Review: ‘Avengers of the Wastelands #5’ Delivers Hope In The Darkness

by James Ferguson

The would-be Avengers of the dystopian landscape formally known as the United States of America have taken the fight to Doctor Doom himself. They’re in the center of New Latveria in what was once known as Times Square when their plan goes awry and they’re forced into a head on confrontation with the tyrant. They represent the last vestige of hope and salvation in this otherwise harrowing world. If they go down, no one else is there to pick up the call and stop Doom so everything is on the line.

I’m a sucker for these kind of alternate reality / future stories showing the next generation of heroes. I love the modern day characters, but let’s face it: They’ve largely been the same folks for like 80 years. Comics like this are a breath of fresh air that shows what could happen if these heroes were ever allowed to age. This world, originally introduced in the modern day classic Old Man Logan series, continues to deliver and Avengers of the Wastelands is the latest addition.
This story has been a whirlwind of emotion as the characters learn to trust each other. They’re used to working alone so this team dynamic is new to them. They have conflicting personalities and they’re not always in agreement with how to handle a situation. What matters is how they handle these arguments. Writer Ed Brisson showcases each characters unique attributes in these kind of confrontations.

The final revelation about Doom’s plan, which has been building throughout this entire series, is somewhat bittersweet. He lays it all on the line and we see how everything up until this point has played out from his perspective. From Doom’s distorted point of view, he’s the hero. He took steps to try and make his legacy that of a benevolent leader and the Avengers stand in the way of that.
Jonas Scharf is the perfect artist for Avengers of the Wastelands. His style has the right amount of grit to produce that lived-in feel. This is a world that has been through quite a lot. It shows in how the characters carry themselves and how every setting, including the otherwise bright and shiny Times Square looks a little dirty. The Avengers represent the sole shining light in the darkness.

Colorist Neeraj Menon brings that quality out in spades. This final battle happens in the lights of Times Square, casting a strange glow on this knock-down, drag-out fight. It’s like there’s a spotlight on Doom and his lies. He stands revealed to the world.
Avengers of the Wastelands #5 builds to an exciting and life-affirming climax. It builds with hope and excitement, showing that there’s a better way. Letterer Cory Petit adds to this with ever-increasing font that coincides with the intensity of the scene. It wraps up with a solid ending, while at the same time leaving the door open for further stories in this world. I certainly hope we get the chance to see more soon.
Avengers of the Wastelands #5 from Marvel Comics is currently available digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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