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Avengers Forever #7: Review

Jun 1999
Kurt Busiek, Carlos Pacheco

Story Name:

Into a Limbo Large and Broad...

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers Forever #7 Review by (June 28, 2010)
Whereas WCA#44 portrays Vision's components as more cybernetic/mechanical. Vision was described in Captain America Annual #11 as having miniaturised parts well beyond the capabilities of the 30's. But that issue began the Citizen Kang crossover, which culminated in Avengers Annual #21's revelation that Kang had founded Timely Industries and the town of Timely in 1901 to feed advanced tech to 20th Century Earth. Horton worked for him before building Torch. Kurt Busiek will attempt to sort out this muddle in #8. The idea of a future romance between Captain Marvel and Songbird was later taken up by Peter David in Captain Marvel vol 3 #19, where Genis-Vell experiences parts of his future and sees them as married with kids. There had already been a spark between them when they met in Thunderbolts #45-47, which had the possibility of growing when he joined the team in New Thunderbolts. But then Zemo killed him in Thunderbolts #100, so now the romantic future is an alternative reality. Except dead doesn't necessarily mean dead in the Marvel universe.

Henry Pym then suggested that Vision was created from Torch's spare parts, kept by Horton. Earlier claims by Pym in West Coast Avengers #45 that Vision couldn't possibly be Torch, and by Prof Horton in WCA#44 that Vision wasn't his work, were meant to lead up to this. In AWC#48 it is specifically proposed that Immortus and the synchro-staff must have been lying. But Pym and Horton's claims don't really sound compatible with the spare parts theory, as highlighted by the chrono-visions experienced in this issue. In an even later comic Heroes For Hire #13 Ant-Man (Scott Lang) repeated his predecessor's miniaturised trip, this time inside Torch, and found the contents to be identical to those of Vision, causing him to question the idea that Torch and Vision were different androids. There is also the question of what the insides of these heroes actually are. In AWC#48 Horton said that Torch contained no mechanical parts, just artificial human organs. Vision has a synthesis of artificial organs and machine parts, which is why he is termed a synthezoid, whereas Torch is an android. I find this distinction specious. one could just as easily uphold what I suspect was the original intention of calling Vision a synthezoid, i.e. built of synthetic human organs. The notes to #7 in #8 muddy the waters by saying that the Torch's insides were also found to be mechanical in Heroes For Hire #13. The visuals there certainly look similar to those in Avengers #93, but both look to me more artificial-organic than mechanical (and certainly nothing like Fritz Lang's Metropolis).

One of the synchro-staffs in Avengers #133-135 showed Vision a connection between himself and the WWII Human Torch. Previously it was believed that Vision was created by Ultron, as described in Avengers #57-58. But then Vision met the WWII Human Torch in Avengers #131-132 and Giant-Size Avengers #3, one of Kang's Legion of the Unliving plucked from times before their deaths (Torch 'died' in Fantastic Four Annual #4). Human Torch realised that Vision had his body. Now the synchro-staff showed Vision that Ultron stole Torch's body and coerced his original creator Prof Horton to modify him into the Vision, before reviving him without memory. This tallied with certain previous comments:- in Avengers #93 Ant-Man (Henry Pym) said the inside of Vision was like something out of Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis; in Avengers #102 a Sentinel comments that Vision's body is about 30 years old. However another comic had already contradicted this. Sub-Mariner #14 showed Torch's body being buried. Later comics continued the idea that Vision and Torch were separate, culminating in the discovery and revival of Torch's body in Avengers West Coast #50.

Comments: Iron Man only appears here in flashbacks.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Forever #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

The seven Avengers from various time-periods are still protecting Rick Jones from Immortus. But now they have decided to take the fight to Immortus in Limbo, leaving Rick safe in the time-Sphinx they took from Kang.

Giant-Man and Yellowjacket cobble together a time-drive that Giant-Man can wear, a bracelet for Wasp that will get them back from Limbo to the Sphinx, and Yellowjacket has a device to hopefully locate Immortus in his castle. Songbird creates a sound-platform to carry them, and Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) will use his cosmic awareness to guide them to the castle. Captain America and Hawkeye are along for the ride.

Before they leave, Captain Marvel impresses upon Rick that he mustn't leave the Sphinx. But Rick doesn't like Marvel, seeing him as tarnishing the name of the Rick's dead old friend the original Captain Marvel, despite the fact that Marvel is the original's son.

On the way they see more chronal flashes. One set of visions concerns the Vision and the original Human Torch, and conflicting statements (even by the same person) as to whether they are internally similar. Other views are of previous encounters between Avengers and Immortus:- a synchro-staff guiding the Avengers through the history of Mantis in Avengers #133-135 (while another one shows Vision his own origins); and the first time they met Immortus in Avengers #10, which they can't remember because Enchantress rewound time to make it not happen.

Immortus is aware of the Avengers once they enter his castle, and contrives to separate them all. Then he presents each with a scenario designed to play on their doubts and fears.

Hawkeye faces Tempus (resurrected yet again) who chips away at his youthful insecurities. But Hawkeye is bolstered by Wasp's confidence in making him team leader in Tombstone, and Songbird's memories of him leading and training the Thunderbolts. When giant Tempus tries to regress him to a primordial blob, Hawkeye chooses the moment when he has regressed to having his growing powers, which he recently lost in the Kree-Skrull War, and uses them to out-giant his foe.

Captain America meets various incarnations of Nick Fury who try to persuade him how pointless it is to keep on fighting.

Wasp tries to follow Giant-Man's voice but she hears many of him from various stages in his life, and doesn't know which to heed. I guess this reflects their turbulent relationship, and the many facets of his unstable psyche. She eventually does home in on the right one.

While Wasp tries to find the current Hank Pym, a much earlier version of Pym is being shown his future. This version was brought into this adventure from Avengers #59 where he had a breakdown and created a new identity for himself, Yellowjacket, who denied being Pym. The future includes Yellowjacket reverting to Henry Pym, having another breakdown, and landing in jail. Yellowjacket is determined not to accept this fate.

Songbird faces a jury of people she feels she has failed in the past. She is rescued by Captain Marvel who kisses her. It turns out that he is from further along their future timeline than she is, from a time when they are in a relationship.

Libra is wandering around the castle, but is content not to interfere because the Avengers are doing well on their own.

Because their stealth approach has obviously failed, Wasp signals for the Avengers to retreat to the rendezvous point, but Yellowjacket is missing. He has used local insects to find Immortus, but Immortus has captured him. The Avengers reluctantly leave without him.

When they get back to the Sphinx they find that Rick has left in a chronospere. Hawkeye has picked up a synchro-staff on his travels, which hopefully can be just as informative as it was the last time the Avengers had them.

Meanwhile Yellowjacket has offered to betray the Avengers if Immortus will promise he can remain Yellowjacket and still marry the Wasp.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel


(Clint Barton)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Immortus, Tempus.

> Avengers Forever: Book info and issue index

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