Avengers Forever is awesome. It’s doubly awesome that, while he was writing this, Kurt Busiek was also rebooting The Avengers in their own title.
This comic, unlike that reboot, is one long adventure. And yes, it involves time travel. And yes, it is confusing. And yet, it is great.
Kang (a time-traveller from the future who came into the 616 timeline’s past as Rama Tut) saves Rick Jones, who Kang needs to help defend himself from Immortus, which is a future version of Kang himself. Yes, this story was so complicated it actually had a page of footnotes that appeared at the end of issue #12.
Convinced that Kang can be trusted, Rick then recruits just about everyone from all the various periods of The Avengers’ past–and future. Turns out, he’s got an ongoing association with the Kree Supreme Intelligence.
Who now lives in a tube. I like him better as a floating, disembodied jello head.
With the Supreme Intelligence, Rick pulls cynical Captain America from the Secret Empire/Steve Englehart era. Songbird is pulled from the future, where she is comfortable being a hero. Genis-Vell is pulled in (instead of the good Captain Mar-Vell–oh well).
And so on.
After arriving, the assembled team meets KSI and learns of their mission.
Then, they are sent into action.
They then go on a romp through Marvel’s history.
And Escher paintings.
Of course, in the end they are able to protect the integrity of the 616 timeline from Immortus’ schemes.
There’s lots of great moments like the one above, where Hank Pym teams up with Hank Pym.
This book is not so much about the plot and story as it is about the spectacle.
And the fighting.
And the Easter Eggs. Like the reference to Avengers artist Don Heck, above.
Lots of alternate versions and past versions and interesting non-616 characters (Killraven!) appear throughout…The bigger a Marvel fan you are, the more you will enjoy this.
After their success, the various heroes are returned to their timelines with amnesia.
The lasting result is that Kang and Immortus end up split into different beings in the same timeline, but they’re both still Nathaniel Richards. So, I’m still just using the one tag. It’s all too confusing. In fact, so many people appear in this series that I’ve only tagged the ones I got to before I got too tired of trying to identify everyone.
Again: Great comic. Don’t take my lazy tagging as a sign of anything critical or negative.