Avengers #689 Review
This oversized issue focuses on the Avengers and their struggle against the Challenger and the Grandmaster. The Avengers rally the best way they can to attempt to reclaim their world. One Avenger makes a huge difference, and it shows. Big fight scenes, big team ups, interesting conclusion all setting it up the final issue of the story.
When this story opens, we find several teams of heroes rescuing people from the Earth going overboard with cataclysmic events. The Champions, Defenders, Spider-Man, America, and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur are all hard at work. Carrying over from the last issue, Hercules, Thor, Citizen V do their best to keep the “World Engine” from destroying the Earth. As the former Grandmaster goes to leave, Lightning goes after him.
Back on Earth, The Challenger, now going by Grandmaster Prime, is bent on destroying the planet. The Avengers split into several teams and attack Grandmaster Prime. They are joined by Voyager in battle and she’s immediately targeted by Grandmaster Prime. She’s then saved by the Avengers, who have taken her in as one of their own.
In the Grandmaster’s Cosmic Game Room, Lightning discovers all those who had been taken off the board by the Pyramoids in stasis. In order to do his best to save the world, he challenges the Grandmaster to a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, which quickly catches his attention.
Meanwhile, in battle, Wonder Man tries to keep Grandmaster Prime in check, leading to him getting torn apart. He’s stabilized by Brother Voodoo as the Wasps go after Grandmaster Prime’s eyes.
The poker game progresses, and the stakes are the Human Torch’s freedom for Lightning’s. The cards are dealt, and Lightning bets his life, but if he wins, he gets Red Wolf well. En Dwi Gast raises to put the planet back where it belongs but if he wins, he takes Earth.
Grandmaster Prime continues to battle, as Falcon and Synapse combine their powers and hit Grandmaster Prime’s pain centers, leading to an attack barrage from the Avengers. As Grandmaster Prime strikes back, En Dwi Gast tries to get Lightning to fold, but Lightning has a plan. He raises yet again, stunning Grandmaster. He offers his history – he’ll be erased from history if he wins, which means that Grandmaster has to offer the same, causing him to fold which makes Lightning the winner.
The tide is turning in Grandmaster Prime’s favor and Beast tells Voyager to use her powers to remind them what it means to be an Avenger and to fight for mankind. This leads to Scarlet Witch casting a spell powering up the Avengers as they attack Grandmaster Prime, putting him down. The Earth is returned to it’s rightful place, all of her heroes back in place.
Reflections, Impressions, and Predictions
This was an oversized issue which is nice considering it’s been a weekly event.
It was cool to see what all the heroes of Earth were doing as the main team dealt with Grandmaster Prime.
There were many stories going on, which is good, but I really wish the Lightning/En Dwi Gast poker game occurred mostly at one time toward the end of the book.
Bringing back Lightning as a primary narrator for this issue was a good call.
I like the splitting the Avengers into smaller squads to fight Grandmaster Prime.
Grandmaster is an incredibly powerful foe. It takes the majority of the last 2 issues to take him down.
There was an opportunity for a really cool visual with nano-acid crawling under Challenger’s skin, but we didn’t get it, sadly.
Cool visual of the Ionic Avenger, Wonder Man, being ripped in two.
Lightning had a plan the entire time, which was a stroke of brilliance – he doesn’t play poker.
Scarlet Witch providing a power-up for her team shows her immense power
Curious about what will happen with these new characters, Grandmaster Prime and Voyager.
Giving Voyager a moment for redemption was a nice touch
The next issue is a conclusion, even though this felt quite final.
While it’s cool to tell this story, I hoped for a more consequential story.
Quicksilver was basically ignored in this issue, even though he is assumed to be dead.
Story – Mainly about the perseverance of the Avengers, this story was filled with action, but not much substance. This is more a love letter to the Avengers, than the penultimate chapter of an epic. 6/10
Art – The art in this is nice, but at times, detail is missing when it would enhance the content. Tons of characters drawn is a huge bonus. 7/10
Continuity/Character Consistency – A lot of the team members showed long standing traits, while establishing those of newer characters. Hopefully the final issue tells us more about when this takes place. It’s clearly before the Death of Thor. 7/10
Twist Factor – Lightning’s big gamble. 8/10
Final Score – 7/10