Voyagers secret is revealed as she isn’t the Avenger everyone thought she was. But who is she and what has she done with the last pyramoid is another question. The Avengers might not have time to figure out the answers though as the Hulk returns!
Writer: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, & Al Ewing
Artist: Paco Medina & Joe Bennett
Colorists: Jesus Aburtov & Morry Hollowell
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Variant Cover: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know: The Gamemaster and the Challenger have stolen earth to play a game where the title of “Grandmaster” is up for grabs. With the Gamemaster using the Lethal Legion and the Challenger using the Black Order as their chess pieces. Each team is meant to collect points known as pyramoids and whoever gains the most points win. The Avengers are the “obstacles” set up to stop both the Legion and Black Order. The game is tied at one point each and the Avengers have lost two teammates in the Human Torch and Red Wolf. Their sacrifices have kept the Legion and Black Order from earning any more points. But now a new development has happened. Voyager, the thought to be long lost, original Avenger. Isn’t an Avenger at all and has made away with the last pyramoid. Who is she really remains a mystery and even worse, her motives are still unknown. The Avengers might not get a chance to find out these answers as the Challenger has brought back the original Hulk. Full of rage, the Hulk is now after the final pyramoid.
What You’ll Find Out: (SPOILERS)
Thanks to the parasite that was killing Jarvis. He was the only one who knew that it was a lie that Voyager was ever an Avenger. Beast, Nadia, and Jarvis, (now cured) realize they must find out who Voyager is and what her plan is. As the Avengers regroup and plan their next move, Voyager appears with the last pyramoid. Now covered in blue skin, Voyager locks herself and the last pyramoid in a secured room the Avengers can’t get through. Exhausted and needing time, Voyager recounts what she has done. Voyager is the daughter of the Grandmaster. Using her powers to manipulate the memories of the Avengers to believe she was one of them. She was to be the Gamemaster’s insurance policy to beat the Challenger. But now, Voyager is determined to defeat her father in this game instead.
The Gamemaster is keeping his secret about Voyager from the Challenger. It might not make a difference though. When Voyager’s presence is known, the Challenger sends his final “playing piece” the Hulk to find her and take the pyramoid. When the Hulk arrives, he goes through the Avengers that are currently there. Going through Enigma, Cannonball, Quicksilver, and Lightning with frightening ease. Only one last Avenger stands in the Hulks way, the Iron Hulk!
What Just Happened?
While Voyager turns out not to be an original Avenger. Our attention is shifted onto one of the actual original Avengers, the Hulk. Over the years, villains and even Bruce Banner himself have attempted to kill the Hulk with no success. And the story of the Hulk is not just unique but also a cornerstone of the history of Marvel Comics and of course the Avengers. So it makes sense that Waid, Ewing, and Zub choose this time, not just to bring the Hulk back. But to go over his storied history and more importantly add to his “mythology.” Essentially telling us that the Hulk is immortal. Add to the revelation that Voyager the Grandmaster’s daughter and this story just takes an amazing turn. Medina and Bennett provide a beautiful ride through the past of these two characters. And of course, ten issues in I commend that all the artists involved haven’t missed a beat. Especially considering the weekly releases.
Final Thoughts: This story is a blast and so much fun. I never know what to expect each week. My only fear thus far is when the story ends, the ride will be over. The Hulk hasn’t been this interesting or scary since “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk.” But when this story does reach its conclusion. Waid, Zub, Ewing, and everyone involved deserves to take a bow.
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