By Al Ewing, Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Sean Izaakse, David Curiel
“No Surrender” has been a pretty big success critically and financially for Marvel. A weekly book sounded like a hard sell, but has been too interesting and well written for readers to pass up. Each week it’s a gamble if your comic shop will have the next installment in stock because they’ve been selling out. As we enter into Chapter 8, Hawkeye and Red Wolf have joined our heroes to help save the world. Surely, adding two experienced fighters to the mix will give the Avengers a bit of an edge.
First and foremost, it’s great to see Hawkeye and Red Wolf back in the fold. Occupy Avengers was an excellent series that got cancelled too soon. Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Mark Waid are the writing architects on this series, and they’ve been doing a wonderful job. This issue focuses on many different plots, but we don’t get overwhelmed. Whether it’s the battle between the Avengers and the Lethal Legion, or Beast and Wasp trying to save Jarvis’ life, we get just enough of each section to feel satisfied. The writers do an excellent job with the newest Avengers to join the battle. Hawkeye and Red Wolf steal the issue. The writers get their bond down pat, and it’s clear as we see Red Wolf risk his life, and Hawkeye know that his best buddy will be fine. These two characters know each other well and it’s very apparent this issue. The writing trio also focus on Rogue dealing with the loss of the Human Torch. It’s nice to see her being comforted by her Avengers allies, in particular Hercules, as he has some kind words for her. Although necessary, the Jarvis stuff is a bit boring. It’s an intense and action packed issue, and when the page turns to Beast and Wasp, it slows the book down a bit. That aside, this book was amazing and the next installment can’t come fast enough!
The pencils this issue are handled by Sean Izaakse with colors by David Curiel. The writing in this issue is very good, but so is the art. Sean Izaakse lays down some nice pencils that depict the action wonderfully. Whether it’s Jan surprise attacking Mentacle or Clint shooting arrows at Metal Master, the pencils for the battle are great. The flashback sequences that focus on Red Wolf have a different feel to them, kudos to David Curiel for the texture on those pages, but Izaakse draws these flawlessly too. He perfectly captures Red Wolf’s no-nonsense tone as he stares down the barrel of a gun. The colors by Curiel complement the pencils laid down by Izaakse. The blue veins going through Rogue’s face are just bright enough for us to see, but very effective. The great thing about the colors this issue is that there is such a diverse palette. The triangle the teams are duking it out for shines bright yellow, the spirits from the pyramid of souls are shining pink and the last page oozes green. These are the amazing things David Curiel can do for a book.
Anyone who likes great and epic stories should be reading “No Surrender.” It’s a book filled with big characters and big moments. The writing staff and the art team keep finding ways to reel you into the intricate story they’ve woven. This is the best the Avengers have been since Hickman!