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Essential Avengers, Vol. 5 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – December 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785120874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785120872
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Englehart

Born in Indianapolis, he went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He studied Psychology because people fascinated him, but in getting his B.A. he learned that psychology didn't describe real people, so he became a writer.

Living the Young Creator's life in New York, he got to be drinking buddies with an editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. One night the e.a. called to say he was going on vacation for six weeks; would Steve like to fill in for him on staff? Steve would, and once in the door at what was then a very small operation, he got a shot at writing a comic. It was a failing series called Captain America -- but six months later it had become Marvel's leading seller, and Steve had all the work he could handle. He became Marvel's lead writer, adding The Hulk, The Avengers, Thor, Dr. Strange, and half a dozen other series. Then he was hired away by DC Comics to be their lead writer and revamp their core characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern). He did, but also wrote a solo Batman series that readers dubbed the "definitive" version and broke the long-standing barrier between comics readers and the mass market. All comics films since Batman in 1989 stem from that.

After Batman he traveled around Europe for a year and wrote his first novel, The Point Man. Since then he's designed video games for Atari, Activision, Electronic Arts, and others. He's written animation for Street Fighter and G.I. Joe. He's written mid-grade books for Avon, including the DNAgers series, and Countdown to Flight, a biography of the Wright brothers selected by NASA as the basis for their school programs on the invention of the aeroplane. And he's written more comics, like Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer, which led to the San Diego Comic-Con calling him "comics' most successful writer, having had more hits with more characters at more companies than anyone else in comics history." He created The Night Man, which became a live-action television series.

Most recently, The Point Man has engendered a series of novels from Tor, beginning with The Long Man.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Hazelwood on March 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Two summers ago, I had an absolutely wonderful time reading the Essential Avengers 4. Not only was the book the largest Essential at the time (at 640 big pages!), but it had utterly stellar tales like the duel with Kang and the Grandmaster, the introduction of Zodiac, the origin of the Black Panther, and (you probably knew I was getting to this) the Kree-Skrull War, a mix of relationship-forging drama, political commentary, and wall-to-wall action that has perhaps never been surpassed in the annals of the sequential art medium. After putting it down and breathing a few sighs of satisfaction, one of my first thoughts was that there would be little reason to hurry in printing a fifth volume. Heck, Marvel could just stop the Essential Avengers program right then and there, because you just couldn't ask for a more appropriate conclusion than the old K-SW.

Shows how much I know.

It looks like the release of the Ultimate Avengers animated movie as well as the alleged twenty-four volume order for new Essentials this year conspired to put the Essential Avengers 5 on my shelf. So that's why I'm here today to roll out the welcome wagon for Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Our favorite men and women in spandex are brought together and torn apart by several factors between #'s 98 and 119. First up, Earth and Olympus fall under siege by Ares (the God of War, not the ram-headed guy from Zodiac) and it takes the combined forces of every single person who was ever called an Avenger to stop him (accounted in issue #100, naturally). The tumultuous love affair between the android Vision and the Scarlet Witch begins here, and Vizh is quickly tempted to end it by an attractive offer of normalcy made by his brother, the Grim Reaper (I mean he's not really his brother, he's ...
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There are some big names that show up as writers and artists in the issues collected in "Essential Avengers, Volume 5," but they do not show up for long. Just like the roster for Marvel's premier superhero team, the lineup for writing and drawing this comic book changed a lot. An original story by Harlan Ellison (1964's "Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow") is adapted in #101, while Roy Thomas finished as writer of the book with issue #104 and then Steve Englehart took over. Barry Windsor-Smith draws the first three issues here, even doing some of the inking (along with Joe Sinnott and Syd Shores) for #100 and then we get Rich Buckler (#101-04, 106), John Buscema (#105), George Tuska (#106-07), Jim Starlin (#107), Don Heck (#108-112), and Bob Brown (#113-19).

The Avengers line-up at the start of this collection consists of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and the Vision, with Rick Jones hanging around because he is sharing space with Captain Marvel. By the end Hercules, the Black Panther, Hawkeye, and the Swordsman and his paramour Mantis show up for duty as well, although everybody who has ever been an Avenger shows up for #100 as the Avengers assemble and invade Olympus because Ares the god of war has been causing trouble on Earth. The Ellison story has to do with killing innocents whose descendants will destroy the world, before we move on to more traditional super villain tales. As the Avengers hit 100 issues it is the Vision who is the key member of the group and he has to deal with his brother, the Grim Reaper before alone (#102) and in tandem with the Space Phantom (#106-08), while the romantic relationship between the Vision and Wanda continues its stormy way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What is the greatest superhero team of all time? It's debatable, but certainly it comes down to an elite few: The Justice League is the best team in the DC Universe, but Marvel has a number of groups to choose from. If it's a matter of brains, I would go with the Fantastic Four, but for sheer muscle, I would go with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers. The Avengers are the Marvel equivalent of the Justice League, featuring the all-stars who aren't already affiliated with other teams.

Volume 5 of the Essential Avengers series covers issues 98 to 119 (with one Daredevil and four Defenders to make sure certain stories are complete). The core lineup in this period include most of the big names in the group: Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch. The only "classic" Avengers who are missing are the Wasp and her husband (Ant Man/Yellowjacket/Giant Man/Goliath). Also appearing are the Black Panther, Black Knight, Hulk, Swordsman and Mantis.

Since these are the elite heroes, they rarely battle third-rate villains. In these issues, they face such heavyweights as Ares, the Grim Reaper, Magneto, Dormammu, Loki and the Collector. In between battles, the principal story arcs involve the three members who don't have their own magazines. For the Vision and Scarlet Witch, they are finally admitting their love for each other, with all the problems an android/human relationship entail. For Hawkeye - who has his own designs on Wanda rebuffed - this leads to alienation from the team and a brief membership with the Defenders.

While most of the stories are pretty good, some are a bit on the weak side. Surprisingly, this also includes a single-issue story by Harlan Ellison, who is normally one of the best short story writers around. But even if the quality is occasionally erratic, overall this is another fun volume that once again evokes a somewhat simpler era of comic book tales.
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