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Avengers Forever #2: Review

Jan 1999
Kurt Busiek, Carlos Pacheco

Story Name:

Now is the time for all good men ...

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers Forever #2 Review by (May 5, 2010)
Iron Man only appears in flashback. Rick Jones is crippled because the Hulk (as Apocalypse's Horseman War) smashed him in Incredible Hulk #457. Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) is the son of the original Captain Marvel and Elysius of Titan. He first appeared in Silver Surfer Annual #6. The future Genis-Vell is quite different from the then-current version. You'll have to wait until #12 to find out why. They both have the Nega-Bands, but otherwise the costume is changed. As well has having short hair, the future version has blue skin and cosmic awareness. In this last attribute he is like his father. Libra and the original Zodiac debuted in Avengers #72 (except for a few members who had appeared earlier, notably Nick Fury's enemy/brother Scorpio). His monk persona first showed up Avengers #130. LMDs are Life Model Decoys, perfect artificial replicas usually deployed by SHIELD, first seen in Strange Tales #135. The question why Moonraker wasn't Libra will be addressed in #8. Chronopolis was introduced in the Citizen Kang crossover that started in Captain America Annual #11.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Forever #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Rick Jones awoke from a coma to find himself in the Blue Area of the Moon, in the midst of a battle between Kang and Immortus. The Kree Supreme Intelligence and a mystery monk awoke Rick's dormant Human Evolutionary Potential, causing him to drag 7 Avengers from various times to protect him. In temporal order they are:-

Yellowjacket is from between Avengers #59 and #60 where as Goliath he had had a nervous breakdown and invented the brash new Yellowjacket personality, in which he was about to marry the Wasp.

Hawkeye is from just after the Kree-Skrull War where he had lost his Goliath growing power, and was now working in a carnival with an amnesiac Hercules between Avengers #96 and #98. He only has an ordinary bow and arrows.

Captain America is from just after Captain America #175 where his beliefs and values had been shaken by witnessing the suicide of the head of the Secret Empire, who was a 'highly placed government official' (at the time implied to be President Nixon). In #176 Steve Rogers gave up (will give up) being Captain America (temporarily of course). He also has superstrength since he got poisoned by the Viper in Captain America #157.

Giant-Man and Wasp are from not long after Giant-Man's role in #1 (between Avengers vol 3 #9 and #10). Giant-Man is in a different costume from that he wore in the last issue, but he is seen in this costume starting in Avengers vol 3 #10. He is referred to in this series as Giant-Man, except in #3 I think accidentally as Goliath, a name he doesn't retake until Avengers vol 3 #27 with a totally different costume. Wasp's costume here isn't the same as any she wears in that stretch of Avengers. But then that's the Wasp.

Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) and Songbird (at this time one of the Thunderbolts) are from further ahead in a future where they have become Avengers. They both realise they have been brought back to what they call the Destiny War. We will find later that although they are from the same future, they are not from the same time.

The Supremor and Kang ask the Avengers to help protect Rick against Immortus's horde of warriors from history. Not knowing which side is right one to back, they look to Captain America for guidance. But he has lost all confidence in his own judgement and abilities. So Wasp, no stranger to leading the Avengers, takes command and tells them to fight against Immortus.

The battle is taking place inside a bubble of time created by Kang, outside of which is frozen time created by Immortus. It is Rick Jones who turns the tide, using his reawakened power to enlarge Kang's time bubble, which Immortus was shrinking. Immortus was only here to stop Rick from regaining his power, if necessary by killing him. Temporarily blocked he retreats to Limbo. Kang was here to stop him, and tells the Avengers to hide Rick outside the timestream before the protection of his time bubble evaporates. He leaves to continue the fight with Immortus elsewhere.

Rick's power goes dormant again. He doesn't relapse into a coma, but he does return to his crippled state.

The monk reveals himself to be Gustav Brandt, the Libra of the original Zodiac gang. He takes the distrustful Avengers and Rick through strange places obviously not part of the Blue Area to a place between places, where Immortus can't find them.

Libra claims that he had always interspersed his criminal activities with study of the balance between extremes that his Zodiac sign represented. This led him to investigations into what lay between the opposites, and thence to what lay between times and between places. He explains that he had faked his death when the original Zodiac were killed by their LMD replacements in West Coast Avengers #26, and had dedicated his life to his studies in the between places since then. He denies having taken the identity Moonraker in Force Works and the Crossing crossover that ended in Avengers #395.

The Avengers have gradually come to realise they are all from different times, and now take time to sort out exactly where they all fit. Libra admits he guided Rick in the choice of Avengers to bring through time, but he can't explain what guided *his* choice.

Rick and the Avengers refuse to just hide from Immortus outside the timestream. Libra reluctantly agrees to take them to Kang's stronghold Chronopolis, that exists in Limbo and in all times. But when they get there they find it devastated, and the central citadel under attack by Immortus.

Carlos Pacheco
Jesus Merino
Steve Oliff
Carlos Pacheco (Cover Penciler)
Steve Oliff (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Kang the Conqueror)

Plus: Immortus.

> Avengers Forever: Book info and issue index

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