Avengers of the Wastelands was a great return to the world Old Man Logan started. It introduced new reluctant heroes, continued to build on what came before it, and opened the door for new stories. It was also a poignant story about young heroes making their way in the world with archaic villains calling the shots and only making a burned-out world further awful. It’s easy to look out your window and see a world that is in dire trouble with no salvation in sight, but after reading the dystopian story that is Avengers of the Wastelands, you may find there’s some hope yet for humanity. Here are three reasons why it’s an inspiring miniseries.
#1: Unique cast of characters
Series writer Ed Brisson and series artist Jonas Scharf introduce an interesting cast for this version of the Avengers. At its core is the new Thor, Dani Cage (Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ child); a teenager Hulk who is growing in intelligence; a Captain America who can’t be trusted; Ant-Man, a young kid who was once happy in Forge’s commune; and Viv, aka Vision’s daughter (who gets added later in the series). Bonds are stronger between some but not others, keeping the characters on their toes. It’s a ragtag group that shouldn’t work, but at their core, each of them wants to make the world a better place — some for more selfish reasons than others. There’s a strong message here about wanting the same thing for different reasons, but if that thing is mutually beneficial for everyone, strap in and don’t give up.
#2: You can make amends and be better
Ant-Man and Captain America have some explaining to do, but at the same time, if they can back up their claims and do the right thing they can also be forgiven. Brisson’s narrative plays well with the state of the world and how the Avengers persevere when at other times they may not have made the same choices. When things get really bad sometimes, we have to pick heroes who may not be as reputable as we’d like. That goes for these heroes, and very much goes for people in American politics today.
It’s nice to see Ant-Man aka Dwight Barrett get a bigger role in this book since he was in Mark Millar’s original story. Here he’s a hero filled with doubt, but he will stop at nothing to fight when push comes to shove. Eventually, we learn his true intentions, and in a world where everything is terrible, can you blame him? The important thing is Ant-Man and Captain America make the right choice in the end. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and we must remember people can change, especially when the chips are down.
#3: The bad guys can lose…if you inspire a people
This series rings quite strongly due to the depiction of Dr. Doom’s egomania and thirst to destroy the Avengers and the villains across America. We don’t see him much till the final issue, but when we do Brisson and Scharf wrap up the big showdown in a satisfying way. As an American, it really hit close to home how Dr. Doom is the leader and people look up to him even though we know he’s evil and always has selfish intentions. 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 protests in America could play out with good leadership.
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.