A 1995 limited series written by Peter David and Ariel Olivetti depicting the theoretical end to The Avengers, taking place in a Bad Future where many super-powered heroes and villains are either dead, retired or missing. This is one of the few comic series to use the Alternaverse brand in order to differentiate it from the What If brand.
The story starts off with Kang the Conqueror killing some guards and entering a Time Capsule that has many memorabilia and souvenirs of many, many heroes, including independent heroes, the Avengers, and the X-Men. Kang, however, finds something more interesting and informative than anything in the Time Capsule; a book titled ''The Last Avengers Story'' depicting, well, the end of the Avengers.
Two years later, Kang nukes The Avengers Nuclear Facility, the current headquarters of the current iteration of the Avengers, killing everyone inside. As expected, this attracted some heavy attention to the news media, and they interview what's left of the original Avengers, starting with Hank Pym and his wife, Janet Pym née van Dyne. After driving off the paparazzi, Ultron-59 teleports right next to Hank and Janet, telling them that the "final battle" is about to begin, and Hank has the choice of gathering what's left of the Avengers and fight off Ultron's forces as a team, or take a fatal chance and fight Ultron individually. After choosing the former option, Hank sets out to assemble a team of able-body and capable heroes including the the Human Torch, Jessica Wingfoot, the daughter of Wyatt Wingfoot and the MIA She-Hulk and the blind Hawkeye and his wife, Mockingbird while Ultron gathers up Kang, the Grim Reaper Billy Maximoff, the son of The Vision and the deceased Scarlet Witch, and his friend, Oddball, Psycho Serum incarnate.
It all culminates into one large battle over the fate of the Avengers and Earth itself.
Tropes used in The Last Avengers Story:
- Absentee Actor: As the Avengers is such a grand team, several potential members are written out of the main battle for various reasons. She-Hulk and the Invisible Woman disappeared, Black Widow was crippled before then, Quasar went crazy, and some characters like Iron Man are just "not around" at all.
- Anti-Climax: The first battle with Ultron-19.Mockingbird: "Hawkeye fired arrow after arrow into (Ultron-19), but it was a sonic disruption arrow that proved the most devastating. Thus ending the short, and admittedly unimpressive first battle of Ultron-19."
- Bad Future: Most heroes and villains are dead, retired or missing, half of the Fantastic Four are gone, the new Avengers have been recently nuked, there has been a cataclysm that affected the Earth for two months, and considering that Earth was only affected peripherally, Asgard and Olympus may be doing much, much worse.
- On the other hand, despite the unsavory method most of the villains were disposed of by, the Earth seemed to be in a period of relative peace until Kang started mucking things up again.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Avengers won the day, and killed the last of the great avengers villains (Ultron and Kang the Conqueror). Unfortunately, the majority of the superheroes are dead or retired, and Hank Pym's Ragtag Band of Misfits was greatly diminished during this last battle. Yet despite all the death and loss around them, the formally broken Hawkeye still has a reason to go on, because Captain America will one day return, and make all this heroism worth it.
- Blessed with Suck: The Wasp still has her shrinking powers and biostings, but it began affecting her biology more long term, so that by the time of the story, she's shrunk to the size of a child, can't grow back, and was socially ostracized for it.
- Blinded by the Light: Hawkeye, permanently, by Wonder Man's and Hulk's explosive deaths.
- Boom, Headshot!: Technically, this is how Kang goes down.
- Cain and Abel: Billy and Tommy Maximoff, respectively.
- The Cameo: Daredevil and Iron Man during Captain America's funeral, Peter Parker, Reed Richards and Doctor Doom were called in by Hank to join in the battle, but the former couldn't go due to responsibilities with his family, and the latter two because Reed would be a liability in battle (his body has melted to the point where he needs braces) and Doctor Doom because, well, brain damage and all.
- Distant Finale: To the Avengers stories as a whole (at least in speculation).
- Driven to Suicide: Quicksilver, after accidentally crushing his sister, who tampered with his speed abilites to stop him from hurting The Vision. Speaking of the Vision, his death may count too, if you think fusing with Ultron to kill him counts as suicide.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Vision sacrificed himself in order to defeat Ultron once and for all.
- FaceHeel Turn: The Hulk.
- Going Critical: When Hulk broke Wonder Man's skin, it released all of his ionic energy.
- Great Offscreen War: "The Great Cataclysm", an event that happened twenty years ago in story which involved a threat to Asgard and Olympus that caused wild weather and natural events to occur on Earth. Heroes like Thor, Hercules, and the Thing went to aid but never returned, and others like She-Hulk and the Invisible Woman disappeared after the event.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: If Kang didn't kill Hank before Ultron did, Ultron wouldn't turn on him, and the villains could have won.
- Killed Off for Real: There are many implied deaths/disappearances, but the ones who have died in flashbacks/in story are: Captain America but not really, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Tigra, Wonder Man, the Hulk, every New Avenger, Hotshot, Jessica Wingfoot, the Vision, Cannonball, Ultron-59, Kang, Billy, Oddball, Hank Pym.
- Older avengers also died offscreen include Black Panther and Wild Man.
- Mecha-Mooks: The forty other Ultrons.Ultron-59: They could have anticipated it, really. I'm Ultron-59. The last previous known one was Ultron-19. Didn't they wonder what happened to the other forty?
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Thor, Hercules and The Thing all went to fight against some great cataclysm, but none of them ever returned to the earth.
- Refusal of the Call: The Human Torch's daughter refused to join the battle despite inheriting her father's fire powers.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Last Avengers Story book was actually written by Ultron-59 in a plot to end the Avengers once and for all. Subverted in a sense, since the story did not come to pass, as Kang decided to deviate from the story by killing Hank Pym before Ultron could.Ultron-59: ...you idiot!! He was my father! My chance for closure, and mine alone, as it said in the book! You choose now to throw the book away?
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: The Hulk was the only one to have returned from the Great Cataclysm, although he was found unconscious in the side of Mount Parnassus, holding Hercules' mace. His skin color was the color of slate instead of his usual green. Its implied that the events that took place during the Great Cataclysm fueled the Hulk's Face Heel Turn.
- The Stinger: There is someone who was watching the recording of the final battle. Who was it, you ask? Captain America.
- Taking You with Me: Wonder Man: "Tigra... I'm... I'm coming, kid... and I'm bringing... company..." *cue mushroom cloud explosion*
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happened to Sue Storm and She-Hulk, the Grim Reaper also disappears and is never mentioned again after both Kang and Ultron are taken care off.
- What If?: Considering it was written 1995, some of the details around the story wouldn't line up with current comic continuity.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Hank Pym eventually came to this conclusion about himself, being willing to go into battle instead of hide in the microverse.