[[caption-width-right:350:[[ConquerorFromTheFuture Kang]] and [[GuardianOfTheMultiverse Immortus]], in their forever struggle]]
->'''[[ConquerorFromTheFuture Kang]]:''' History is not written, scholar, and neither is destiny! History is '''made'''! Made by the deeds of the strong and the brave! And destiny is forged! The historians, the students, the gray-beards - They come in the wake of the strong, and write down what the brave have done. But it is the conquerors who change the world, and it will always, '''always''', be thus!
->'''[[GuardianOfTheMultiverse Immortus]]:''' Conquerors are swept up in destiny's tides as surely as anyone else, Kang. And the scholars see the patterns, the truth. I have learned this, and you will, too, in time.

''Avengers Forever'' is a twelve-issue comic book limited series of ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'' published from December 1998 to November 1999 by Marvel Comics. The series was written by Creator/KurtBusiek and Roger Stern and drawn by Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino. It has a massively complex plot, with a battle between Kang (a ConquerorFromTheFuture) and Immortus (a GuardianOfTheMultiverse); actually Immortus is the future self of Kang.

Let's try to make it short. Rick Jones suffers a strange paralysis, and the Avengers sent him to the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree (who was captive at the Blue Area of the Moon), to see if he could heal him. Immortus tries to kill Rick Jones, but Kang intervenes in his behalf. Rick Jones, mastering once more the "Destiny Force", an all-powerful force he once wielded during ComicBook/TheKreeSkrullWar, summons several Avengers from many points of time: Henry Pym and the Wasp (from the present), Yellowjacket (Henry Pym when he had a mental disorder; yes, he summoned the same man from 2 time periods), Captain America (right after the Secret Empire storyline, demoralized by it and on the verge of giving up the super hero thing), Hawkeye (right after the Kree-Skrull War) & Songbird and Captain Marvel (from the future). The fight moves to Cronopolis, Kang's stronghold: Immortus destroyed it and turned it into the "Forever Crystal", which allows him to change timelines or destroy them at will.

The Avengers used a time machine of Kang to escape into the timestream, where Immortus would not locate Rick. Not knowing what is Immortus up to, or why he wants to kill Jones, the Avengers explored 3 points of time, to no avail. Then, they visited Limbo, Immortus' stronghold, and took a Space Phantom captive. The problem is basically this: with the "Destiny Force", humanity would become a conquering empire. Immortus spent years [[TheChessmaster manipulating human development]] to keep humanity confined to planet Earth, as to avoid the Time Keepers from destroying it, but Rick Jones' death was non-negotiable. Immortus then captured the Avengers and sent them to a trial.

The Time Keepers decided that humanity was a menace, and that they should destroy most timelines, leaving the bare minimum needed to guarantee their own existence. Reinforced by Kang, Rick and the Supreme Intelligence, the Avengers followed the Time Keepers to the end of time, where they were finally destroyed.

