There’s nothing like the traditional “soldier writing home from the front lines” letter. And this is nothing like that. Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers Forever #14 from Marvel Comics awaits!
AVENGERS FOREVER #14
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jim Towe
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Chris Sotomayor
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 15, 2023
Previously in Avengers Forever:
The mightiest heroes of the Multiverse.
The protectors of the prehistoric Earth.
The mainstay Avengers of the present-day Marvel.
At last, they all stand together in one place, united against a common foe. What enemy could dare stand against the greatest force ever assembled?
IN THE HEART OF THE ALL AND ALWAYS
In keeping with the tone of the Avengers Assemble crossover to date, we pick up in the middle of a new character’s narrative, with an Avenger writing home to his loved ones. It takes a little bit to realize who the missive comes from, as the story features an army of Dooms in action against Avengers from across the firmament. In the rubble of Avengers Tower, we see a flurry of events: All-Rider reunites with his teammates, Agamotto falls, and platoons of Captains Marvel fill the skies. On the ground in the company of Captains America, Steve Rogers (the tiny one who was the focal point of the all-Steve issue a few months ago) hurls Mjolnir against his foes, amazed at what has become of his life. When Doom, The Living Planet attacks, the one-two punch of T’Challa the Star Panther and a pair of Phoenixes square off with him/it, while The Doom Above All faces Loki himself. When Loki falls, all seems lost, until Namor rushes in to give the wizard time to recover, bashing Doom Above All in his stupid masked face. When Steve takes a fatal wound, he is saved by his best friend Steve in one of the sweetest, most moving, and nigh-impossible-to-describe moments of the war so far…
And then, the other satanic shoe drops.
THE END OF EVERYTHING
This issue provides many of the things that I need from a fight sequence, with wild visuals fighting to one-up Aaron’s well-done scripting. There’s a truly wonderful moment where Captain Carter and her Howling Steve-mandos are joined by prime Captain America, whom Rogers greets with a barked command of “New guy! Maintain formation!” There’s a wonderful blink-and-you’ll miss interaction between Tony “Iron Man” Stark and Tony “Ant-Man” Stark, and some impressively horrific moments from the nightmarish army of Victor von Dooms, but for my money, Namor steals the show. After warning Loki not to betray them in the starkest terms possible (reminding the Prince of Lies that he, too, is a ne’er-do-well and will not hesitate to use his Atlantean strength to “tear you to screaming shreds”), he faces Doctor Doom, who boasts that nothing standing upon the barren rock of the planet can defeat him. As a torrent of blood rains from the sky, dripping from the eye of the Living Planet, Namor swims through it to batter Doom Above All mercilessly, noting that nobody is standing on rock any longer. It wouldn’t be easy to make “fish-man swims through an ocean of blood from the sky to punch the $#!+ out of a guy in a furry cape” a clear sequence, but Towe not only makes it clear what’s happening, but he also makes it look awesome.
BOTTOM LINE: BUILDING TO THE BIG SHOW-STOPPER
The wonderful thing about Avengers Forever #14 is that, in theory, the story of hundreds of people, many with the same face, punching other people with the same face could have been just another fight, but careful art and attention to character and detail make this one of the most tragic chapters so far, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. When Jason Aaron’s run on Avengers began, I remember being annoyed with so many seeds of story being planted, but this crossover shows that the long game can pay off for creators who put it all together the right way.
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AVENGERS FOREVER #14
It's hard to show us a battlefield sequence in a comic book, but this issue pulls it off really well, with quite a few truly impressive moments.