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The Next Generation of Avengers!
A Next!
# 1-12


A Next # 1: "Second Coming!"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Brett Breeding
Jay's Rating:
JJJ
Synopsis:
Kevin Masterson, the son of Thunderstrike, visits Avengers Mansion and inherits his father powerless mace, Thunderstrike. Unfortunately, Loki's trolls have a keen interest in it. An Avengers distress call is sent out and the Avengers assemble, as well as a few other heroes, to help Kevin. Loki transports them to Asgard where he attempts to release Thunderstrike's enchantment to its full potential. However, Kevin disrupts the spell and absorbs the mace's power. He then summons Thor, which prompts Loki and his forces to flee. The team is return to Earth where Jolt, Jubilee, and Speedball take their leave. J2, Mainframe, Stinger and Thunderstrike announce the formation of the next generation of Avengers.

Roll Call:
Jolt, Jubilee, J2, Mainframe, Speedball, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • First appearance of J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II, as well as Shannon Carter (see issue #4).
  • Not a big fan of either Jolt, Jubilee, J2, or Speedball. You'd think with all the 'J's that I wouldn't have any problems liking them.
  • Nice cameo by Thor who has taken his rightful place on the throne of Asgard.
  • What happened to the original Avengers?!
  • Stinger is Cassie Lang, the daughter of Scott (Ant Man II) Lang.
  • J2 is the son of the Juggernaut.
  • Mainframe, visually, seems to be closely related to Iron Man.

A Next # 2: "Suddenly ... the Sentry!"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco 
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Brett Breeding
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis:
An unidentified object is shot down by Earth's defensive grid and the Avengers are called in to investigate. They meet up with Bill (Giant Man II) Foster and his son John. They discover a downed spacecraft who Kree pilot was killed on impact, and a Kree Sentry. John Foster merges with the Kree ship and its alters his DNA to be part Kree. As the Earth Sentry, John Foster helps the Avengers defeat the robot Kree Sentry. 

Roll Call:
J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • First appearance and origin of the Earth Sentry.

A Next # 3: "Down 'n' Dirty with the Defenders"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco 
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Brett Breeding
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
A serious threat from a scientist' experiment with the Earth's magma core,  prompts Dr. Strange to re-assemble the original Defenders: himself, the Hulk, and the Sub-Mariner. Earth's new sorcerer supreme, Doc Magus, learns about Dr. Strange's plans and convinces the Avengers to help him. The Avengers confront the Defenders and of course a battle ensues. Cooler heads eventually prevail and the battle ends. Dr. Strange manipulated everyone to prod Namor back into activity and provide the new Avengers with a baptism of fire.

Roll Call:
J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • Atlantis was destroyed by Dr. Doom, and Namor took his vengeance out on Latveria.
  • Bruce Banner has settle down and has a son.
  • Scott Lang is hired on as the Avengers' security advisor.
  • The Avengers' Mansion tour guide Shannon meets up with some mysterious friends at the end of this issue.
  • The cover is based on Avengers # 3.

A Next # 4: "Who Shall be Worthy?"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco 
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Brett Breeding
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis:
The Soldiers of the Serpent attack the Wakandan embassy and kidnap the consul, but thanks to the Avengers, they don't kidnap T'Chaka the son of the T'Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther. Together with the Coal (T'Chaka) Tiger, the Avengers and their new recruits free the consul and defeat the Soldiers of the Serpent. 

Roll Call:
J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • First appearance of Bluestreak, Freebooter, the Crimson Curse, the Coal Tiger, and of Shannon Carter as the American Dream.
  • American Dream, Bluestreak, Freebooter, and the Crimson Curse join the Avengers as recruits.
  • Bluestreak was a member of the X-People and seems to have a relationship to Quicksilver, (I'd guess).
  • Freebooter seems to have ties with Hawkeye and more obviously the Swordsman.
  • One of the Soldiers of the Serpent drops Thunderstrike a mysterious reference about his father. 
  • The cover is based on Avengers # 16.

A Next # 5: "The Gift"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJ
Synopsis:
Stinger and the new recruits travel to Latveria to investigate unconfirmed reports of Dr. Doom's reappearance. They are attacked by Doombots, and with a bit of teamwork defeat them. They enter Doom's tunnels deep beneath the capital Doomstadt. Stinger discovers Dr. Doom who turns out not to be the real Doom, but rather his ward Kristoff who spent some time with Stinger in their youth. Kristoff destroys all of Doom's arsenal and technology to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, Thunderstrike and J2 spend quality bonding time together. 

Roll Call:
American Dream, Bluestreak, Crimson Curse, Freebooter, J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • The cover is based on Avengers # 25.

