Avengers of the Wastelands has been an interesting series that spun off of Ed Brisson and Mike Henderson’s Dead Man Logan miniseries. What would the world like if all the heroes were killed, but a new generation rose up to take their place? Wastelands has been filled with clever twists on the characters we know and love, but are in their twilight years. In the fifth and final issue of the series, the new Avengers face off against Dr. Doom who is the last living supervillain!
This issue rings quite strongly due to the depiction of Dr. Doom’s egomania and how Brisson and series artist Jonas Scharf wrap up the big showdown. To say this issue struck me due to the current state of America is an understatement. Not to spoil too much, but Brisson and Scharf basically show us a Doom who wants to create a political message out of the Avengers, but being the heroes that they are (however unheroic some of these characters have been), they do the right thing. It’s an empowering moment that reflects how these protests should play out with good leadership.
This also offers a satisfying conclusion to the miniseries. Answers in regards to Dr. Doom’s whole deal and motivations, Ant-Man’s desire to save his people, and a nice sign young Hulk can reform all get moments in this book to shine. It’s nice to see how Thor is the glue that holds this team together and it’s a reminder those who can wield Mjolnir truly are worthy.
Scharf does an excellent job with the art, with a fantastic painting opening the book of Dr. Doom’s triumph. The painterly scene matches Dr. Doom’s glum emotions as he looks at his achievement and wishes for a fight. There are quite a few crowd scenes in the issue, all of which look great with good dabbles of color by Neeraj Menon to reflect the neon lights of the city on the people. The fight scene is well choreographed, too, and you’ll believe this team can win given the circumstances.
This issue for the most part plays out in an expected way. The heroes arrive, they fight, and so on. The big surprise isn’t much of one since it jives with Dr. Doom’s actions, but the jerk would kill supervillains for lesser reasons anyway. The political aspects work but as far as showdowns are concerned, nothing surprising takes place.
This issue is incredibly poignant given the actions of the egomaniacal Dr. Doom and the desire for our heroes to be better to enact change in the face of tyranny. Read this to feel inspired that your voice can be heard with a strong message that we can be better — we just need to fight.
This is a digital-only title and you can purchase it here.