Graphic Novel Review: Avengers World: Next World

Avengers World: Next World

Avengers World: Next World - Credit: Archant

A giant dragon, future theft and the walking dead... Just another day on Avengers World.

(Panini Books)

An army of the dead has been resurrected by the sorceress Morgan Le Fay and unleashed on cities across the globe, science terrorists A.I.M are siphoning technology from the future to fuel their rapid expansion, and the criminal nation of Madripoor is threatening China from its position on the head of a gargantuan dragon… Just another day in the life of the Avengers.

Under the direction of SHIELD, members of the world’s greatest superhero team are divided and targeted at different threats according to their own powers and experience, joining forces with other international heroes who comprise the Chinese Ascendant and Euroforce.

Meanwhile, SHIELD director Maria Hill plucks the Avengers’ children from a future history to deal with the menace of A.I.M Island, where time is being abused for profit and power with little regard for the impact on causality.

The epic conclusion to more than a year’s worth of storytelling, this is pretty much the end of the Avengers World series as we know it, as the last few issues in this collection are an unrelated tie-in to the Axis crossover, and will be followed by a prelude to the Time Runs Out event in the next volume.

The somewhat rapid wrap-up to all three threats suggests this narrative may have been truncated somewhat to allow for the subsequent crossovers, but perhaps that’s a better option than allowing things to drag on needlessly to pad out trade paperback collections.

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The following Axis storyline sees the morality of heroes and villains inverted, which results in a guilt-consumed Doctor Doom instructing his apprentice Valeria Richards to bring together a new team of Avengers to confront an evil Scarlet Witch.

Her unusual gathering of heroes includes 3-D Man, US Agent, Elsa Bloodstone, Stingray and Valkyrie, who are thrown into immediate battle with a crazed Wanda Maximoff seeking vengeance on Doom for her past treatment at his hands. It’s an interesting aside, with some decent character moments, but the Z-list line-up of Avengers struggle to prove their worth, and only the story’s denouement lifts it from being immediately forgettable.