WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Avengers of the Wastelands #5 by Ed Brisson, Jonas Scharf, and Neeraj Menon, on sale now
The Avengers of the Wasteland have been doing their absolute best to try and bring hope back to the decimated world of Old Man Logan, despite the massive numbers of deadly, powerful villains who remain in the world. With many of their enemies defeated, it comes down to the Avengers going head-to-head with the last and most powerful villain: Doctor Doom.
And in Avengers of the Wastelands #5, the Avengers of the Wasteland finally get the chance to bring something to their world that’s been missing for decades: hope.
In the world of Old Man Logan, the supervillains of the world finally came together and united against the heroes, largely wiping them out. Decades later, even the last of the original heroes like Wolverine and Hawkeye have passed on. But rising in their stead is a handful of new heroes, willing to take up the mantles of the former defenders of the planet. This includes Dani Cage (the new Thor), Bruce Banner Jr. (the new Hulk), Dwight Barrett (the new Ant-Man), Viv Vision (the daughter of Vision) and the mysterious Grant (the new Captain America.)
After defeating many of the remaining villains across the country, the group finally makes its way to New York City, the new capital of Doom’s version of America known as New Latveria. He allows them to make their way through the crowds to reach his newest rally before he reveals their identities and vows to kill them and anyone who ever assisted them during their trip across the United States. While the Avengers are almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of Doombots deployed against them, the team is able to rally and bring Doom down. Ant-Man continues beating the wounded villain even when he’s downed though, and is only stopped from killing him by Viv. She reveals that killing Doom is actually exactly what he wants.
The issue then reveals that months ago, Doom discovered that he had developed an incurable form of cancer. Despite the best efforts of his greatest minds, there’s just no way to save his life. Terrified of dying as some forgotten old man in his bed, Doom dedicates himself to salvaging his reputation and dying like a legend. His attempts to find such an adversary were proven wrong, however. The other major remaining villains — who Doom has been killing off in secret throughout the series — fail to put up much of a fight against him. His attempts to create new versions of his greatest enemies also fails: this is why he created a new version of the Super-Soldier Serum and tried to create new versions of the Fantastic Four in his attempt to give himself a truly epic final battle.
But none of these worked – even Grant, the best of his Super-Soldier test subjects, merely fled instead of trying to bring Doom down. To this end, he tried to motivate the new Avengers to become his last his great enemy, targeting them and trying to force them into battle. This all builds to the revelation that Doom had even killed all of the people from Dwight’s town almost out of boredom, in a bid to enrage Dwight into killing him. But despite Grant’s attempts to convince him to do so, Dani convinces him to let the rage go and instead allow Doom to die of natural causes. Grant and Dwight leave on good terms with the rest of the team, vowing to return if they need them. Meanwhile, Dani, Viv, and Bruce Jr. unite the people to rise up and finally reclaim their world.
The world of Old Man Logan has always been a deadly one, with an inglorious and brutal end for many classic Marvel heroes. Even in the far future, the influence of the villains could be felt on the populace and how they held themselves. But for the first time in decades, a feeling of hope seems to be in the air — not as a bittersweet chance of winning the next hopeless battle or being resigned to the relative decency of an honorable death but actual genuine hope. With the Avengers at the forefront of the new world, the heroes of this timeline could potentially unite with the other pockets of survival and help salvage a world they’d lost long before they were even born. It gives the Wastelands a chance for a new beginning, which is the kind of hope the residents of this world have lived without for far too long.
The new Avengers of Old Man Logan's world just got the chance to confront the greatest villain on Earth and change the fate of their entire world.