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America's Captain 
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Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 10,755
In Reply To
emerick man 
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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 57,502
Subj: Re: Avengers #678: PBP...
Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 05:50:00 pm EST (Viewed 118 times)
Reply Subj: Avengers #678: PBP...
Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 04:47:21 am EST (Viewed 167 times)



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    Avengers 678



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    Engaging issue which is good. However, it might be that a small puff of wind has been let out of the sails? Sales? What say you?


Just a case of the mid-arc blues. Always happens. Nothing starts and nothing ends so it seems dull to some extent.


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    Just going to limit this, to first thought with one sentence per page.


That's OK, I'll blab enough for both of us.


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    00 Good cover image but Rulk is in the other city and symbolism just confuses issue.


Man, you really pay attention to detail.


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    RECAP: Fine.
    ROLLCALL: VERY HELPFUL.


Unaffiliated: Grandmaster

How weird is that?

Hmm. What happens if the Avengers win the game? Supposedly they're just obstacles. And yet - ?


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    01 Good Torch narration and set up in Rome.


Here's some symbolism (or at least poetry) for you. The very first words of Torch's narration are, "If Reed were here..."

So much poignancy in that, if you know (as we know) the back story. Worthy of a Tennyson or Keats, but no, it's just a Marvel writer writing like a Marvel writer. Remember when that used to happen? It was really cool.

Torch flying off half-cocked is perfectly in character. Think of how many times Reed had to yell, "Torch! No! Wait!" - back when Marvel writers wrote like Marvel writers. Remember those days? They were really cool.


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    02 Oh yeah, BO and LL are fighting each other and not The Avengers.


OK. "BO" wins the acronym of the week award.


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    03 Is Pietro dead in Rome?! Turnthepage! Turnthepage!


Black Guardian and I were both right - but he was more right than I was. Yes, I was right that the Blood Brothers did in fact pummel Quicksilver on the last page. But Black Guardian was right about the more important point: Quicksilver wasn't terminally smashed. Which is very interesting. If Quicksilver hadn't been in stasis, getting hit like that would have killed him. He's not the least bit invulnerable. Yet in stasis he survived the blows. I wonder if he even CAN be killed while in stasis?


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    04 Mjolnir vs Nigh Invulnerable? Turnthepage. Turnthepage.


Reminds me of that old Avengers story - issue 67 by the incomparable Roy Thomas and John Buscema. They're fighting Ultron-6 for the first time - this is the first appearance of Ultron as an adamantium adversary - and Thor swings his hammer in preparation for a mighty blow. Clint (of all people) shouts out, "Thor! No! If you hit him, there's no telling what will happen!" So of course Thor lands his blow, irresistible force meets immovable object, and the resulting shock wave knocks the Avengers unconscious. Was this an inspiration for the Cannonball scene? I put the odds at 100 percent.


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    05 He aint dead so maybe it'll be Herc or Sam...


Hey look! Lightning did something useful!


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    06 Another issue of petpeevingly jumbled and confusing big fight choreography.


But interesting dialogue by Black Swan. "So easily distracted by the designated obstacles, Legion... your strategy is shameful!"

This made me think of the board game, "Settlers of Catan," which I always lose at, because I focus on immediate interim goals like building a road while somebody else smarter than me is focused on actually winning the game by stacking up the most points by any means available. It also made me think of paintball, which I sometimes was good at, these rare instances occurring when I (in a fit of uncharacteristic good strategy) stopped worrying about shooting the opposing team and focused on the actual goal, which was grabbing the other team's flag.

It also tells me Black Swan has not considered the possibility that a designated obstacle might "grab the flag."


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    07 Now that's "invulnerable" shield - forgot Black Swan was that tough.


I think Black Swan (and Hickman) wanted the extent of her powers to remain unclear. I stopped reading the Hickman endless saga somewhere in the middle but I always got the impression that Black Swan was intentionally hiding her power levels and only did what the Avengers wanted because it suited her agenda. She is at the very least Herald level, to use Battleboard terminology, if she can stop Mjolnir.

