Art and Story by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz
One of the earliest comic book reviews I did for the Avocado was J2 and the future of the Marvel Universe under the MC2 imprint. Today we will be taking a look at the next generation of Avengers with A-Next!
In this issue, the Avengers travel to a parallel universe. They land on an Earth much like their own except with a few notable changes – on this Earth, Red Skull was not trapped in a bunker until modern times. Instead, Red Skull kills Hitler and leads the Axis to total victory in World War II. Red Skull makes a young Victor Von Doom his heir and protégé. Doom kills Red Skull and becomes the leader of the world. Doom’s science experiments lead to the development of a Universal Cube, which enables the user to travel to parallel Earths in the multiverse. The Avengers of Earth 616 travelled to this Earth to stop Doom, which led to the loss of half their team in battle. One Avenger presumed dead stayed behind to keep Doom from reaching the prime Marvel Universe. The new Avengers must stop Doom from successfully completing a second Universal Cube while fending off his Thunder Guard, evil versions of Tony Stark and the other founding members of the Avengers.
Anytime I come across any of the MC2 comics in the back-issue bin, I try to scoop them up because they are very hard to find on Midtown Comics and other online comic shops.
I love these glimpses of the future of the Marvel Universe. It’s nice to see that some of the threads in these stories are used in Marvel Comics today. For example: Clint Barton is reunited with Jarvis and Tony Stark in this issue. Clint retired from the Avengers after being stricken blind. In the prequel series Old Man Hawkeye, Clint starts to encounter vision problems and in Old Man Logan, Clint is totally blind by the time he is reunited with Wolverine. Another example: American Dream (Shannon Carter) is a member of A-Next. She was brought back as a member of the Avengers in the year 2099.
Some members of A-Next are related to former Avengers members in some way or another. However, trying to figure out who their parents are is tough if you haven’t read the series from the beginning. Blue Streak is very reminiscent of Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver. She can run at superhuman speeds. Is she the daughter of Quicksilver and Crystal or does she just have similar powers and chose her name and costume as a homage to Pietro? Keep this in mind if you pick up any of the MC2 titles. It is fun doing research on these newer superheroes.
I would love to see the MC2 line come back in some fashion, whether it’s a new comic book miniseries, animated movie, cartoon series, or wave of Marvel Legends action figures. I would totally geek out if there is a glimpse of the MC2 in a future Marvel Cinematic universe movie.
Next Issue – “Our heroes face their greatest challenge, and suffer their most painful loss…CRUCIBLE!”