Spinning out of Avengers #50 is Avengers Forever, a multiversal adventure involving numerous new takes on popular Marvel heroes. A glance at the cover by Aaron Kuder–who also draws the isuse–shows how Jason Aaron is having a ton of fun mixing things up, but how is the first issue? It heavily uses an unfamiliar Avenger from Earth 818, but also Ghost Rider. How bad could it be?
If you’re a fan of Elseworlds and Mad Max, this is a book you must read. It opens with a dark foreboding moment, then smash-cuts to a bit more fun with a new Ant-Man-looking hero, as seen in the preview. Aaron expertly draws you into this character’s experience, slowly unveiling the fact that they are a familiar name, but a different person due to the circumstances of their planet. They’re still a truly great hero and you believe in them by the end of the book. That’s a big reason why this first issue works — you will buy into this character’s perspective and journey even though they aren’t part of the 616 universe.
This book also works well due to the fantastic art by Kuder, Cam Smith, Jason Keith, & Triona Farrell. There are impressive moments capturing the breathless slow-mo moments we expect from great action in comics and the very same you see in big blockbuster films. Fire effects abound in the issue, which have a fluid look and are well colored. Continuing with the Mad Max connection, the book understands when to zoom out and give us a bit of perspective as danger chases heroes or looms over them. You always understand the stakes thanks to the art giving us the visuals.
There are also inventive twists on characters that are well designed, instantly imbuing a sense of imagination since we aren’t given info but must infer it on looks alone. In that way, the book again captures the imagination.
As a spoiler-free review, it’s hard to discuss the Ghost Rider element, but the solicit reads: “Ghost Rider finds himself roaring through the wasteland on a ruined Earth.” The lone hero being chased at every turn is another reason why this issue works. From the very start, heroes are losing or on the edge of losing, so you’re rooting for them to make it out okay. Given the larger story unfolding with the Multiversal Masters of Evil, you know every hero matters and thus you’re on the edge of your seat every step of the way.
If you’re a fan of being dropped into the deep end of imaginative superhero stories, you’ll love Avengers Forever #1. It’s a good mix of relevant heroes doing the right thing, intense action, and clever twists on familiar characters. Avengers Forever is a Marvel mashup of ingenuity and ferocious Mad Max energy.
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