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Avengers Forever #12: Review

Feb 2000
Kurt Busiek, Carlos Pacheco

Story Name:

Avengers Assemble

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Avengers Forever #12 Review by (June 30, 2010)
Another alternate reality brought into the fold is the single issue Timeslip. Among the unlikely Avengers is Gladiator of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. The merged Rick Jones and Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) continue into vol 3 of Captain Marvel, starting with #0 from Wizard. In #18 Rick loses an arm and is aged. Thanos fails to help him in #19, but gives him the costume the old him has in Avengers Forever #11-12. Then in #20 Rick disappears for a few panels, during which Avengers Forever #11-12 happens. The Kree Supremor tries to cure him in #25 but also appears to fail. However in #26 Rick spontaneously reverts to his younger version, with two arms. I have already described in my Notes on #7 what little we have seen of the romance between Captain Marvel and Songbird. In Avengers Forever Songbird is from a future before that romance has blossomed. Here in #12 she returns to that future where she is an Avenger with Wasp and Jack of Hearts. With the deaths of Wasp in Secret Invasion and Jack in Avengers Disassembled, this future now becomes improbable. Captain Marvel's part of that future was similarly negated by his death in Thunderbolts. It is revealed in Avengers v3 #35 that the Supremor uses the Forever Crystal to mutate some Kree into the Ruul, which leads to the Maximum Security limited series and crossover.

Amongst the extra (good and bad) Avengers depicted in this issue there are more from sources mentioned last issue, but also some from other places. Some Avengers turn up from the Avengers: United They Stand animated series. If animated series are considered alternate universes then I should include Immortus's appearance in an X-Men animated episode in his history. The online unofficial Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe puts it between the Terminatrix backup in Avengers Annual #21 and the impersonation of Kang in the Crossing storyline. On the other hand last issue we saw characters from Earth X, and Earth X's Immortus is generally considered different. Busiek and Pacheco also sneak in some Avengers from Avengers: World In Chains, a series they did some work on but which was never published.

The Immortus in Marvel Universe: The End #2 could be either version. The end of Avengers Forever plus the subsequent issues of Captain Marvel seem to tie up the merged Captain Marvel/old Rick Jones plotline in a neat bow. But I don't think it really explains everything. Current Rick Jones merges with future Captain Marvel, but when he gets back to his own time he is merged with current Captain Marvel. Current Captain Marvel becomes blue-skinned and short-haired apparently just because he will be so in the future. Avengers Forever #12 says the same about gaining cosmic awareness, but Captain Marvel #0 says the merger triggered his latent ability. When Rick is aged in Captain Marvel #18 he doesn't get the Avengers Forever costume, including the Eye of Agamotto, Falcon's boots, Superman's cape and Batman's utility belt. It appears that Thanos dresses him in these clothes in #19, clothes that just happen to be lying around his starship. In Avengers Forever future Marvel remembers going through the Destiny War and merging with Rick, and tries to avoid having to do the merging this time round. However current Marvel doesn't inherit future Marvel's memories, so I don't know how this works. When does future Marvel come from? He isn't Marvel from Captain Marvel #20. Rick hasn't just been aged, he's been given the body of a future Rick (but retained his current mind). I would have to guess that the Marvel in Avengers Forever is from future Rick's time, although this is never mentioned or explained anywhere.