A Next # 6: "And Now Argo the Almighty!"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis:
Argo, the son of Hercules, makes a brash entrance to the Mansion and attacks the Avengers. They contain him and he explains that he seeks out the Avengers to discover what happened to his father. The Avengers learn of a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. holding cell that may contain the information Argo seeks. The cell's inhabitant turns out to be a mad, uncontrollable Hercules who is eventually subdue by the Avengers. His madness is a result of the Avengers' final catastrophic mission. Meanwhile, Freebooter, Crimson Curse and Stinger discover something mysterious in the Avenger's sub levels.

Roll Call:
American Dream, Bluestreak, Crimson Curse, Freebooter, J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • First appearance of Argo.

A Next # 7: "After the Fall!"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
The Crimson Curse receives a terrifying omen of the Avengers' deaths. Jarvis retells the last days of the Avengers as they entered a mysterious portal to confront a deadly menace. He also tells of only a view returned and seemed to have had their spirits broken. Also, of how Stark and the Scarlet Witch ensured that the threat from beyond the portal would never be able to attack again. Meanwhile, a powerful energy being named Ion Man is dispatched by a mysterious female figure to attack the Avengers. His first target is Stinger, but Mainframe intercepts him. Mainframe's body is destroyed, but he continuously downloads his consciousness into new robot bodies until he finally defeats Ion Man. Unfortunately, the battle leaves his current body exhausted and his systems seem to have a fatal crash.

Roll Call:
American Dream, Bluestreak, Crimson Curse, Freebooter, J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • Captain America, Giant-Man, Justice, Firestar, Tigra, Firebird, and the Living Lightning apparently didn't survive the encounter.
  • First appearance of Ion Man.

A Next # 8: "Into the Depths"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis:
Stinger and her father Scott Lang attempt to reboot Mainframe's systems. Meanwhile, the other Avengers confront a mysterious threat in the mansion's sub levels. They destroy a machine that attacked them with duplicates of Wonder Man, and discover that the Scarlet Witch had been powering it. Ant-Man and Stinger succeed in rebooting Mainframe and restoring him to action.

Roll Call:
American Dream, Bluestreak, Crimson Curse, Freebooter, J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • The Crimson Curse reveals a relationship to Agatha Harkness, perhaps a grand daughter.

A Next # 9: "Team Matters"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJ1/2
Synopsis: 
The Avengers discover that by freeing the Scarlet Witch they have weakened the inter dimensional portal. The Soldiers of the Serpent strike again, but Thunderstrike and Blacklight defeat them. The Avengers, as a team, decided to enter the portal and confront the unknown menace. 

Roll Call:
American Dream, Bluestreak, Crimson Curse, Freebooter, J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike II.

Jay's Notes:

  • The cover is based on Avengers # 73.
  • First appearance of Blacklight (possible offspring of Cloak and Dagger?).
  • Kevin (Thunderstrike II) Masterson is forced to reveal his secret id to his close friend Maria.
  • More clues about Hawkeye's ties to Freebooter and Bluestreak.

A Next # 10: "Ragnarok!"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis: 
Stark returns to check up on Wanda and learns that A Next has gone through the portal. A Next find themselves on an alternate Earth, where the Red Skull assassinated Hitler and led the Nazis to victory and Doctor Doom, who was raised as the Skull's ward, has now succeeded him. They meet up with the underground resistance led by Captain America (of their world) and Jarvis. The Thunder Guard, a nazi-themed Avengers,  attack by they hold them off long enough for the resistance to escape through a transport portal. The Avengers decide to stay and battle against Doom.

Jay's Notes:

  • Thunder Guard: Iron Cross - alternate Tony Stark, Deadeye - alternate Clint Barton,  Swordsmaster - alternate Swordsman II, SS Agent - alternate John Walker, Pincer - alternate Scott Lang, and Stormtrooper - Eric Masterson.


A Next # 11: "Crucible!"  
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
The Resistance, led by Captain America, and A Next strike against Doom, who is prepared to unleash the power of the Universal Cube and invade every Earth! They battle the Thunder Guard, who are led by Donar (the alternate Thor), and they manage to come out ahead. Cap challenges Doom who then retreats to the Universal Cube. The Crimson Curse attacks the Cube and Doom, and they are both swept into the Cube which disappears. Reed Richards and Baron Zemo, both Doom' s second-in-command, turn against each other, while the resistance continues to gather strength. A Next returns to their Earth, leaving Cap and Thunderstrike (who wants to get to know his alternate father) behind.


A Next # 12: "The End of the Avengers" 
Writer: Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz    
Penciller: Ron Frenz 
Inker: Al Milgrom
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
The Avengers are ambushed and defeated upon their return by the Revengers, who are led by the son and daughter of Henry and Janet Pym. Mainframe rescues them with the help of the Coal Tiger, Argo, Earth Sentry, and Blacklight. The Avengers rally and defeat the Revengers.

Jay's Notes:

  • The Revengers are Red Queen, Big Man, KillerWatt, Ion Man, and Saberclaw.

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