Avengers Forever #1 is written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Aaron Kuder, colored by Jason Keith with Cam Smith and Triona Farrell, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. Picking up after the events of Avengers #750, part one of “The Lords of Earthly Vengeance” finds Robbie Reyes—better known as the Ghost Rider—and a Deathlok from the end of time landing in an alternate Earth ravaged by the Multiversal Masters of Evil. However, they aren’t the only heroes as Tony Stark—better known as the world’s smallest archeologist, the Astonishing Ant-Man—has been outrunning the Black Skull and his army of War Machines!
In the same vein as Heroes Reborn, Aaron takes what one might expect from the Marvel Universe and inverts it, presenting unique takes on beloved heroes from the House of Ideas. This world’s version of Stark has traded his Iron Man armor for the shrinking technology of Ant-Man, yet is still a genius inventor accompanied by a mechanical ant he created called Shellhead. While on one of his archeological missions, Stark also discovers Mjolnir, the magical hammer of Thor. And War Machine, the longtime friend of Iron Man, is the face of an army of killing machines that have an iron grip on the planet. Fans of Aaron’s Thor run will also want to keep an eye out for the final page.
The book also places Robbie front and center, which makes me happy. He’s grown on me as the Ghost Rider, and to see him taking the fight to the Masters of Evil is a solid story pitch. Plus, I will never get over the simple yet excellent concept of a literal Spirit of Vengeance leading a team of Avengers. His partnership with Deathlok is interesting, considering readers know very little about the Deathloks’ multiversal mission or the mysterious Avenger Prime. That being said, as a fan of the late Dwayne McDuffie’s work, particularly on Deathlok, I look forward to seeing what Aaron does with the cyborg.
The series features artwork from Kuder, who previously illustrated issues of Avengers and Heroes Reborn for Aaron. Kuder’s artwork is extremely detailed; you can see the individual flames jutting out of Ghost Rider’s head and he gives Stark’s Ant-Man suit some subtle nods to his Iron Man armor. He also draws some intense action sequences, including a chase scene where Ghost Rider hooks up his Hell Charger to a train and pulls it. One single page features the Hell Charger racing down the tracks, train in tow, and War Machines in hot pursuit. It’s definitely an image worth the cover price.
The colorists also put in heavy-duty work. Shellhead boasts Iron Man’s signature red and gold color scheme, while Ghost Rider’s hellfire is a bright burning yellow inferno. Even Petit’s letters change color depending on who’s speaking and narrating. There’s black and white for Ghost Rider and the War Machines and red and white for Stark’s section of the book.
Avengers Forever #1 cracks open the Multiverse, promising to unite the mightiest heroes of every Earth in Marvel’s history. I look forward to seeing who else joins Ghost Rider’s new team, as some great characters in the Marvel Multiverse could use the spotlight. Between this book and Justice League Incarnate, the movies aren’t the only place where superhero fans can get in on dimension-hopping action.
Avengers Forever #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on December 22, 2021.
Avengers Forever #1
Avengers Forever #1 cracks open the Multiverse, promising to unite the mightiest heroes of every Earth in Marvel’s history. I look forward to seeing who else joins Ghost Rider’s new team, as some great characters in the Marvel Multiverse could use the spotlight.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.