Also nice to see Rogue is paying attention and is piecing together the puzzle of what's actually going on. That alone probably justifies her position as squad leader. Anybody (with powers and/or training) can punch and shoot and jump and stab. But pay attention and think? That's squad leader behavior.


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    08 More clue to Grandmaster's mystery opponent - kinda looks like a Kang glove.
    09 Synapse gets a spotlight showing (with another lazy new trick upgrade) - aaand she's still a newbie.


Synapse is an endless source of "WTF" for me, because I don't understand her powers, even after Wikipedia, Black Guardian, and The Assembly have tried to explain them to me - because these three sources have each told me something different. This mind-reading feat feels like deus ex machina to me, but really, I think Synapse may be the equivalent of Omega level for Inhumans. She may have only scratched the surface of what she can do.

Wonder Man: "AVENGERS OBSERVE!"

Funny and totally appropriate for Super-Gandhi.


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    10 Some serious intel topped off with a silly inappropriate shmuck line by Simon. Ugh.


Wait - you didn't like Simon's line? I thought it was so incredibly perfect. This is the Wonder Man who went bar-hopping with the Beast! Yet it's also John Lennon in tights singing "Imagine all the people living life in peace..." - thus the perfect hybrid of the only Wonder Man who was ever entertaining plus the current incarnation. In two words Team Waid gave us a ton of characterization. Masterful!


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    11 Voyager complained about the same teleporting limits last ish - probably just trope.
    12 This seems to prove there are only the ODD number of 15 players for the Grandmaster against the combined 12 combatants of his opponent. Hmm...


VISION: "Wanda? Who is tha - ?"

Massively important clue. The Vision does not recognize Voyager. Why doesn't he?


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    13 "OBSTACLES"
    14 A BB dies - again - or does he if there is a cosmic reset as is the precedent with these type games - seriously: why would win a piece means die?


More to the point: Why would a VILLAIN willingly give his life? Since when are these guys and gals on the dark side altruistic?

No, there's more going on here than we're privy to.


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    15 Darn those comms being down just because a plot device calls for it.


I totally agree. I also hated how Lightning appeared to be having a conversation while in lightning form and zooming away - but that's a typical artistic trope in comics (albeit one that I always hate) so I'll just shake my head and move on.

Meanwhile, notice how once again it's Rogue who perceives the danger! Yup, squad leader material.


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    16 Darn those no kill rules in scenarios preventing global destruction - especially from a Maverick soldier mentality.
    17 Really undecided about the coloring: on the one hand a very colorful issue with the characters but on the other hand the backgrounds are petpeevingly crazy arbitrary choices.


WONDER MAN: "Ladies, all this drama. Can't we reason together?"

Spoken while he swats them both aside.

OK. Super-Gandhi might actually be fun. But only when combined with bar-hopping Beast-buddy humor.


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    18 Oh yeah, back to Torch narration - back to that? Is that a forshadowing clue to prove the online solicit right? Uh oh...
    19 He aint alone so maybe it'll be Rulk... decent teasing...
    20 On the one hand... NOPE - NO WAY it's permanent! Uhhh... MTiO now on sale, anyone! Cosmic Reset imminent. Voyager timeline has to be a lie. Maybe it is Kang then. The drama now is downplayed to just how it's going to come about. Good prospects for Jarvis. Whew.


Yeah, if Red Hulk had gotten the "prize" I would have believed in the death. But Johnny? No. Out of the question. So either (a) prize winners don't die or (b) everything will be reset or (c) both. I'm going with both for now.

Oh, and pretty stupid that Lightning didn't zap Johnny to stop him from grabbing the prize. As far as Lightning knows, grabbing the prize is lethal. Or is Lightning's control of his power insufficient to ensure he doesn't kill his target? If that's the case, then his status as an Avenger is problematic at best.






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