!!''Avengers Forever'' provides examples of:
* AbortedArc: Both Songbird and Genis-Vell are from the near future, where they are (unlike in the present day) members of the Avengers. Since Kurt Busiek was writing the main ''[[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' book at the time, it seemed that he would eventually introduce Songbird and Genis into the Avengers roster there, with the present day catching up with their future. But this never happened, and none of the later Avengers writers have chosen to follow up on Busiek's {{foreshadowing}} either. Until '''2015''' and Creator/AlEwing (who is very big on ContinuityPorn[[note]]except in the case of stories done by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, which he either does not seem to know about or actively retcons.[[/note]]), when 616-Songbird finally became part of the ''Comicbook/{{New Avengers|2015}}'', that lineup interestingly also included 616-Genis-Vell's half-brother [[Comicbook/YoungAvengers Hulkling]].
* ArchivedArmy: At the final battle, the Time Keepers summoned all the Avengers from the past, present and future that became evil and destructive. Rick Jones reinforced the goods guys by using the Destiny Force to summon ''every other Avenger'' from all the myriad timelines.
* ArmyOfTheAges: Immortus' army
* BadFuture: It begins with one. Earth and humanity becomes TheEmpire of the Universe, and the Avengers are the PraetorianGuard as humanity carves a campaign of subjugation across the cosmos as a brutal, enslaving army. Also the one visited by Giant Man and Captain America, similar to the "War of the Worlds".
* BroadStrokes: Despite all the ContinuityPorn on display, there are a few tidbits that can't be spelled out directly. A panel showing Doctor Octopus escaping prison with Lex Luthor in tow from the first Superman/Spider-Man crossover is mentioned in the annotations as being Doc Ock and a "distinguished gentleman."
* ButYouWereThereAndYouAndYou: When Songbird returns to the future, with a vague memory of the Destiny War... she was with the Wasp and Jack of Hearths, and told the Wasp that "you were there".
* CallBack: In [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Future Imperfect]], [[spoiler:a much older version of Rick Jones]] maintains a memorial room of the many heroes who died over the years (most, presumably, murdered by the Maestro, but that's neither here nor there). Here, a less aged version of the same character wears an outfit made up from parts of other heroes.
* TheChosenOne: Rick Jones
* {{Chronoscope}}: There are several here and there. The sensors of the time machine, Immortus' machines in Limbo, the visions that appear when entering Limbo, images summoned by the Time-Keepers, and so on.
* ContinuityPorn:
-->'''Hawkeye:''' Well, I'm glad ''you'' understand it, tall-socks. Alla this divergent stuff, it's givin' me a migraine!
-->'''Space Phantom:''' I would not expect one such as you to understand the byzantine schemes of Immortus, archer...
* DealWithTheDevil: The deal of Yellowjacket and Immortus has been described as such.
* DeathByIrony: Averted. The Time-Keepers tried to give one to Kang: as they could not kill him without creating a temporal paradox (he has to live on to become their servant Immortus, that they had just killed), they sought to punish hm and neutralize him as a threat by speeding up his transformation and turning him into Immortus right there. But they couldn't, Kang's will was just too strong, and remained being Kang.
** Also for the Time-Keepers themselves. They were defeated by the indomitable human drive, the very thing they tried to destroy.
* EnemyMine: The way the Avengers fought alongside Kang and the Supreme Intelligence
* EnemyWithout: Yellowjacket for Giant Man. He's the same man, Henry Pym, but lives in denial.
* ExpendableAlternateUniverse: Averted. The casual destruction of alternate timelines is not just an undesirable thing, it's the very thing that the Avengers are fighting to prevent.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Yellowjacket]]
* FutureMeScaresMe: Taken up to eleven. Here, "Future me is the single being I hate the most in all the multiverse".
** It also counts, in a lower degree, for Yellowjacket towards Giant-Man.
* HeelFaceTurn: Libra
* HeelRealization: When Yellowjacket realized the ultimate plan of the Time-Keepers, he declined his deal with Immortus and silently called in the cavalry.
* HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct: With the Forever Crystal, Captain America could have changed history. And not simply creating an alternate timeline, the Crystal allows him to actually change history. He could have erased Nazi Germany from history and prevented World War II (as well as resurrecting Rick Jones, Bucky and erasing the Secret Empire from U.S. history), he was tempted by the idea, but realized that RealityWarpingIsNotAToy.
* {{Homage}}: The future visited by Giant-Man and Captain America was an homage to ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'', complete with "walkers" and all the stuff. Didn't you wonder why would the Badoon claim to come from Mars, in a comic book line filled with more fancy galaxies?
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: The motivation of the Time Keepers. Nothing stops the march of the First Terran Empire, as no race in the universe proved to be a match for the human drive or the power of the Destiny Force.
* InSpiteOfANail: The Time-Keepers wanted to prevent the existence of the sons of the Scarlet Witch, but Immortus tried to do so without killing anyone. He arranged things that prompted her romance and marriage with the Vision, as he reasoned that she could not have any children if she was married to a machine. But "''Immortus is not infallible, and destiny requires careful handling: it does not like to be thwarted''". Using magic, the Scarlet Witch had sons anyway, so Immortus had to help Mephisto to vanish them from existence.
* InternalHomage: Captain Marvel saved Rick Jones' life, fusing himself with him, in the same manner than the original Captain Marvel did at ComicBook/TheKreeSkrullWar.
* IWarnedYou: At the beginning of hyper-complex ContinuityPorn that is the issue #8:
-->'''The Wasp:''' Tell us what's going on, then. Why is Immortus trying to kill Rick? What does this have to do with the path of human destiny? What are we up against?
-->'''Space Phantom:''' It's... it's complicated.
