The business of comic book titles is certainly a complicated one, as it can seriously cause confusion about what you're trying to read, whether it be accidental or on purpose. There are often numerous titles featuring the same characters being released at the same time, though they probably have nothing to do with one another. Such is the case with Avengers: No Road Home #1, which you may think has to do with Marvel's current Avengers run, which just released a new issue last week. This book, however, is the start of a new miniseries and features a team of characters not featured in the other Avengers title, following a plot that has very little to do with a vampire civil war.
That's not to say anything is wrong with this book. Actually, quite the opposite is true; No Road Home is a great comic. It's just important to know what you're getting into. Often, quality can be skewed by one's expectation. If you think you're getting one thing and end up with something completely different, you might not like it, no matter how objectively wonderful it actually is. All that to say, Avengers: No Road Home #1 is worth checking out, but make sure to go in with a completely blank slate.
Avengers: No Road Home is written by the very capable trio of Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub, all of which are working on wonderful books on their own outside of this team-up adventure. The series begins with a worldwide blackout of which no one is sure of the cause. Voyager, daughter of the Grandmaster, provides the narration of the issue and explains that she knows what caused it, but needs an incredible group of heroes to solve it. So she gathers the following group: Hercules, Rocket Raccoon, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Spectrum, and Hulk. Blue Marvel and Toni Ho are also involved in this adventure, but they're working with the others from afar.
This is a seriously eclectic group of heroes, one that you wouldn't really expect to find together these days. That's what makes No Road Home so instantly charming. As much as I love the mainline Avengers series, we've seen how characters like Captain America, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Thor all work together. It's a fresh take, but it's still comfortable. In No Road Home, we get to explore some dream pairings that create brand-new energies and scenarios we've never really even thought of, creating a high level of unpredictability. Hercules and Rocket together are a major high point, as is the contentious relationship between Hulk and Hawkeye.
These characters come from such contrasting styles in their own franchises that blending them together could be a challenge, but the three writers do a splendid job of balancing their needs and stories. Everyone gets their own moment and not one character really feels wasted. Even more impressive is the work of artists Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Jesus Aburtov. These three work in unison to create a level playing field where all of these characters look the part, and nothing ever seems to out of place. The book moves through several locales on Earth, as well as a trip up to Olympus, and this team never misses a beat.
When all is said and done, No Road Home introduces an exciting new story that could prove to be a game-changing affair. Then again, it could also turn out to be just another Avengers off-shoot. We won't know until the next couple of issues are released and the story takes shape, but it's a wonderfully promising start nonetheless.
Published by Marvel Comics
On February 13, 2019
Written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub
Pencils by Paco Medina
Ink by Juan Vlasco0comments
Colors by Jesus Aburtov
Letters by VC's Cory Petit