7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2002
Easily the best volume of the three Avengers Essentials to date, we now see Rascally Roy Thomas at the scripting helm, along with Awesome John Buscema doing most of the art chores. Say no more! This duo is one of the greatest in comics lore... and even demi-gods Barry [Windsor] Smith and Gene Colan show up to help out on art.
This collection contains the spectacular introduction of the Vision, the Avengers vs. the (old) X-Men, several battles with arch-foe Ultron, and the classic Avengers vs. Avengers thanks to the machinations of the time-spanning Scarlet Centurion. I'd give this compilation five stars, but the several issues featuring Hercules and the battles in god-ville are just plain dull. (Avengers #50 featured this crap? YEESH.) But don't let these few pages spoil the rest of the great fun.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Volume 3 of "The Essential Avengers" is where the Marvel superhero group finally starts to grow up. Part of the reason is because John Buscema became the resident artist (through issue #62), marking the first time that the artwork was a strong selling point, but the more important reason was that the group finally came up with an original group member with the Vision. At that point the group really crystalized for me, so scripter Roy Thomas gets a big part of the credit.
This trade paperback collects issues #47-68 of "The Avengers," along with Annual #2. I first seriously started reading "The Avengers" with issue #53, which is where the Avengers battled the X-Men, who were my favorite Marvel group in the Sixties. At that point the lineup for the Avengers had, once again, changed. At that point it was Golaith, the Wasp, Hawkeye, and the Black Panther. Getting rid of Hercules and the mutant tag team of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch was a good move, although I can never really think of it as the Avengers unless Captain America is in charge (he bolts in the first issue here). But I never liked Hawkeye and thought making him the new Giant-Man and making Goliath into Yellowjacket, was ill-advised. The only reason I kept reading the book was because of the Vision, so that even when other Marvel superheroes who were incapable of sustaining their own books (e.g., the Black Knight) joined up it was the android that held my attention. .
The Vision first popped up in issue #57, created by Ultron-5 to defeat the Avengers. Instead, he became their most interesting member, although it would be a while before the whole backstory on his creation came to be. At this point the idea that he was "an android...with the amnesiac brain patterns of a murdered man," Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man, was enough. On top of that I liked the way Buscema drew the Vision with his eyes always completely shadowed. Buscema leaves the book during these issues, but he was replaced by Gene Colan, always a favorite, and then Barry Smith came in for a couple of issues drawn in the distinctive style that was still evolving and about to explode when he and Thomas started "Conan the Barbarian."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2008
While the cover is a little misleading (Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are hardly in this volume), Volume 3 of the Essential Avengers is still very good. This is not my favorite group of Avengers (Goliath/Yellowjacket, Hawkeye/Goliath, Wasp, Black Panther, and the Vision), but Roy Thomas does a great job of making the reader care about the characters, especially the Vision.
It's interesting to see the first appearances of Ultron, who is one of the ultimate bad guys in the Marvel Universe, and his creation in the Vision. It's also unique that the Black Panther has to occasionally deal with issues in his homeland. The great thing about the Avengers is that members come and go and have their own lives to deal with too, which is why Cap, Iron Man, and Thor aren't around much.
The art, as mentioned in other reviews, is excellent. John Buscema is the definitive Avengers artist. Throw in Gene Colan and some early Barry Windsor, and this is a very good group of stories to read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2011
This collection of the Avengers starts slowly but finishes very, very strongly. The book brings together issues 47-68 as well Avengers Annual No. 2, and while Roy Thomas is the writer for the entire run he really only hits his stride with issue No. 52 with the addition of the Black Panther. From that issue to No. 68 is as strong a run of comics that you're going to find from that time period: A crossover with the X-Men; Bucky's death revisited; the introduction of the Vision and Yellowjacket; the marriage of the Pyms; Hawkeye becoming Goliath; and several run-ins with Ultron. Throw in a few guest appearances of the Black Knight and Dr. Strange as well as a fight with the original Avengers. Wow!
On minor quibble -- I think it would have been good to have included the first part of the X-Men crossover, which appeared in the X-Men series.
