Marvel Comics/MC2 (October, 1998)
WRITER/PENCILERS: Tom Defalco & Ron Frenz
INKER: Brett Breeding
COLORIST: Bob Sharen
LETTERER: Jim Novak
EDITOR: Bob Harras
At the former Avengers mansion, now a museum, Jarvis gives Kevin Masterson, son of the late hero Thunderstrike, his dad’s enchanted mace. While the mace is tied to Eric, the magic is still inside and Loki wants that power for himself. His actions cause the new hero Mainframe to call in former Avengers Jubilee and Jolt, his signal being picked up by Cassie Lang, now the hero Stinger. Seeing the attempted kidnapping are Speedball and J2, the son of the Juggernaut who decided to be a hero instead of a villain like his dad. The group are transported to Asgard, where Loki’s attempt to steal the magic leads to Kevin merging with it instead, being granted the mace’s powers. Together and with a little help from Thor the heroes manage to escape the Isle Of Silence. Back on Earth, Jubilee has duties leading the “X-People” while Jolt has a family and is semi-retirement and Speedball prefers to work alone. The younger heroes decide to reform the Avengers while the senior trio agree to help when possible.
What they got right: The selection for the new Avengers has ties to the former numerous members but outside of the three established heroes are their own characters. The new Thunderstrike and Stinger are the childred of former heroes, J2 the son of a villain, and the three chosen heroes, while not having been Avengers in main continuity at this point, do make good additions to the team and occasional mentors. In theory this will allow the younger heroes to form their own path while occasionally getting help from this trio. Plus I like seeing Jubilee and Jolt on the same team. And having Loki create this new version is kind of fitting and honoring the origins of the original team.
What they got wrong: It would have been nice to see at least one hero not attached to previous Avengers or heroes. Mainframe will turn out to be an android created by Tony Stark, not that this comic tells me anything. I had to look him up just to make sure I was using the right gender pronoun. Jubilee’s “history” on the Avengers is kind of out of nowhere, though I can more imagine Jolt might leave the Thunderbolts at some point to join the Avengers, and keeping her away as leader of…it is just a group of mutants or a new version of the X-Men, because I don’t think there was an X-People title in the MC2 imprint. Also, why is Cassie wearing one of Peter’s old not-Spider-Man disguises from a few years prior to when this issue came out as one of Henry Pym’s old projects and not using size-changing powers? That’s not a critique, just something that confused me and like Mainframe wasn’t explained here.
What did I think overall: A good introduction to this alternate take on the Avengers with minor hiccups.