The Siege of Asgard is under way and already fanboys are planning to bombard their LCS as Marvel Comics enters a new Heroic Age. Four new books from the company’s chief franchise – The Avengers, Secret Avengers, New Avengers and Avengers Academy – are set to launch. But what of all the baggage, both plotwise and emotional, existing between three of the returning founders: Thor, Iron Man and Steve Rogers, the man once known as Captain America?
Avengers scribe Brian Michael Bendis and comic book art legend Alan Davis unite to bring us the answer in Avengers Prime: Siege Aftermath, a five-part bi-monthly mini-series which bridges the gap between the end of Siege and the beginning of a more Heroic Age.
Filling the same role as The Confession post-Civil War, this mini will deal with the changes all three prime Avengers have faced, each one going through a death and rebirth of sorts since those halcyon days of yelling “Avengers Assemble!” in tandem.
As we now know, Thor was more than willing to battle alongside Iron Man and new Cap Bucky Barnes during Secret Invasion for the good of his mother’s world and his adopted home. But as soon as the last alien was taken into custody, the God of Thunder turned his back on longtime ally Tony Stark and refused to do business with him again, having seen the many bad decisions Stark had made since the fabled mythic cycle of Ragnarok robbed Earth of her hammer-twirling champion (not the least of which was a cloned Thor, who killed Avengers ally Bill Foster).
Meanwhile, no one has suffered since the end of Secret Invasion as Tony Stark has suffered. Stripped of his public standing, his leadership of SHIELD, his team of hand-picked Avengers and the confidence of the public in his wares, Stark went from King of the World after Secret Invasion to a fugitive, a broken man.
We have also learned that Steve Rogers was never really assassinated, but instead transported to a fixed position in time and space. After traveling through various time periods, Cap was able to return to the present and what he saw of Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign disgusted him. Granted a full presidential pardon by Barack Obama, Steve discovers -- courtesy of TV news – that Osborn and his forces are invading Asgard. This leads the Avengers & Super-Friends to the Golden Realm and Seige.
Bendis, speaking to IGN, promises our three heroes, these vastly changed Avengers will clear the air during the five-issue mini. But, Bendis said, “… For those that think a talking head drama would be enough for these characters … not with Alan Davis drawing it. That would seem to be a complete waste of an opportunity.”
Thus, during Avengers Prime: Siege Aftermath (a title which may change over the course of publication), our Founding Fathers discover themselves swept up into a different time and place, one that Avengers franchise Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said would be a familiar one. And there will be some slam-bang superhero action across the 10-month run of the mini before our three heroes find their way home.
“It's definitely a place Marvel fans have seen before, although not necessarily this way,” Brevoort told Newsarama. “And there will be other characters from Marvel's pantheon that will show up and hopefully delight and enthrall readers along the way.”
He also said that “as they experience this displacement over the series’ five issues, the three end up dealing with their rocky past in a way that avoids lots of talking heads, instead forcing them into an action-filled, dangerous adventure while they also work through their differences.”
Bendis is thrilled to be working with Davis, he told IGN. “I thought that since people kind of expect a conversation that it's almost more surprising that it's going this different direction. So I was very happy to have this project and then, all of the sudden, to my genuine shock, one of my biggest industry heroes, Alan Davis, became available. And, boy oh boy, what an honor.”
So no need to worry about starting Avengers #1 worrying about years of continuity, if you are a new reader. But the puzzle of the Big 3 working side-by-side again won’t be ignored. This mini-series, occurring between the end of Siege and the beginning of Avengers #1, will sweep up the conflicting plot threads and emotions with a broom of action and character development – Avengers style!
Avengers Prime: Siege Aftermath, a five-issue mini-series from Marvel Comics, ships bi-monthly beginning in June.