AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #9
The Avengers come face to face with Nyx in her bid to gain the final piece of her fragmented power source. But their destination is Euphoria, the living planet with an adaptive atmosphere. In order to ascertain their intent the living embodiment of the planet bids them to vocalise their wishes so she can ascertain who is worthy. Deeming the outcome to be too violent she takes drastic action and does the unthinkable, allowing Nyx her prize.
Jim Zub, Mark Waid and Al Ewing have been on the ball this complete series, every issue has delivered the right balance of drama, humour and threat. with the peril of first Wanda blinded and now Vision falling apart the dilemma is real. And the introduction of Conan was so seamlessly perfect. But the latest introduction of the support cast back on Earth is something else. Honestly, you can’t trust anyone these days. You turn your back for five minutes and first Conan turns up…and then both Pod and Bill the Lobster? That is hugely inconsequential in the grand scheme of things I know, especially in comparison to the wild card that is seeing Conan back within the Marvel universe. But BILL THE LOBSTER people!!!
The continuation of the plight of everyone back home is touched on, and the consequence of global darkness being the rise of vampires was a nice touch. As the battle continues in this penultimate issue so much more is at stake. And yet the story isn’t rushed like so many final acts of a saga are often at risk of becoming. The pacing is perfect here and the drama plays out naturally. Right to the end and the lead up to the confrontation at the House of Ideas.
As such the ending is perfectly kept in reserve for the final issue and the cliffhanger is yet again well played out and not simply tagged on. Also the little exchange between Voyager and Euphoria reminded me of the Greek legend of Pandora. The woman sent as punishment by Zeus to counter the boon of the stolen gift of fire, from Hesiod’s Works and Days. When all the darkness was let out of the box (actually a jar, but it’s been mistranslated over the years) to cause havoc, only one small voice remained. That of hope. Coincidence?
Another beautiful cover from Yasmin Putri, showing the unthinkable and the fracturing of the hero that is Vision. The art overall has been sublime and this issue is no exception. Paco Medina has also done the unimaginable. Due to his diminutive stature I have never before seen Rocket Raccoon to be such an integral part of the battle, and here he proves size is important after all. Stealing the Pym Particles was the most ingenious and hilarious payoff of the series, as this is something that’s been plaguing Clint almost as much as Hulk looming above him. Conversely the one normally expected to be the Strongest One There Is shows a side of himself that is scarier than anything his mere stature could provide. Something I had never considered before, and the shading resonated full on physical and emotional darkness.
The coloring of Jesus Aburtov is wonderfully balanced here once again. He manages to keep the monochrome beauty of Nyx and still allow her to be as eyecatching as the more colorful players in this drama. Also this is aided by the lettering of Joe Sabino, who gives her voice some grand overarching regal grace, worthy of a resident of the Halls of Olympia. Her pronouncements as she makes her commands simply give her the right to all she desires.
Panel layouts. I always miss talking about the panel layouts and finally there is something noteworthy to say about them. The discussion scene is perfect for the old style nine box set up here. Talking heads usually don’t interest me, but here they keep the story rolling on and perspective shows they each have their time to say what they need. Not just that but in the finale the drama is kept high and the tension is palpable as Nyx retreats into the House of Ideas and the doors close behind her.
And Euphoria granting wishes is one thing but as soon as she says she can grant only happiness I actually believed Nyx would not get what she truly wanted, but what she needed instead. What price revenge when true happiness comes calling? I wonder what this implies for the finale and if Euphoria knew all along what she has allowed to happen?
A fitting segue into the final act of the story and still the anticipation is high. Rollicking good adventure and believable peril for all concerned. And the return of Bill!!
Avengers: No Road Home #9: Anything Your Heart Desires
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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