REVIEW: ‘Avengers Forever,’ Issue #2

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Avengers Forever #2 - But Why Tho

Avengers Forever #2 is written by Jason Aaron, penciled by Aaron Kuder and Carlos Magno, inked by Scott Hanna, Roberto Poggi & Cam Smith,  colored by Guru-eFX, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. After the events of the first issue, Ghost Rider and Deathlok have been captured by the Multiversal Masters of Evil. While the Black Skull attempts to break Robbie Reyes’ spirit, secrets about the young Rider’s place in the multiverse-and his ultimate destiny-are revealed…

Robbie Reyes has always been one of the most promising characters in the Marvel Universe, especially when it pertains to his career as the Ghost Rider. He’s the first non-white Rider, his powers seem to extend past his trademark vehicle, and his powers don’t come from Mephisto. Aaron seems to want to tackle what makes this Ghost Rider tick-especially when Deathlok refers to him as the “All-Rider”, a unique Spirit of Vengeance in all the multiverse. Given all of the multiversal narratives taking place across comic-based projects, it’s nice to see one that focuses on a character who’s a rarity instead of a constant.

However, the entire issue is dedicated to Robbie’s torture at the hands of the Black Skull-which doesn’t sit right with me. Granted, the Skull is a bad guy and Ghost Riders are tougher than most, but an entire issue where a Latino man is mutilated by a superpowered Nazi is definitely a choice. And the weird part is that there’s a member of the Masters of Evil who could face off with Robbie; the Ghost Goblin, a version of Norman Osborn who hunts Ghost Rider. It’s a rare miss from Aaron, who often puts thought into his original villains; the Black Skull, while an interesting idea, is not on the level of Gorr the God Butcher from Aaron’s Thor or the Empirikul from his Doctor Strange run.

Kuder returns to illustrate the issue, alongside Magno; another artist who contributed work to Aaron’s previous alternate universe story Heroes Reborn. Magno illustrates what’s perhaps the most disturbing sequence in the book, which features a collection of Robbie Reyes across the multiverse-only none of them have the Ghost Rider powers. Guru-eFX shades the book in a dark shade of red that looks like freshly spilled blood, breaking it up with closeups of Robbie’s flaming skull as the Ghost Rider lets out an unholy scream of rage. Kuder illustrates most of the sequences featuring the Black Skull, with the symbiotic villain often depicted sitting in a collection of tendrils, an unholy smile stretched across his skeletal face. Combined with Petite’s jagged red and black word balloons, the entire book takes on a horror element.

Avengers Forever #2 makes some questionable choices with its narrative as it begins to explore the mystery behind Robbie Reyes’ transformation into the Ghost Rider. The next issue promises to unite Robbie and Deathlok with the Invincible Ant-Man and his surviving Avengers, which should deliver on the promise of the series.

Avengers Forever #2 is available wherever comics are sold.


Avengers Forever #2
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TL;DR

Avengers Forever #2 makes some questionable choices with its narrative as it begins to explore the mystery behind Robbie Reyes’ transformation into the Ghost Rider. The next issue promises to unite Robbie and Deathlok with the Invincible Ant-Man and his surviving Avengers, which should deliver on the promise of the series.

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