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Wednesday, June 09, 2021 

Valdosta Daily Times recommends Busiek's Avengers Forever

The Valdosta Daily Times wrote a short item about Kurt Busiek's maxi-series from 1998, Avengers Forever, at a time before the quality of Marvel really went downhill. I do think his work at that time was good, but I want to take issue with one part of the character casting:
...the master stroke of "Avengers Forever" is that it teams up Avengers from various time points: the disillusioned Captain America of the Watergate era; the amnesiac, near-psychotic Hank Pym of the early Yellow Jacket days; but also the contemporary Hank Pym as Giant-Man; the Wasp as team leader; a villain who becomes an Avenger; Hawkeye still dressed in his Goliath costume but without his giant powers, etc.
I think the reason this doesn't really please me in retrospect is because of all the unfortunate regurgitations of the Hank Pym-as-abusive-husband storyline from 1981, which did not have to be, and even if it was handled in better taste than much of today's output, it's still not something they should have to keep referencing, or enshrine as absolute canon. I think it's great that in later tales, Janet Van Dyne and Hank rekindled their love, but that's exactly why fictional characters shouldn't have to be burdened with story elements that for some reason are otherwise dismissed by the PC crowd when real life scum offend.
Writer Kurt Busiek created a brilliant stroke in flinging these team mates together from different points of their lives and careers. It's a joy for long-time Avengers readers. Long-time readers will wonder how they missed "Avengers Forever" 20-plus years ago and may well rejoice for finding it now.
Certainly, these stories, save for a few moments in questionable taste, make for great escapist fare. One more reason it's a terrible shame Busiek's cascaded downhill in nearly 2 decades since, losing his mind over leftist politics, some of which could make one wonder if certain elements in his past work stem from that mentality. That's why he's long become one of many creators whose art has to be separated from the artist.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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