Avengers Forever #13
The Avengers of Earth-616 traveled to the past to protect their prehistoric counterparts, and together, they are facing off against the Multiversal Masters. Doom Supreme of the Multiversal Masters has also gathered his own army of variants to usurp power. Meanwhile, the Avengers assembled by Avenger Prime are defending Avengers Tower from a horde of invading Mephisto variants. As the battle wages above, Ant-Man led some of his teammates belowground, where they discovered some powerful new allies—the Goddesses of Thunder and Old Man Phoenix!
The opening pages of Avengers Forever #13 are striking, and they paint a picture which requires no context to enjoy. The three granddaughters of Thor sail throughout the cosmos recovering the body parts of Old Man Phoenix, scattered across the multiverse in the aftermath of a battle with his dark counterpart. The scenario is akin to that of true Norse legend, and, as anyone familiar with his work on Thor and Conan: The Barbarian may have presumed, Jason Aaron brings that descriptive pulp-fantasy prose to further sell the mythological tone.
Top this all off with a guest appearance by a Mangog, beautifully-rendered by Aaron Kuder in a way that translates Kirby’s creature design without resorting to outright mimicry, and you have an intro effective enough to make me desire more of this Asgardian trio’s adventures.
Issue #13 does a respectable job of squeezing character development in between explosions and punches, establishing the personalities and motivations of Thor’s granddaughters quickly before the focus shifts back to the larger narrative. Frigg is the eldest and wisest of the women, taking on the burden of leadership. Atli is a wild-spirited and battle-hungry warrior, while Ellisiv, who serves as our narrator, is studious and pensive. The three of them are archetypes for sure, but actions speak louder than words when it comes to first impressions, and Aaron Kuder’s pencils combined with Frank Martin’s colors ensure that every action performed by these Asgardians feels mighty.
Their ship is pulled by the hammers of a hundred fallen Thors, and the combined electricity arcing off of them gives the appearance of a blue-tailed comet streaking through the stars. Those same hammers later rain down onto the battlefield, providing several opportunities to appreciate finer details. Drawing and coloring an entire flock of Mjolnirs is impressive enough, but creating a unique design for each one even more so. The art team somehow manages to one-up their own spectacle with the arrival of a Death Star-inspired planet of Doctor Doom variants, drawn from a ground-view perspective that grants it a great sense of scale and dimension.
The issue ends when the enigmatic Avenger Prime, who has been leading the war effort against Mephisto’s army, reveals himself as a Loki variant. Prior issues resisted hyping up any mystery behind this figure’s true identity, making the reveal effective and rewarding. Perhaps the choice of Loki is meant to double as sneaky cinematic synergy? The trickster god taking on a heroic role in the midst of time-travel and multiversal chaos is reminiscent of his Disney+ series. And since his introduction, Avenger Prime has been rocking a beige suit similar to that of his cinematic counterpart. If this was all intentional, I applaud Aaron’s ability to work synergy into his storyline in a way that feels natural, while simultaneously paying tribute to comic Loki’s occasionally-overlooked importance within Avengers history.
Avengers Forever #13 taps into the imaginative fun that comes with the concept of the multiverse, provided entertaining action and an unexpected reveal.
Avengers Forever #13: It’s Raining Hammers, Hallelujah
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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