KC’s latest Westfield Comics column tells you why he enjoyed Avengers Forever. It made me want to read it, and I’m like the anti-customer when it comes to continuity-heavy alternate superhero histories!
I enjoyed it more at the time than I do now, I think. Busiek’s run on the regular title is a good barometer as to whether a reader would like this. If the heavy use of flashbacks and continuity in the main book was a problem (as I remember it being for some readers at the time) this miniseries probably won’t be a fun read since those are in more prominent use. Pacheco’s art is still very nice.
I was one of those readers at the time, but I don’t have the same reaction. Avengers Forever was billed as a special cross-history adventure, if I recall correctly. The Avengers series was billed as a great starting point, and then issue 2 they’re doing an alternate continuity, which I found way too confusing, since I didn’t yet know the “real” characters. But that argument was done with a long time ago. :)
I enjoyed it at the time, but went to re-read it a few years later and really couldn’t even continue past the first issue.
For some reason, I became disenchanted with many things Busiek (though I still think his Superman: Secret Identity is one of the better Superman tales) and found a re-read of his Avengers run with Perez to also be a hard slog.
The continuity implant from this series that Kang’s allies were a bunch of Space Phantoms doesn’t work for a number of reasons.
Take for instance the powers of Space Phantoms.
When Space Phantoms returned to Limbo it was regularly pointed out that they always materialised in the exact location their subject had been shunted to there, something never shown in either The Crossing or Avengers Forever for ANY of the characters they were revealed to be masquerading as; and in fact The Crossing regularly showed Luna, Malachi & Tobias, Elder Cotati/Swordsman and Mantis stepping directly back into Limbo through portals from Earth with nary a subject in sight.
If this wasn’t enough, you’ll find a scene in Iron Man #325 where Kang joins his adopted son, Tobias, in a rigorous combat training session, and only the two of them are present. At the end of it, Kang berates Tobias for being too soft and unprepared to be a fit heir to him… Well, if they actually were Immortus and a Space Phantom, why in hell would they keep on pretending under such circumstances, with nobody to fool around…