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Avengers Forever #13
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Avengers Forever’ #13 brings untold epics to a teetering precipice

Fractured stories reach what might be their tragic conclusions.

The Avengers Assemble crossover is an impossibly large collection of epics told in condensed form. Every issue — including every issue of the lead-up in Avengers and Avengers Forever — has inferred its own sliver of a story we haven’t been (and cannot be) told; Assemble is only the place where these unseen stories reach their conclusions.

Avengers Forever #13 implies no less than five abbreviated epics alone, all in the course of twenty-odd pages. The near-destruction of Old Man Phoenix and the journey to gather his cast-off parts undertaken by the Last Asgardians are our central narratives, but even in these are the horrible implications of other forgotten, tragic tales.

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Avengers Forever #13
Marvel Comics

The Asgardian’s spacefaring ship, for example, is drawn by hundreds of lost Mjolnirs discovered across the multiverse, implying a bevy of lost Thors, a multitude of universes denied their Thunder God. There are a handful of background Captains America whose appearances suggest distinct and compelling universes—Captains of the old West, Captains who remained Cap-Wolves.

Avengers Forever #13
To say nothing of the personal journey of these sisters.
Marvel Comics

 The myriad possible stories in this event, from those minor suggestions to our primary characters, elevate the event’s implied gravity, somehow managing to finally overshadow every end-of-time, end-of-existence story that has ever been told in the Marvel Universe. While our POV-narratives are borne of Jason Aaron’s two-decade stint of Marvel stories, the implication is that these fragmented threads put every Marvel story and all potential Marvel stories at risk.

This issue does a lot of work in finally drawing disparate parts together — bringing those Last Asgardians and Old Man Phoenix, at last, to the tower at the end of time, uniting them with the Ant-Man Tony Stark and putting them in communication with All-Rider Robbie Reyes.

The issue neglects to include the rest of the Earth-616 heroes, who are currently entrenched over in the pages of Avengers, and this restraint only heightens the impossible scale of the event; in all that multiversal chaos, in a war against infinite Mephistos, the likelihood of these two groups coalescing is slim. While the event will almost certainly conclude with this coming together of halves, prolonging that point only strengthens the stakes.

Avengers Forever #13
Marvel Comics

While I’ll spare you the spoilers, I’ll allow that this is the issue where Avengers Prime is finally unmasked, and his identity is symbolically resonant to the whole of the Avengers mythology. His arrival coincides with the Doom Above All’s decisive attack, replacing the impossibly powerful army the heroes have seemingly routed with one all the more insidious.

This issue puts the whole endeavor at the perfect teetering point, a fitting explosive cliffhanger for the exact halfway point of the story. All those fractured epics have reached what might be their tragic conclusions, and the anticipation for Kuder and Aaron to gather all the dangling threads together is excruciating.

Avengers Forever #13
‘Avengers Forever’ #13 brings untold epics to a teetering precipice
Avengers Forever #13
With both restraint and excess, Avengers Forever #13 implies massive untold stories without quite drawing the dual Avengers Assemble narratives together.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The event grows ever more ambitious.
Lands surprisingly effective personal highlights for an array of our characters.
Brings us to a cataclysmic cliffhanger.
The event's multi-tiered structure is both a feature and a bug, both exciting and muddled.
9
Great
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