‘Avengers Forever’ #1 picks up where ‘Avengers’ #750 left off with a return to a world wiped out of its potential before it ever had the chance. A world on which we meet a very different Ant-Man to the one we are familiar with, but one who hasn’t given up hope. Jason Aaron and Aaron Kuder offer up a dynamic and exciting first chapter in what will no doubt be a sprawling saga across the Marvel multiverse.
Set in the every growing multiverse of the Marvel cosmos, Avengers Forever #1 takes us back to Earth 818, as revealed in The Avengers #750 and a world where hope is all anyone has. A world out short at the knees a the dawn of time and one that has now grown rotten to the core and ruled over by the mysterious Wasteland. But, not all is lost as we meet this world’s Ant-Man. Not the guy you’d expect either, but someone all too familiar to Marvelites nonetheless.
For me, as a life-long comic book fan, Multiversal stories have always offered the potential for great storytelling. Such stories give the creators free rein to do want the Hell they want on a fresh, unsullied canvas. And writer Jason Aaron and artist Aaron Kuder along with colourist Cam Smith and letterer Cory Petit are more the up for the challenge as they weave the familiar with the unfamiliar into creating a brave new world of bleakness and despair. A “what if..?” world upon which the remnants of humanity are rounded up, evoking shivering reminders of our own past and the treatment of the Jews during World War II. With a fascistic dictator to match.
With this issue you get the sense that writer Jason Aaron has nothing short of an epic scale saga to tell, with multiple alternative Earths yet to visit. He’s clearly in no rush as he reveals tantalising aspects of this broken world and its history through the narrative of Ant-Man as well as the background details he has Kuder add as the story progresses. And with the addition of the 616’s Ghost Rider and dimensional cop, Deathlock, we clearly have a cosmic recruitment drive in the offing that will eventually lead to a Justice League Incarnate style Avengers. Not the most original of ideas I admit, but it’s all in the execution. And Aaron has time and again proven himself to be an outstanding storyteller. As he does here.
But, every great comic book storyteller needs a great artistic collaborator to make his vision shine and in Kuder, he has most certainly found his man. The minute details Kuder brings to bare on his art adds texture, depth and the all-important drama. Whether this is the overwrought details he puts into the Ghost Rider’s flaming wheels of the cleverly rendered smoke emitting from Mjolnir as Ant-Man tries to lift it – all filled with skull-shaped smoking curls – Kuder has certainly earned his place as one of Marvel’s most interesting and reliable artists, and one of its best too.
Avengers Forever #1 is an intriguing and exciting debut with so much potential for greatness. Every new Earth Aaron and Kuder can dream up holds so much exciting opportunities too. I mean, just look at the cover! And with that unwritten promise, I’m in for the long haul on this title. Are you?
Avengers Forever #1 is out now from Marvel Comics