- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Marvel; Revised edition edition (June 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078510741X
- ISBN-13: 978-0785107415
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Essential Avengers, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – June 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
I guess what we have here is fundamental proof that Stan Lee, at the height of his powers, had his limits - while turning out great stories in Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, this title suffered. Stan even appeared to realise that as, part of the way through this volume, a new writer was brought in: Roy Thomas.
Roy has shown himself to be a great writer of this form, but his first few stories don't really show him at his best. I believe that this was amongst his first published work.
On the plus side, however, the characterisation improves vastly, with some of the cast becoming easily distinguishable by their dialogue alone, a vast improvement from the period where all the characters spoke the same.
Not a showcase of the greatest Avengers issues, but of a period of transition. Things were better before this, and also improve after.
The scripts themselves are uneven. While the initial bickering amongst the team is fairly interesting (if only to hear Captain America, a product of the 40s, exchanging barbs with Hawkeye in perfect 60s tough-guy patois), the team soon begins to emit affirmations of hero-worship to each other like a couple of natural-born bootlickers at a Promise Keepers rally ("You're the man!" "No, you're the man!" <hug>)
The initial promise of Goliath's being trapped at the freakish height of 10 feet tall is squandered within a few issues, Hercules joins the team in an apparent attempt to bring Stan Lee's lofty dialogue back, the Wasp is her usual irrelevant self, and Captain America, the born leader, fails miserably to control the team and needs Goliath to straighten it out.
The issues do build some momentum, and classic battles with the Super-Adaptoid and the Whizzer rekindle the old magic of the Avengers.
Even with all the aforementioned flaws, this collection of the Avengers still beats most of the stuff on the newsstand and in the comics shops today.
Collected in Volume 2 are "The Avengers" #25-46 and Annual #1, which brings together the "original" Avengers with the Avengers of "today," against the Mandarin, Power Man, the Living Laser, the Swordsman, the Enchantress, and the Executioner. Thomas took over as writer with issue #35 and Buscema takes over as the primary artist with issue #41. The artistic improvement is obvious, especially for someone such as myself who was never enamored of Don Heck's artwork, but the more significant changes are coming from the writing. It was Thomas who brought Hercules into the mix, which upped the ante on the bickering in the group.Read more ›
There are some great issues in the mix, especially those where just as Hawkeye is trying to get his Russian girlfriend, the Black Widow, to be voted in as an official member of the superhero fighting team, she is working for Shield where a primary mission is to act as a double agent and give the impression that she is on the Communist side of the Cold War, thus pitting her at odds specifically with The Avengers and, in general, with the free world.
Among the best stories are indeed the ones that strongly center around the Black Widow. The rest of the volume, by and large, has recurring themes of trying to regain or maintain lost superpowers. For instance, for a few issues, Hank Pym is doomed to remain ten feet tall as a result of a freak accident in one of his encounters and thus cannot alternate between his Ant Man and Giant Man states without endangering his health. Also prevalent and quite problematic are the issues focusing upon Quicksilver, with his declining speed, and The Scarlet Witch, with her weakened spell-casting abilities; in these storylines, nothing substantial explains why they were losing their powers from the start or how, after retreating back to their homeland, they were able to fully recover them.
To their credit, the writers did try to pose challenges that would make the Avengers seem more human, that is, where they have to use more ingenuity to remain a team, especially with Thor and Iron Man having already exited the picture for personal reasons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book marks some turning points for the Avengers, collecting Issues 25-46 and the First Annual. It sees Stan Lee's departure as writer after Issue 34 (replaced by Roy Thomas)... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author
My son was excited to get this for his birthday, he's reading it every chance he gets.Published 18 months ago by Ian
Stories near the beginning of the franchise. Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch - The "Kooky Quartet" in some of the best stories introducing... Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by G
It's a great time to be an Avengers fan, isn't it? And these stories are amazing. They seem to have some haters, but all I can figure is they think 50 years ago we already had... Read morePublished on August 21, 2011 by K. Sebastian
First attempt at shipping, item was lost. Unsure the problem, but seller made it all good re-shipping an excellent condition item as soon as possible.Published on December 5, 2009 by Marsha D. Kellum
The avengers hold a certain nostalgic enjoyment for me. The issues gathered in this volume present a terrific collection of stories circa the 1960's. Read morePublished on February 26, 2009 by L. mitchell
I honestly don't get the appeal of these books. Why bother making (or reading) black & white reprints of classic four-color comics...? Read morePublished on April 15, 2008 by Axton Blessendon, Jr.