After the events of the “Siege”, which showcased the attack of the madman Norman Osborn with his force of “Dark Avengers” and H.A.M.M.E.R. upon Asgard, home of the Norse gods which resulted with its destruction; writer Brian Michael Bendis and illustrators Alan Davis and Mark Farmer (JLA The Nail) introduces the next era called the Heroic Age where instead of reforming “Shield”, Steve Rogers (the original Captain America) now the supreme commander of law enforcement in the U.S. forms a new, different “Avengers Initiative”. “Aftermath” takes place after the events of “Siege” and “Aftermath: Avengers Prime” (2010-2011) is a 5-issue mini-series and is a direct story arc how Thor, Iron Man and Steve Rogers (Bucky Barnes is the new Captain America) came together to try and do a clean up after the empowered Sentry/Void had devastated Asgard.
Asgard is in ruins, and the heroes of the Avengers are doing clean up and make certain that every man of Norman Osborn has been apprehended and that everything is put in order. Steve Rogers is now the top cop, Tony Stark is wearing an outdated armor from 10 designs ago (but the only armor that has a failsafe against any other design he had created) and Thor is concerned about one thing. The god of thunder’s fears lie in the fact that the observatory of Heimdall has been badly damaged. This great hall is the place where the Asgardians can travel across the Nine worlds and it needs to be barricaded. But an energy surge has formed a wormhole that sucks the three heroes into its core, sending them to different parts of Asgard and the nine worlds. Separated, the three friends must fight their way back to Asgard, with Rogers unarmed, Tony Stark’s armor is fried and Thor is faced by Amora the Enchantress, a sometime lover and sometime foe who is one of the most powerful sorceress in the Nine Worlds. But seems like something even worst lies in wait, as the Nine worlds is now controlled by Hela, goddess of death whose power may now exceed the power of the Odinson…
I suppose after the drama of “Civil War”, the near-destruction of Manhattan in “World War Hulk” and the events of “Siege, the “Big Three” do need to re-connect and settle their differences. Bendis and Farmer’s intentions are good and what they have created is a simple story how the friendship formed by the warrior-god, the knight and the soldier seems to conquer all trials. In the beginning of the story in issue one, you see Rogers and Stark bicker until the voice of the thunder god tells them to leave. These are friends, they may have fought against each other in “Stand Off” and Thor even destroyed Stark’s most advance armor in the recent Thor # 2. But more so, they are brothers whose friendship has been tested in the fields of battle, and they will always stand together in the face of a crisis.
To form a connection to “Thor Disassembled” where the three also fought in Asgard, and after Thor fought the last “ragnarok” (before his rebirth), Bendis takes the trio back to face a menace that is in the world that was formerly of Asgard. You see the different personalities that have made each of them interesting. Rogers is more the serious and brooding one, Stark, well, he is the genius and he does become a little playful in the company of friends. I laughed when I read the panels where they discussed who really had sex with Patsy Walker (Hellcat) and you would be surprised with the discussion’s conclusion.
Not that the mini-series is all about a ‘buddy adventure’. There are certain things that have been introduced in the series, as we finally find the answer as to what would be the effects of Asgard hovering in Broxton, Oklahoma. Seems like with Odin gone and Asgard not on top of Yggdrasil (the world tree), Hela may become the supreme ruler of the 7 other worlds. Thor lies blamed by Amora since he was the king of Asgard, the writing does effectively manage to handle the confusion caused by Hela. Bendis exposes the anger of a subject upon the royal family with the persona of the Enchantress (it also answers the question where Amora has been since the rebirth of the Asgardians in “Thor”). Bendis also remembers to incorporate the hidden attraction Rogers has for Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) as he is faced by a beautiful elf who resembles her. Stark is set to find a way out of the clutches of Fafnir the dragon, as he uses his cunning to confuse his captors. The writing also remembers to portray the reputation of Thor, as the feared warrior-god who has slain many giants, monsters and creatures of evil with his terrible hammer.
Alan Davis and Mark Farmer are awesome artists and they’ve always had the skill to portray intense climactic battles. They also render the magical places of Niffleheim, Jotunheim and even the new land of Hela with beautiful detail and accuracy. The battles in the series were very cool; though admittedly the Thor part of the encounters were more shall we say exciting? The battles with Amora and Hela were pretty intense and quick, but nonetheless they were thrilling. Stark without his armor is almost helpless, and is dependent on his cunning, his ingenuity and on Rogers to take care of things physically. Not to say Stark is a wimp but he is a normal guy with decent fighting skills, these are orcs, trolls and elves we are talking about here and there are hordes of them; it was just so cool for Rogers to take on orcs and trolls in a bar fight. Davis and Farmer have always been good in depicting fight scenes and it was nice to see the trio take on the hordes of Hela. This is an empowered Hela who also commands the family members who had died from the house of Odin, so Thor once again is faced by the grandfather he had slain, Bor (in Thor # 600) this time with no hammer, and I thought it was a missed potential but Hela is the true evil here. Bendis merely didn't want to lose focus.
I suppose the plot may be a little simple and may lack the grandeur of a Simonson and Thomas Thor tale, but it was quite a good “Avengers” story. At its core, it is a ‘buddy’ adventure and it serves as a closure to all the controversies and disagreements Marvel’s “Big Three” had gone through. They fight, they argue but they are friends after all, and for good or ill, they stand together.
Oh, Amora the Enchantress is still hot.
Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]
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Takes place after "Siege" and is closely linked to the Ragnarok storyline that happened in the final issues of Thor during "Disassembled". I've had some issues with Bendis' writing the Avengers in the past; not that they weren't good, but I felt that at times he lacked a little focus. "Prime" is a buddy adventure at its core and can be predictable. However, the art by Davis and Farmer is more than enough to do the heavy lifting. … more
AVENGERS PRIME: SIEGE AFTERMATH #1 WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis ARTIST: Alan Davis
THE STORY: They were friends, brothers and teammates through all of Marvel's greatest adventures, but recent events turned them into the bitterest of enemies. In the wake of the Siege of Asgard Thor, Iron Man and Steve Rogers are brought together on the same side once more, but it's going to take more than a handshake and a smile to get these great heroes to truly trust each other again. This all-new, grand and dangerous adventure will catapult our heroes into the explosive Heroic Age and will unite comics legend Alan Davis with Avengers scribe Brian Bendis for the very first time.
As much as Marvel fans want to see Iron Man, Thor and Steve Rogers happily working together on the Avengers again, the characters have a lot of recent history that can't be ignored. Avengers Prime: Siege Aftermath, a five-issue, bi-monthly mini-series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis, deals with the three "prime" Avengers and how they resolve their many differences. While the series will begin at the same time as other Avengers titles in June, the entire five issues take place before the first issue of The Avengers and the launch of the "Heroic Age," but after the events of Siege. The story begins at the end of Siege as Iron Man, Thor and Steve Rogers find themselves in a different place in time, stuck there until they work together to get home. As they experience this ...