Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Retro Review: A-Next #1


I went into a lot of detail on the back story behind the MC2 universe in an earlier post so I won't go into that here. This series was about the next generation of Avengers and it takes place about 15 years from the current Marvel Universe. Our story starts with the team fighting a bunch of Rock Trolls in Asgard and then we flashback to see how we got here. We see Kevin Masterson, son of the original Thunderstrike meeting up with Jarvis at Avengers Mansion. The team is no disbanded and has been for several years and now the place is a sort of museum with people taking tours through it. Anyways, it being past Kevin's 18th birthday Jarvis is, per Thunderstike's will, giving Kevin his dad's hammer. The hammer is supposedly dormant and it just a heirloom. When he leaves the mansion Kevin is attacked by rock trolls who want the hammer. Jarvis sees this and sounds the mansion  alarm and we see Jolt, Jubilee, Speedball and Stinger all get the Avengers distress call. J2 merely sees the commotion and joins the fray, and Mainframe shows up and says he put out the call. Our heroes get transported to Asgard, all in chains except for the non powered Kevin. Loki is there giving the typical villain monologue about how he will harness the dormant magic in the hammer using his big magical ummm harnesser? Kevin being free manages to grab the hammer apparently fusing with it becoming the new Thunderstrike. The team battles the rock trolls but Thunderstike manages to shoot a distress signal into the sky thus summoning Thor, now lord of Asgard. Loki flees like a little bitch and Thor returns the heroes to Earth. Mainframe makes a speech about how its been to long since there were Avengers. Jolt, Jubilee, and Speedball all bail but our other four heroes remain reforming the Avengers.

As with J2 this is a pretty decent read and is definitely worth checking out. But it raises a couple of questions to me. The first is a bit of a continuity question. This is the team we have at the end of the issue.


But in What if #105, which must take place after this the team consists of this line up.


So when did Jubille, Speedball, and Jolt come back? And where is Mainframe and Stinger? And let's not even get into the Visions face on the computer screen and what that might mean. Kind of a minor problem I know, and I suppose you could make a No-Prize worthy explanation for it, but it still bugs me. When you've had three issues of a new universe published you really shouldn't have a continuity fuck up already.

The second question is, when your doing a book like this, a possible future next generation kinda book (MC2, 2099, Batman Beyond ect), how much should you parallel the original and how much should you go in whole different directions? I think one of the reasons I never got too into Spider-girl, despite being a Spider-man fan was Spider-girl was a very different book. She had very different villains, and her stories, especially her early ones did not mirror Spider-man stories almost at all. Where as A-Next mirrored Avengers a shitload (the first issue is the team brought together through a failed scheme of Loki) and J2 mirror Lee/Ditko Spider-man a shit load. So did Spider-girl owe it's success to being so different from Spider-man? I guess it's a hard line to walk. Simply regurgitating stories is pretty lame, but you do want to see some parallels with the original (at least I do) My favorite story in the whole Spider-man 2099 run was the Venom 2099 story. But if it had been one copy cat villain after another I could see how boring that would get.

Well, all that said, this is still a damn fun read and you should check it out.



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