The collection is also blessed with art for most of the issues from John Buscema, who offers strong clean lines that add to the story (rather than detract, as so many of the artists of the 1990s and 2000s have done). Two issues are by the great Gene Colan, and there's even a few early issues by a young Barry Windsor-Smith.
There are some readers who don't consider these comic collections ''essential'' because they are black-and-white, rather than color. And there is some truth to that. The Windsor-Smith issues in particular are much more dramatic in color, but that isn't a sufficient reason not to recommend this collection for those who can't afford the originals or, like me, don't want to keep pulling their original copies out their plastic bags to reread. For more on the book, see my fuller review on squidoo under my name goldenrulecomics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2011
The awkward truth for fans of the Avengers is that the series stumbled about for its first few years due to ho-hum stories, journeyman art and unexciting character lineups. It wasn't really until the stories collected in this volume that the series began to find its focus and emerge as one of the best comics of its era.
This is the run where John Buscema came into his own as an artist, giving the stories a bolder, more dramatic look. Equally outstanding work is done by Gene Colan and Barry Windsor-Smith on fill-in issues.
At the same time writer Roy Thomas returns to the original idea of the team being earth's greatest heroes and gives them sizable menaces to fight like a reformed Masters of Evil and the renegade robot Ultron. He also reshuffles the line-up, bringing back Thor and Iron Man, adding the Black Panther and the Vision and reinventing two long-standing characters, Goliath and Hawkeye, as respectively Yellowjacket and the new Goliath. The result is a much more interesting collection of heroes and one that you could really expect to save the world from crisis after crisis.
In short it is just pure comic book fun. I give it four stars only because it took a little while to get going.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
In the 1960s, there were three great Marvel superhero teams. The Fantastic Four were united primarily by family ties and the X-Men were technically classmates. The Avengers, however, were the all-stars, the equivalent to D.C.'s Justice League. In Volume 3 of the Essential Avengers, some of the "classic" Avengers may only be minimally present (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America), but that doesn't stop the team from being still the superhero elite.
Although the roster varies throughout the volume, the principal characters are Goliath, the Wasp, the Black Panther and Hawkeye. The Vision joins the group around midway into this book. Among the special things that happen in this volume are the first appearance of Ultron (who would wind up being one of the all-time great Avengers foes), the wedding of Hank Pym to Janet Van Dyne, the first real signs of Hank's fragile personality (when he becomes Yellowjacket), and Hawkeye's transformation to a new Giant-Man.
While not every story in here is a gem (either in writing or art), there is plenty in here that is fun. Nowadays, superhero comics are often much more sophisticated with more "human" characters; while this can be good, it is also nice to read comics that take place in a simpler universe of good vs. evil with storylines that are resolved in a couple of issues.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2008
This is the stuff that Marvel legends are made of. This Avengers collection (covering issues # 47 to # 68 and Annual # 2 from 1967) is authored by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Gene Colan (both at their peak) and Barry Windsor Smith (somewhat of a cross between Kirby; Trimpe and Steranko in style).
Buscema's art is incredibly well suited for the super-team - creating more sophistication and drama out of a group that was somewhat middling before he came along. What makes this special? The introduction of the Vision; Yellowjacket; Ultron; Goliath, and stories like Hawkeye's secret past; Captain America's travel back in time...the authors literally elevated the group into a different stratosphere.
The only caveat is that the reprint quality within here is inconsistent and dodgy (I own most of the issues in colour reprints). If you can afford it - wait for a more expensive colour reprint edition to really appreciate the Avengers in their true glory.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2007
Volume 3 is probably the best one to get. I was buying the original comics when they were coming out in the early 70's (and still have them) and the stories covered by this book are amongst the best ever.
Favourite of the stories within is the one involving the Vision. Perhaps my favourite moment of all the Avengers stories is in 'Even An Android Can Cry' when Captain America provokes the Avengers into fighting the Vision (as a test) "I'm going to find out if the Vision has what it takes!". First Captain America, then Iron Man and finally Thor put the Vision to the test, to see if he is worthy of joining their ranks. The artwork by John Buscema in this story is the best I've ever seen.
