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Essential Avengers, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – February 25, 2009

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Paperback, February 25, 2009
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; New edition edition (February 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078513929X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785139294
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. Nevertheless: Having begun his career with wartime Timely Comics and staying the course throughout the Atlas era, Stan the Man made comic-book history with Fantastic Four #1, harbinger of a bold new perspective in story writing that endures to this day. With some of the industry's greatest artists, he introduced hero after hero in Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men and more -- forming a shared universe for rival publishers to measure themselves against. After an almost literal lifetime of writing and editing, Lee entered new entertainment fields and earned Marvel one opportunity after another. He remains one of Marvel's best-known public representatives.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Essential Avengers #1 collects the first 24 issues of The Avengers, Earth's Mightiest heroes. The early Avengers issues were really a struggle to find their way in the Silver Age. With the Hulk as an original member (for at least a couple of issues) we certainly had a rather dysfunctional team. That would change when #4 reintroduced Captain America to the world who has been found frozen solid yet kept young and alive by the Super Soldier serum. Still changes abounded in these early issues as And-Man would become Giant-Man instead perhaps in a move to replace the power void left by the Hulk's departure, although power certainly was in no short supply with Thor and Iron man around. Issue #9 would introduce Baron Zemo's creation Wonder Man which in my mind has always been highly overrated as being a Silver Age key issue.

The early villains were a mixed bag of forgettable types like The Phantom and The Lava Men. Still some classic Avenger's villains came out of the period. The Masters of Evil including Baron Zemo, Black Knight, Enchantress, Executioner, The Melter and Radioactive Man became one of the Avengers most frequent early foes appearing in issues #6-7, 9-10, and 15-16 during this run and numerous times since with different line-ups over the years. One of the Avengers greatest and most enduring foes Kang the Conqueror made his first of many appearances in issue #8 (not #23 as the reviewer below mentions). Big changes took place with Avengers #16 as all of the members of the team would leave except for Captain America to be replaced by the brother/sister mutant duo of The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as well as Hawkeye. This has always struck me as one of the more confusing moves in Marvel history.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Veyera VINE VOICE on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As good as the early Fantastic Four issues were, the Avengers took the superteam concept to a whole new level. Here was a team formed for the noblest of goals, thrown together by the machinations of an evil immortal only to turn the tables and begin the legendary association which would have teenagers all over the world shouting "Avengers Assemble!" in their backyards.
"Essential Avengers vol. 1" captures the first 24 issues of the classic series, scripted by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby and Don Heck. If the first appearances of Kang the Conqueror, Immortus, and the Masters of Evil aren't enough for you, pick this collection up for Avengers # 4, the return of Captain America. This alone is enough to mark a substantial return on your investment for this book.
Highly recommended to all comics fans and X-Men fanatics who need a primer in how team books used to be written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JON STRICKLAND on March 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Essential Avengers, Volume I is a noteworthy classic consisting of many great works from the early to mid-1960's. Despite their flaws, the reprinted comics in this bound volume contain several origins and cornerstones in helping establish the Lee and Kirby brainchild known as the Marvel Universe.

Had I not read the very early Fantastic Four comics, I would have probably issued a resounding five stars. However, I saw slightly better teamwork with Mr. Fantastic and gang and sensed more creative energy in the science fiction realm with this other title. Nevertheless, the revival of Steve Rogers thus Captain America is a priceless story that only this Essential volume contains.

Though the early days of The Avengers needed a little fine-tuning, that deficiency, in itself, was a strength. With the resurgence of Captain America, a superhero from a day and age that was twenty years before the names Giant Man, The Wasp and Iron Man surfaced, the very first Avengers titles presented recurring clashes between the ideas and ideals of younger and older generations and showed how the initially opposing forces were ultimately united to bring about change for the underlying yet all-encompassing goal of a safer and better world.

From the first issue to the last, it is apparent that The Avengers, despite their shortcomings in establishing a stable team at the start, thanks in large part to the Hulk, had the common goals that made their formation very sensible. Though they did not have a shared fate among them a la The Fantastic Four, they were professional enough to look past their differences and use their skills and powers to complement one another.

All in all, where the Fantastic Four was perhaps the best homogeneous grouping in the Marvel Universe, The Avengers was arguably the best in the heterogeneous domain. Not even the Defenders, with their super powers and talent, could quite live up to the same billing.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Avengers were initially an obvious recipe for success - take a number of characters already supporting their own comics and bring them together as a group, an idea as old as the Justice Society of America. So, in the debut issue, we have Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Ant-man and the Wasp joining forces as an unexpected consequence of a plot by Loki against his half-brother, Thor.
However, the ideas changed quickly as the Hulk left and teamed-up with the Sub-mariner to fight his former allies and was replaced by Captain America, a World War 2 hero frozen between then and the 60s. And then again, to suddenly have all the original members depart, leaving Cap with Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, three super-villains seeking to reform, as his teammates.
The stories in this volume represent a fairly diverse bunch, showing both the best and worst aspects of Stan Lee's writing at the time. Interesting team dynamics, where the characters are not always each others' friends, villains with motives beyond the banal, references to events in other titles, secrets and subplots that aren't resolved in a single story all show the hallmarks of a writer seeking to develop a loyal following. At the same time, we have blatant sexism and racism, villains with banal motives and some very hokey dialogue.
The art is OK, the early Jack Kirby issues not his best work, and I've never been fond of Don Heck's art. It seems a little odd to be reading these stories in black and white, although this obviously keeps the price down.
If you want to see how one of the best super-hero team series started out, get this.
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