Hulk, Iron Man and She-Hulk only appear here as alternate reality versions. I'm not sure why the Avengers summoned in #11 by the Destiny Force should vanish with the destruction of the Forever Crystal. It wasn't stated that the Crystal was enhancing the Destiny Force. On the good side it was the presence of 2 Rick Jones's that made it work. On the evil side it was Jonz Rickard who was the source. The new Immortus has the old Immortus's memories, and says he won't make the same mistakes twice. This could mean he's going off to live Immortus's life from Avengers #10 onwards, but to do some things differently, including not work for the Time-Keepers. On the one hand this makes sense in terms of Kang not having to become Immortus, and that Limbo-based Immortus doesn't have alternate-reality copies. On the other hand if he does things differently he'll change Avengers' history. On the third hand he could be going off to live a *new* life, which would leave Immortus's old life in limbo (excuse the pun). Whatever happens this affects Immortus's timeline as described in my comments on #10. The dying Immortus of Avengers: Terminatrix Objective can no longer be the future of the old Immortus. Maybe it's the final fate of the new Immortus. That scenario also includes Ravonna, so maybe new Immortus remembers her and gets together with her again. More radically, I notice that the episodes with Ravonna don't get mentioned in Space Phantom's history of Immortus in #8. Maybe it is the new Immortus who does some or all of the actions omitted by the Phantom, including winning Ravonna's love away from Kang. The actions in #12 also cast a new light on subsequent appearances by characters. The Time-Keepers in Marvel Universe: The End #2 and Marvel Knights 4 #16 would have to be from before their death here.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Forever #12 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Hordes of good and bad versions of Avengers battle it out in the Citadel at the End of Time. The bad Avengers have been summoned thorugh time from alternate realities by the 3 Time-Keepers. The good Avengers have beem similarly brought here by 2 versions of Rick Jones using the Destiny Force. The Rick Jones's also use the power of the Destiny Force to enhance the good Avengers. Unfortunately the alternate future Jonz Rickard is doing the same for the evil Avengers.

The good Avengers are trying to stop the Time-Keepers from activating a chrono-cannon which will wipe out most timelines containing humanity. The Time-Keepers want to prevent humanity from overrunning the galaxy and beyond, and preserve the timelines that lead to their own creation at the end of time.

Meanwhile the Time-Keepers are also trying to evolve their enemy Kang into their pawn Immortus. They killed the actual Immortus last issue when he rebelled against them. Libra knows that the Cosmic Balance requires both Kang and Immortus to exist.

The older of the 2 Rick Joneses uses his Nega-Bands to swap back with the future Captain Marvel. Marvel has been trying to avoid something during this limited series, but now he is resigned to it.

Kang manages to halt his transformation into Immortus, and rejoins the fray.

Time-Keepers fire the chrono-cannon. But Rick Jones draws all the Destiny Force into himself (from evil Avengers as well as good ones?) and dives into the cannon as it fires, destroying it. Kang kills the Time-Keepers.

The destruction of the chrono-cannon leaves behind its power source the Forever Crystal. The Crystal is capable of destroying timelines, and creating others. Kang wants it, but Captain America picks it up. Cap is tempted by all the bad events in the past he could use it to put right. But he resists and destroys it.

At this point all the Avengers disappear except the original 7 brought from various times by Rick Jones in #1.

When Kang stopped becoming Immortus he actually split off a baby Immortus, who has now rapidly grown to an adult, but still much younger than the original. The new Immortus has the old Immortus's memories, which is strange because he has just been born from Kang. He says the Crystal isn't destroyed, just gone to Limbo to await its destiny.

Libra says that Kang and Immortus have been split into separate beings, as Immortus used the Forever Crystal to split the original Human Torch into 2 beings, as seen in #8, one of which could go on to become the Vision. Kang is no longer bound by his fate to become Immortus. The new Immortus leaves to follow his own fate. Kang goes too.

Rick Jones is dying due to the explosion of the chrono-cannon. Future Captain Marvel accepts his fate, says goodbye to his future love Songbird, and persuades the Kree Intelligence Supreme to help him merge with Rick, as the original Captain Marvel once did.

Libra sends Avengers, Rick and Supremor back to their lives. The Avengers from the past won't remember what happened. Yellowjacket returns to his wedding to Wasp in Avengers #60, Hawkeye to Hercules and his phone call home in Avengers #99, Captain America to the death of Number One of the Secret Empire in Captain America #175. Those from the present and future will remember to some extent. Songbird returns to the future. Rick Jones, Giant-Man and Wasp return to the present between Avengers v3 #11 and 13.

Rick Jones discovers he can swap places with Captain Marvel via the Nega-Bands. But the Captain Marvel he swaps with is the younger then-current version. However this version suddenly takes on the hairstyle, skin colour and costume of the future version, and gains his father's cosmic awareness.

Meanwhile Libra leaves the Kree Supremor back in the Blue Area of the Moon. But after he has gone, Supremor calls the Forever Crystal to him.


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Carlos Pacheco
Jesus Merino
Steve Oliff
Carlos Pacheco (Cover Penciler)
Jesus Merino (Cover Inker)
Tony Kelly (Cover Colorist)
Steve Oliff (Cover Colorist)
Plot: .

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell), Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Immortus, Libra, Songbird.