So whether you are a youngster who is new to these older comics, or an older person 40cough like myself, these Marvel books are brilliant buys. Theres no risk of missing one part of the story, unlike when you buy a comic once a week. Whole heartedly recommended.
on October 23, 2014
They are Earth's mightiest heroes, created by the legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. United to fight the forces of evil too grand for one hero to do by his/her lonesome. What I love about the Avengers is how they get it all together (or try to, at least) with their various backgrounds, individualism and personal hang-ups clashing with one another. Thanks to the talents of Roy Thomas, John and Sal Buscema, Gene Colan and Barry Windsor-Smith, the mighty team shows the super-villains and the world they protect that there is strength through diversity, and it will never be conquered. THE AVENGERS (Vol. 1) # 47-68 and SPECIAL # 2 prove that superpower-packed fact a thousand-fold.
The mutant/human conflict spill over, as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch must choose between staying with the Avengers or rejoining the Brotherhood with Magneto and the Toad ... and the Black Knight enters the scene (don't worry, this one's on our side)! Hercules becomes the victim of a revenge scheme against the Olympian Gods by the Titan Typhoon. The Collector and the Grim Reaper pay villainous visits as the Black Panther joins the team (by the way, hate the half-mask)! It's the Avengers versus the X-Men, as a misunderstanding is instigated by Magneto! The team time-travels to WWII to prevent Captain America's partner Bucky's "death" and then stop the founding members of the inaugural year from ruling Earth. As Thor and Iron Man rejoin the group, the spotlight's on Goliath (formerly Giant-Man), whose actions will be blessed ... and cursed in the years ahead. His deadly creation named Ultron-5, who then creates the android slave-turned-hero the Vision, his marriage to the Wasp, and his new identity as Yellowjacket. The Knight and Doctor Strange help the team fight Surtur and Ymir - respectively the fire and frost demons - and the Panther's fight with M'Baka the Man-Ape in Wakanda. Hawkeye embarks on his own change when his gal and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, the Black widow, gets kidnapped by the Mad Thinker, the Swordsman and ... (sigh) Egghead? So here comes the new Goliath. And if you think Ultron-6 can't get any more powerful, here are two words: Adamantium, bub!
ESSENTIAL AVENGERS VOL. 3 was mighty awesome. I enjoyed the all-out action as much as the next fan, but the ever-changing roster - as seen in AVENGERS # 2, 4 and 16 - is something else. It's great to see different super-heroes now and then join the group and bring something new to the table, and that makes for great storytelling in the merry Marvel manner. That's exactly what you'll always expect when they rally-cry out "Avengers Assemble!" Bad-guys? Consider this a warning. Excelsior!
This volume collects issues #47-68 (plus King-Sized Annual #2) of Marvel Comics' Avengers series that were originally published between December 1967 and September 1969. Most issues feature the team of artist John Buscema and writer Roy Thomas.
Captain America abruptly resigns in #47 for adventures in his own series, which leaves the active roster as: Goliath, Wasp, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Hercules. After a Magneto appearance, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch leave the team. This is followed by Hercules' return to Olympus after a boring sidebar. Black Panther joins the team at the end of #51. After a good two-issue story with Jarvis and The Crimson Claw, the series slows with poor time-travel stories in #56 and Annual #2 before rebounding with the celebrated first appearances of The Vision in #57-59 and two series of fights with Ultron. This run of issues also includes the marriage of Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne, new identities for Hawkeye and Giant-Man/Goliath and the first Marvel Universe appearance of admantium (#66). Cap and original Avengers Thor and Iron Man appear in many of the latter issues starting with #62. Other guest-stars include the X-Men, Dr. Strange and the Black Widow. Gene Colan and Barry Smith each pencil a pair of issues before John's brother Sal begins his run in #68.
I prefer the Avengers DVD-ROM for its complete collection of the entire Avengers run in full color PDFs. However, the Marvel Essentials series offers convenient, inexpensive access to these 40-year old Avengers comics without needing a computer. At over 500 pages, this is a tremendous value and offers hours of reading.