Comics : Avengers Next #1
This review was first published on: 2007.
Fifteen years in an alternate future, a new generation of Avengers protects the city, brought together once again by the machinations of the sinister Loki. They are: American Dream, team leader fashioned after Captain America in every way possible; J2, son of the Juggernaut; Bluestreak, mutant speedster; Kevin Masterson, formerly Thunderstrike who lost his powers protecting Earth from Galactus; Stinger, daughter of Scott Lang (Ant-Man); Freebooter, former protege of Hawkeye and Swordsman; Mainframe, an android created by and patterned after Tony Stark; and, on occasion, the Sensational Spider-Girl, daughter of Spider-Man.
However, the recent confrontation with Galactus had cost them five of their own: Freebooter to injury, Stinger to political infighting, Spider-Girl to retirement (see Amazing Spider-Girl for details), Thunderstrike with the loss of his power, and Mainframe to work in Washington. Now, the Daily Bugle and American Dream question if there's still a place-or need-for the Avengers in the world.
Avengers Next #1
Jan 2007 : SM Spin-Off App
Summary: Spider-Girl appears
American Dream poses the question, demeaning the team's value while listing off the numerous failures they've had lately. Kevin tries to defend the team's record as Dream counters with the team losses they've sustained lately. While the argument continues, a tour is being conducted elsewhere in Avengers Mansion. One of the tourists separates from the group, entering restricted areas and sounding the alarm. Bluestreak is the first to respond, trying to tackle the costumed culprit but is foiled by his teleporting at the last instant.
The culprit, Warp, reappears somewhere else where he meets up with employers; a burling mountain of a main dressed like a pimp, and an old crone. He hands over what he stole from the mansion before being dismissed in an aggressive manner.
Back at the mansion, the Avengers wonder why anyone would steal their blood and tissue samples. All it does is help Dream become further more convinced that either the time for the Avengers has passed, or maybe the problem is they're just not good enough to live up to the name. All the musing is interrupted by the sudden and unexpected appearance of Sabreclaw on their doorstep. Dream and Kevin approach him on the offensive, but Claw tells them the reason he's there is he's developed a taste for heroism and wants to apply for membership. Suspicions of his intentions run amok but are soon interrupted by the appearance of an army of zombie versions of the Avengers coming up the path.
In need of backup, the call goes out for the Avengers to assemble, including a certain May Parker in Queens. The Avengers already on site try their best to hold back the horde with the help of Claw, suspicions about him distracting them from the main task. Meanwhile, Warp and the big man teleport back into the mansion, just missing Kevin and their butler Jarvis as they head for the armory. But they soon catch up to them. Kevin tries to blast the big man as he grabs Jarvis, doing nothing but removing the outer layer of clothing to reveal Ulik underneath!
The zombies, though only half as powerful as their living counterparts, have no need for the rest the Avengers do. Dream formulates a plan where she should separate to find the source of their power, but can't bring herself to abandon the team. Fortunately for her, May had decided to respond to the call sporting a make-shift costume and stumbled across the power source; that being the old crone.
With the crone distracted, the zombies dissipate and the team turns their attention to the fight between her and Spider-Girl. But, she quickly takes her leave and the team regroups to compare notes. Upon returning to the mansion, Jarvis alerts them to the fact that Kevin had been kidnapped!
The Avengers are back and better than ever. MC2 was a return to classic stories with classic heroes that may have failed to appeal overall, but fortunately the love of Spider-Girl had kept these heroes alive in some form. Tom DeFalco brings with him the old-school fun that makes Spider-Girl such a success and fan favorite book. Ron Lim's artwork compliments it nicely, adding to the old-school feel. The amateurish doubts of the team are emphasized by the constant mistakes each member makes, which slowly brings the team morale down further and further and builds up an interesting story to see how they'll bounce back. If you're a fan of MC2, Spider-Girl, or the recent mini-series that preceded this one, then you'll enjoy this one.
5 Webs. Gotta love some MC2.
Though not neccessary, before reading this mini-series you may want to check out the Last Hero Standing and Last Planet Standing mini-series.