Avengers: No Road Home #4 // Review
The Greek Goddess of Night gets a Marvel Universe origin as a team of super-powered heroes chase three shards of a powerful artifact in the fourth issue of the mini-series Avengers: No Road Home. Jim Zub, Mark Waid and Al Ewing write a story drawn by Sean Izaakse with color by Marcio Menyz. While the issue centers itself quite squarely on delivering the origin of the villain Nyx, the conflict in the library of Omnipotence City brings some explosive action to the story as hero is drawn against hero by children of the night.
Nyx. Mother of Night. Things were so good for her until Zeus came along and brought the light. She tolerated it as best she could...her firstborn was the sleep god Hypnos. Then thing got ugly, and she birthed Deceit and Trickery. It is they who have enchanted the heroes in the library of Omnipotence City. Hercules is pummeling Vision while their fellow Avengers look on trying to find some way to cease the conflict. The librarian looks on as well...protecting a powerful shard of an artifact: The Night That Was. Nyx has come for it, and she’s brought her kids to help her get it.
The background on Nyx is fascinating and everything, but there isn’t a whole lot grounding it in Marvel. It’s an exciting story told well with very slickly appropriate narration/ It all comes together quite well, but while there’s a lot of background on the villain, the Avengers and their concerns only directly comprise a little less than half the issue. It’s an impressive backstory that is breathtakingly stylish at times, but pulling the focus away from the heroism makes the chapter feel a bit empty on the heroic end of things.
Izaakse’s comprehensive grasp of aggression and kinetic brutality have a shining godlike quality about them that lends the fighting in the library a suitably grand grace. It would have been nice to see a bit more detail rendered in the background. A library in a city of the gods might have made for a very immersive backdrop for the fighting, but Izaakse centers every panel right in the middle of the action. The passion and anger vividly radiating off the page as well with very stylish character design-work for Nyx and her kids by Joshua James Shaw.
Nyx is actually a really cool villain with a profoundly resonant background, so the issue feels satisfying as it leads-in to the halfway point of the twelve segment No Road Home mini-series. The story of Nyx and her kids almost feel drawn from some end of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and into a more aggressively brutal Marvel iteration of godliness. This issue’s pacing sets things up quite well for rising action that will doubtlessly rush through the fifth issue.