Avengers: No Road Home #7 // Review
A human who has been turned into sentient radiation faces the goddess of night in a cosmic battle featuring a great many others as Avengers: No Road Home reaches its seventh issue. The story by Jim Zub, Mark Waid and Al Ewing asserts itself on the page with art by Paco Medina and colors by Jesus Aburtov. The mini-series featured a strange minor derailment in the course of the past couple of issues. The writing team corrects for this in a chapter that features a well-modulated conflict presented with an even-balanced pace that hurdles the series into its final segments.
A very long time ago Monica Rambeau used to be human. Now she’s sentient radiation...capable of transitioning into anything in the electromagnetic spectrum. Given the rather unique physiology, it’s remarkable that Spectrum managed to keep ahold of her mind and identity. She is, after all, still human. A human capable of being light faces-off against a goddess of the night as Spectrum faces Nyx in a race to capture a powerful artifact. Elsewhere in the realm of Nightmare, Hawkeye tries to interest Rocket Raccoon and Hulk in possibly catching-up with the other Avengers. They’d prefer to go on vacation.
The writing team plays a bit with a few elements that are tangential to the Spectrum versus Nyx conflict at the heart of the issue, but mostly it’s just the two of them. The narration takes the form of Spectrum’s internal monologue. It’s a very crisply executed battle as a human who is the product of advanced science faces a god wielding potent magic. The human-against-god conflict is smartly constructed. A heroic human struggles against a villainous god. It’s capable of being compelling stuff. Zub, Waid and Ewing frame the conflict cleverly in a satisfying issue.
Paco Medina falls short of genius in delivering the visuals on the cosmic story. The passion of the conflict comes across with vivid humanity both in god and mortal alike. However, the visual spectacle of a meeting between powerful opposing forces feels a bit less than inspired with so much of the action playing across the page in energy arcs and movement lines that feel a bit repetitious by the time the issue reaches its last page. Aburtov does an excellent job of bringing the glow of all that energy to the page and actually modulating it a bit from panel to panel, but the script hands the art team kind of a difficult challenge with a very abstract battle between two very, very powerful beings.
Nyx and Rambeau are a fun match supported by a lot of drama around the edges of an issue that advances the series to its final three chapters. Conan feels like a bit of an afterthought in an issue that might have been better served with some greater integration. The Avengers/Conan meeting could have had more impact had Zub, Waid and Ewing been a bit more focussed on it, but they really ARE juggling a lot here.