Writer: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco
Colors: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
What They Say:
NO SURRENDER Part 9! THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES! Jarvis’ life hangs by a thread. Only by voyaging into Jarvis’ mind can the Beast save him — but what terrible secret is lurking inside the memory of the Avengers’ loyal butler?
Content: (Warning, section may contain spoilers)
Last issue, The Challenger revealed he had one last piece with which to challenge the Grandmaster in their “game” of deciding who will bear the Grandmaster title- The Immortal Hulk! This issue focuses, however, on a part of this story that never got too much attention in the last 8 parts-Jarvis and the effort to save him. As soon as we start, the last Pyramoid object reveals its location-Jarvis’ hospital, Which means Beast and The Wasp (Nadia) need to do something about it. Progress on healing Jarvis has produced the location of the alien pathogen inside him, and despite complaints, Nadia shrinks Beast down while she goes to retrieve the Pyramoid. The meat of this issue lies with Beast, and what he discovers inside Jarvis’ memory banks. Beast discovers that Jarvis is essentially a living history book when it comes to the Avengers- He’s got the whole history of the team in his memory! Beast finally manages to find this alien pathogen we’ve been reading about, but things aren’t as simple as just neutralizing it.
Just as it looks like the pathogen is about to end Beast, and thus, Jarvis, Nadia suddenly returns and the two turn the tide. Voyager arrives to help the pair deal with the pyramoid, Jarvis is more upset by this however, and finally reveals what his cryptic message of “It’s all a lie” meant- Voyager never was an Avenger. The team has had their memories altered, and no one really knows what team Voyager is on. Hank serves as the main character through all this. Jarvis is the soul and voice of the issue, but Beast is who we follow through most of it. Beast discovering what he does is really the big point of the issue, since it breaks open the biggest revelation we’ve had since the big part of the plot about earth’s abduction.
The renewed focus on Jarvis in this issue is a great thing, since he seemed to be just a footnote to be thrown in near the end for the last 8 issues. Beast discovering Jarvis to remember the entire history of the Avengers isn’t surprising, since the man has been with the team since the initial founding, but it IS surprising that someone as smart as beast didn’t realize the truth about Voyager after his memory bank trip until Jarvis spelled it out for them. Nadia takes a backseat after deciding to go after the Pyramoid, which is weird because last issue, Red Wolf got to both narrate and be the focus of last issue while going after one. The issue seems like it would have been better balanced by splitting the issue and letting one half have Beast as a voice and the other have Nadia as a voice. It just felt rather lopsided to have Nadia there at the beginning, disappear for the bulk of the book, the return for the big revelation at the end. Another surprising thing about this issue is that it completely disregards the big reveal from last time! The challenger has resurrected The Hulk, and is preparing to have him fight the Avengers (making that vision Ulysses had of him back in Civil War II make much more sense now), but Hulk is nowhere to be found in this issue.
I wouldn’t say it’s a bad issue, as the art is decent and the dialogue is still so on point, but it does have a crisis of focus/voice. The focus wants to be on Jarvis, but since he’s in a coma until the end, we mostly get Beast talking about why he won’t allow Jarvis to die. Poor Nadia decides she’s going to sacrifice herself to stop the Pyramoid and we only get a few more shots of her after that. Once when the Pyramoid refuses to let her claim it, and the second at the end when Voyager claims the object. She was the impetus for the effort to save Jarvis in the first place, and it feels just a bit odd to have her take almost no part in his eventual rescue. If not for the revelation about Voyager at the end, this almost might have seemed like a side story to the main event, which is definitely odd, considering that all previous issues never had that problem. It’s not overly damaging to the issue, but it does hurt it somewhat. I’d almost be able to say you could skip all but the very end of this issue and still be fine reading everything else. Despite all this, it was at least a decent issue and you should pick it up if you care about this part of the story or Jarvis in particular. Next issue, we’re back on track with the rest of the Avengers- and their Big, Green, Immortal foe. That’s right, next issue, The Immortal Hulk returns!
Age Rating: T+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 7, 2018