Four Colour Thoughts – Avengers Forever #1 (2021)

The Creators – Jason Aaron – Writer, Aaron Kuder – Artist, Cam Smith – Inker, Jason Keith – Colours, Triona Farrell – Letters

The Players – Ant-Man (Tony Stark), Ghost Rider, Deathlok, Black Skull, Ellisiv, Frigg, Atli

The Story – Ant-Man looks for artifacts from the past that he hopes one day might save his planet while Ghost Rider, brought here by a Deathlok, looks to save the day against the Black Skull and his War Machines.

The Take – Continuing straight off from Avengers #750, Jason Aaron who is accompanied by Aaron Kuder among others, sends Robbie Reyes on what seems an impossible mission. With the Multiversal Masters of Evil on the rise, Ghost Rider has been shunted to this alternate Earth where the Black Skull rules absolutely. It is a grim portrait where mankind is being rounded up by trains mirroring another historical atrocity and it is a ride that they do not come back from. Opposing them is the newly arrived Ghost Rider whose power seems to have been either increased or left unfettered thanks to the suppression of the better parts of his conscience. In any case, he brings the hurt to the villains but when it comes to the Black Skull, he might have met his match, something to be played out in a future issue. On another front, readers are introduced to this world’s Ant-Man who is none other than Tony Stark and here he is an archaeologist, a man looking for hope amongst the ruins of his world. He has found many artifacts including the hammer of Odin and yet even with that, he cannot seem to bring himself to think that things will get better. For a first issue, the book hits all the right notes, Aaron creating an intriguing story while filling it with enough action to keep it moving at a brisk pace as well as leaving things off on a cliff-hanger which should thrill fans of his run on Thor. Not only is the story one that will capture the imagination of the readers, so too does the artwork by Kuder who makes it jump off the page, a man whose work continues to get better and better every time you see it. If there is one thing that Marvel does well, it is creating alternate worlds and realities where they can challenge what their characters could be given different circumstances. That being said, it is nothing exactly new either, readers having seen this type of thing many times over. As it is though, this was well-executed and definitely worth a look for those that like dystopic storylines.

Worth It? – Yes.

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