Marvel commemorates the First Avenger’s birthday by offering up a bunch of brand-new Captain America variants in Avengers Forever #7.
Much like its preceding issue, Avengers Forever #7 is fairly standalone in nature, spotlighting an alternate take on a classic hero from the multiverse—or in this issue’s case, several. What’s better than one Steve Rogers? Many of them! Unfortunately for these Captains America, they’re all trapped in a mysterious prison with no memory of how they got there.
Whereas the previous Black Panther-focused issue felt a bit by the numbers in my opinion, Avengers Forever #7 definitely feels a little more inspired and substantial. The prison break plot here is a lot of fun and serves something different than seen in the series up to this point.
Perhaps the strength of this issue is that writer Gerry Duggan and artist Aaron Kuder both do their best to differentiate each Steve in some way that makes them distinct from one another. One Steve, for example, is a Hulk Hogan-y redneck type, while another is a skinny artist who seemingly never took the super soldier serum. Maybe best of all? The golden retriever Steve, because of course there’s one. (And that’s still ignoring one other Steve that I don’t want to spoil, but already had major “breakout spinoff character” energy like Cosmic Ghost Rider.)
I actually think Avengers Forever #7 is a great example of episodic storytelling in a serialized setting, especially by modern comics standards. It feeds into the ongoing story Duggan and Kuder have been telling —though not made clear until the end—but also stands on its own enough that you could read this and then ignore anything before or after it. Though this arc of the series has apparently been indulging itself with the multiverse of it all, it’s hard to complain when an issue like this is as fun as it is.