with. This is the Rouge I enjoy the most. This was an enjoyable return to the action from last issue’s focus on a villain. Overall grade: A-

The art: Kim Jacinto’s art is excellent. The first page is a splash that showcases Rogue, Thor, Hercules, and Lightning. They look great, with the tendrils of energy coming of Lightning outstanding. Take a look at how Jacinto hides Rogue’s eyes in the fourth panel on Page 2: Rogue is the focus of the panel, though it’s Voyager that’s speaking. Doing so allows the reader to wonder what’s going through the leader’s mind, so that when she turns and has her face revealed it makes her words much more stronger. That’s a dramatic reveal! Red Hulk’s transformation on 5 is nicely done, with the pain of the action plain. The work done at the bottom of the same page on Voyager is terrific — her hair gives the energy crackling about her some strength. The reaction shot in the fifth panel on 8 is perfection. That’s exactly how those characters should react. 11 again features some super work with energy coming off a character — this is Jacinto’s signature artwork. The battle at the Antartic is fantastic and the high point of the book. Rogue gets most of the action and she’s terrific. Not only is she throwing punches, but she touches someone. I’ve been waiting since this saga to begin for that to happen and I was not disappointed. The final panel on Page 18 is my favorite of the issue. Overall grade: A

The colors: The colors on this series by David Curiel look great. The blues and whites in Lightning on the first page stand out, as do the greens on Rogue. Having the characters against a blank background colored black to gray makes them pop. Voyager is character whose arrival is always colored light violet and I really like that choice. When she’s speaking with Falcon later in the book the violets she employs shades all of those around her. The Red Hulk has got some really good work with his crimson flesh. When Janet grows to normal size from her diminutive hero size yellows are used and it’s a nice bright color that stands out against the dark colors. When Rogue fights her opponent the backgrounds go yellow, orange, and red, which makes the action really pumped. Page 19 features a villain who has some beautiful luminescent blues that are just gorgeous. Curiel is a magic maker. Overall grade: A

The letters: VC’s Cory Petit creates scene settings, narration and dialogue, Thor’s speech, yells, communications, sounds, and quiet speech. I wish that Rogue’s narration had been different from the dialogue visually, rather than just in a different shaped balloon that’s also colored differently. There are some solid sounds during the closing fight, with SKLUTCH be perfectly gross, but I would have liked to have seen even more. Overall grade: A-

The final line: The focus returns to the heroes with Rogue on the offense. The story gives every character a moment and the visuals continue to give this tale an epic look. This is what a team book should be like in comics. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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