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When I first bought this volume, I only got it because the store was out of Fantastic Four comics. So you can understand that making a transition from Spider-Man to Fantastic Four to "The Avengers" was a big leap. I saw the cover and I said to myself; "Aw, what the heck. I see Iron Man, Hulk, I think that's Thor, and who are those midgets flying around on ants?" It makes me laugh now because I came so close to putting this back on the shelf.
"The Avengers" are actually an insanely good comic. It definitley ended up in my hands most of the time not only because of the artwork (Jack Kirby) but because of the friendship, loyalty, and the true origins of the Avengers and Captain America. In these pages lurk mystery, action, surprise, wise-crack jokes, and endings to issues that tie up in the next one. In other words, it keeps you reading until the end. However, I would advise you not to get too sucked into this current team of Ant-Man, Giant-Man, the Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America. In the second volume, the entire team changes with some leaving, some staying, and new recruits joining. Overall, "The Avengers" have hit-home in this amazing volume. If you have the money and the time to read it, I strongly suggest purchasing this one.
I would recommend this comic to any Marvel Masterworks fan. It's fun to learn how the Avengers got together, and see their original roster in action. You also find out how the Avengers got their name. The book has an interesting and not-at-all boring introduction by Stan Lee (writer of Avengers, X-men, Spider-man and many other 60's titles you can get from Marvel Masterworks). At the end of the book there's some bonus material including a pin-up and biographies of Stan Lee, Jack Kerby (penciler of Avengers 1-8), and Don Heck (penciler of 9-10.) If you're an Avengers fan and want to see how they started, I must warn you: this comic is different from modern comics. For one, it's a little simpler and slower paced. Also, the characters might be a little different from how you know them. Over all, I enjoyed this comic and plan on getting the second one.
Once again Marvel Masterworks series proves that the old marvel comics are still good. A little dated and cheesy in some aspects, but they're still compelling stories. It could be argued that the Avengers have been the focal point for everything big in the Marvel universe since they first assembled (collected in this 10 issue volume). This first volume does not disappoint. A must have for any fan of the Marvel Universe.
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This collection of the first ten appearances of the Avengers has to be among the best stories that the Silver Age of Comics has to offer. While the idea was essentially that of rival DC's Justice League--take the most popular individual characters and throw them on a team together--whereas the early Justice League tales are a bit stilted and the need to present every Justice Leaguer as the most positive of role models (a holdover from DC's Golden Age) throws a wet blanket on characterization, these Avengers tales are having none of that. The plots are the height of (Stan Lee flying by the seat of his pants) action and the characters are allowed to evolve with the series (The Hulk, for example, starts out as a member, but by the end of the book wants to smash any Avenger he happens across).
While there are ups and downs as to the overall quality of the ten stories included, this is a very fun read. Stan Lee was very much aware that interesting villains are just as important as the featured heroes and this collection sees the debuts of the Masters of Evil, Kang, and Wonder Man, among others. Jack Kirby draws the first eight of the stories, putting the perfect visual stamp to the over the top adventures.
Also on display is Marvel's ability from Day One to tie their world together. The book includes brief cameos by the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men--none of which felt forced--includes Golden Age star the Sub-Mariner as the villain in a few stories, and most famously resurrects one of the greatest comic book characters of all time: Captain America.Read more ›
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With the upcoming release of the new Avengers movie, I thought it was time to give this collection a much deserved write-up.
Debutting in September of 1963, this team showed up rather late to the party known as the Marvel Age of Comics. The Fantastic Four were nearly two years old, and even that young upstart Spider-Man had been published for over a year by the time Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the Wasp) banded together for the first time.
Of course, being the iconoclast that he is, Stan Lee couldn't start the book out in the usual manner. Sure, there was the standard trope of uniting to fight a menace no single hero could handle, but for most of the first issue all they did was fight each other (well, it was mostly the Ant-Man, Iron Man, and the Wasp fighting the Hulk while Thor battled Loki in Asgard)! Only at the end of the story do they decide to start their own group.
That initial alliance didn't last long, however. In issue #2 they encounter the Space Phantom and the team ends up fighting each other again! After that fiasco, the Hulk quits the group only to team-up with Namor the Sub-Mariner in issue #3 to once again fight his former teammates.
For the next three issues, you'll be happy to learn that the team takes a break from their in-fighting. Issue #4 pits them against Namor once again, but this time with a new addition to the team - Captain America! Issue #5 is a fun romp in the American Southwest, which also features the team's last kinda-sorta team-up with the Hulk. It seems the Lava Men (see Marvel Masterworks: Thor Vol. 1) have returned, and this time they've brought the Menace of the Living Mound!Read more ›