* TheKirk: the Wasp
* LostAesop: Everything was sent in motion because, in the future, humanity may become TheEmpire. As things go on, the Time Keepers became the villains of the story, that die and everything is right again. But... what about those bad futures? What's preventing them from coming to pass? A mere lecture from Captain America, and that's it? At least they could have used the Forever Crystal to erase the "Destiny Force" from the human race.
* LoveTranscendsSpacetime: [[spoiler:Songbird and Captain Marvel]]
* TheMcCoy: Hawkeye
* MeaningfulEcho: Captain Marvel had two big secrets that he was not telling: [[spoiler:That he was bound to an older Rick Jones, and that he loved Songbird; but this one was from before that]]. In both cases, he delivered some lines here and there that hinted those things.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Immortus had to make the Avengers return to Earth immediately after "Operation: Galactic Storm", so he influenced the Avengers with xenophobia, so that they refused to stay among alien races. He miscalculated: this xenophobia led them to execute the Supreme Intelligence for destroying its own empire (long story). And worse: this would began actions that laid the first steps of Avengers Stellar Corps, the antecedent of the First Terran Empire... the very timeline that Immortus was instructed to prevent!
* NoodleIncident: Excatly how does [[spoiler:future Rick Jones]] end up losing an arm and wearing an outfit that includes Ghost Rider's jacket, Falcon's boots, [[spoiler:Superman's cape]], and [[spoiler:Batman's utility belt]]? The world may never know.
* NotSoAboveItAll: The Time-Keepers are not gods. They are beings, just [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Sufficiently Advanced Aliens]] with great technology, but just technology, which may be countered by other technology.
** Also for Kang. In his place of greatest strength, backed by all his armies, he fought against his most hated enemy, for the highest stakes he could conceive... and lost.
* OrderVersusChaos: Immortus is firmly on the side of preserving universal stability and order, while Kang wants to preserve his freedom at the cost of bringing down the multiversal timeline like a house of cards.
-->'''Kang:'''"He calls himself the Master of Time! Faugh! "Gardener of Time" is more truthful! He prunes away the chronal branches deemed by others to be dangerous---reducing reality to a bloodless meadow! But such is not the way of warriors--of men! I say let it be a forest! Let it be a jungle! Let it be something we must strive against and conquer whatever comes! Fight it! Kill it! Crush it!"
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Deconstructed. Someone might wonder, with all the fancy technology available in the Marvel universe, which includes ships capable to go to other galaxies, why does Earth still has the overall technological level of the real world? Answer: because Immortus, GuardianOfTheMultiverse, is arranging things to stay that way until mankind's technology does not outstrip its moral judgments.
* {{Retcon}}: A lot of this story was basically damage control for ''ComicBook/TheCrossing'', revealing that it was Immortus and not Kang who was the main villain, that ComicBook/IronMan was only under Immortus's control since the events of ''ComicBook/OperationGalacticStorm'' (and that Iron Man leading half of the Avengers to kill the Kree Supreme Intelligence was an attempt to keep the Avengers out of intergalactic affairs that [[NiceJobFixingItVillain backfired]]) and not since the Avengers first fought Kang, the "Mantis" who worked with "Kang" and many other of his minions were Space Phantoms, and that Kang didn't cause [[ComicBook/AntMan Hank Pym]]'s breakdowns.
* RetGone: In-story, the timeline visited by the Wasp and Captain Marvel. Immortus erased it completely.
* [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Richard Nixon Was an Alien Spy]]: Lampshaded. He had already been discovered, and the men in black were going to deal with him; but Immortus simply erased the whole timeline as a result. He couldn't risk humanity arming against enemies from the stars.
* ScrewDestiny: All this was because the indomitable warrior Kang, as a time traveler, knows that he will eventually become Immortus, a scholar who relies on manipulation schemes. He hates the idea, fought against the universe to prevent himself from becoming Immortus... and won.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Don't tell Yellowjacket that it's pointless from him to hate Henry Pym, that he ''is'' Henry Pym: he will deny any relation whatsoever with him.
** Back in ComicBook/TheCelestialMadonnaSaga, Kang denied that Immortus was his future self. Not anymore. He accepts as a fact of life that Immortus ''is'' him; but he still hates him more than anything else, and refuses to let himself become him.
* SequelHook: Several.
** While talking about the threat humanity poses, the Time Keepers mention "the mechanations of the Infinates." They appear in the Avengers Infinity miniseries.
** After the heroes win, Kang [[HesBack regains his zest for life and conquest]] and leaves to rebuild his empire. Followed up in ComicBook/TheKangWar.
** After everyone else leaves, the Supreme Intelligence summons the Forever Crystal. This was followed up on in the Maximum Security event.
* TheSpock: Libra
* ThrowingOffTheDisability: The Hulk had left Rick Jones crippled, and begins the story that way. He managed to heal himself with the Destiny Force.
* TimeStandsStill: Seen at the bad future that begins the story, and before Immortus tried to kill Rick Jones.
* WeHaveReserves: Immortus does not go to war ''himself'', he simply uses his time manipulation to summon soldiers from all ages (from antique Babylon to futuristic soldiers and everything in-between). All 100% loyal to him, and it does not matter how many does Kang kill, because Immortus can summon hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, just by wishing so.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Time-Keepers have very legitimate concerns about humanity becoming TheEmpire. Their solution? Exterminate countless timelines. A mass-murder that would leave Galactus or even the Anti-Monitor as mere amateurs.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Tempus keeps whining about this.
* WorthyOpponent: Kangs treats the Avengers as such.