Avengers: Twilight gave us a look at an alternate universe where the world has moved on from the original Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The events that created this new Marvel Universe took inspiration from many places. There were many elements of Marvel’s Civil War and DC Comics’ Kingdom Come and Dark Knight Returns. The mix of these different elements to Chip Zdarsky and Daniel Acuña’s Avengers: Twilight #1 it’s unique presentation.
HERO DAY CHANGES THE WORLD
When Avengers: Twilight #1 opened we saw a world that has been completely corporatized from AR technology to superhero merch being everywhere. Though the superhero part was purely commercialized. As we learned, the world had completely turned on the idea of superheroes and villains. This turn was such that there was a ONA-like media group trying to make the Red Skull a sympathetic character
That was thanks to the “Hero Day” event. From what we learned “Hero Day” happened after super villains leaked out the secret identity of the majority of the superheroes. This caused a massive battle that led to the destruction of Boston and death of hundreds, including Peter Parker’s Spider-Man.
As we see in the Avengers: Twilight presents what the “Hero Day” event led to was to something like Civil War in both the comic books and MCU. But unlike both Marvel’s Civil War, whatever was this Marvel Universe’s Superhero Registration Act was successful. With this success Stark Technology and SHIELD have created their own utopia while secretly having their Avengers lay waste to all overseas opposition.
CAPTAIN AMERICA DARK KNIGHT TURN
Not one to give up the fight, Steve Rogers, even after retiring and growing old, has been trying to fight the system. That included an attempt to become a Senator. But none of that could stop Steve from becoming a disillusioned old man who was just trying to live life with his wife, Rose.
That was until an old Luke Cage, who is leading an underground Defenders resistance group, revealed the truth to Steve. After revealing the truth about what is going on in the world Luke gave Steve the offer to reclaim his Super Soldier powers. It was an offer Steve would not turn down and immediately set his sights to reform his Avengers team to counter the current government-run one.
Based on all of this the similarities to an old Steve Rogers return as Captain America and Bruce Wayne’s Batman in The Dark Knight Returns. Things like the Red Skull documentary and how accepting New York is of the unnoticed oppressive status quo made it hard to keep his cool. So when given the chance to become Captain America and go against the entire corrupt system he jumps in. Gone is the patriotic hero. Now we are getting the rebel Captain America with much more edge after living decades in this world that has been secretly oppressed by a select few.
THE LOKI FACTOR
A surprise part about Avengers: Twilight #1 was the inclusion of the Avengers #300 back-up story by Ralph Macchio and Walt Simonson. This was not simply a choice to reprint a classic story to add to Avengers: Twilight #1’s page count. There was a specific purpose that was made to include Macchio and Simonson’s Avengers #300 story.
Before getting to this back-up story throughout Avengers: Twilight #1 we saw James Stark, the son of Tony Stark and Janet Van Dyne, being a key figure in the world. On top of running his families Stark Technology he was also leading the government sponsored Avenger. Throughout the issue James Stark was presented as an arrogant man who happily brought up the events of Hero Day to piss off Steve Rogers.
All of this firmly positioned James Stark as the antagonist of Avengers: Twilight #1. What makes James Stark’s narrative even more interesting is the tone he took with Steve. James Stark’s tone in that seen has a lot of similarities to Loki’s rage shown in Avengers #300 for being the cause of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes formation. Loki took it personally that he was responsible for the heroes uniting as the Avengers.
With that in mind, Avengers: Twilight #1 could very well be a spinoff of Macchio and Simonson’s Avengers #300 story. There are things that line-up given how the events of Hero Day take place during the early years of the Marvel Universe. Posing as the son of Tony Stark and Janet Van Dyne would be something Loki would do to get his revenge on all the Avengers. Turning the Avengers into an oppressive group would be cherry on top for Loki in his revenge.