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Avengers Disassembled Hardcover – December 20, 2006
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Top customer reviews
It was a great storyline that involved characters from throughout the Marvel universe. Without giving anything away, I'll say that it delivered far beyond what I had expected, and I can see how it's setting up storylines for years to come.
Before reading House of M, Civil War or anything beyond that, be sure to pick up this one!
The plot focuses on a really bad day for the heroes. While Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) embarasses himself at the UN, Avengers Mansion faces a series of assaults, starting with a seemingly zombie version of the Jack of Hearts exploding and killing one of the heroes. After that, the bad things pile on, including appearances from Ultron, an out-of-control She-Hulk and a massive Kree assault.
Why are all the bad things happening at once? This is the mystery, the answer of which is deeply woven into the team's history. By the end, not only will several heroes be dead or injured, the Avengers's very existence will be in doubt.
Of course, in the world of superhero comics, few remain dead and the Avengers are too important a part of the Marvel Universe to truly dissolve, but the joy in this tale isn't diminshed by this fact. What I really liked is that this story encapsulated what the Avengers were all about: not just the team that took on the big-time threats, but something like a family, or like a high school class: they didn't always get along, but they had a bond that went beyond the work they did. This is particularly captured in the last chapter of the story.
This book has gotten more than its fair share of negative reviews, but I think that doesn't the book justice. Avengers Disassembled is a good standalone story arc that embraces Avengers history even as it looks to the future.
The story opens with an attack on Avengers mansion by Jack of Hearts - whom all the Avengers thought dead. He explodes, taking an Avenger with him. This is the first of several deaths to come. The Vision crashes the Quinjet into the Mansion and inexplicably devolves into five Ultrons who proceed to attack the remaining Avengers. At the same time, Tony Stark goes on a mad rant before the United Nations causing everyone to think he's drunk! The worst day in Avengers history has begun, and at the heart of it is one of their own. It's not really a spoiler to say the Scarlet Witch is the root of the problem, but the fallout from this day will be heartbreaking.
Disassembled is exactly what occurs - the Avengers will disband, leaving a clean slate. What makes this story special is that ALL the Avengers actually assemble (with the glaring exception of Thor, but he's got his own problems!!) in response to this threat. It was cool to see them all appear, and the book has a lot of large scale battles, but also many intimate and touching scenes to balance the story.
There are a couple of problems with this trade collection, however. First, the event is massive but this book is actually rather short - making it difficult on comic newbies like me. I don't know how this group of characters came together, and have no clue who Scott Lang is or why he is Ant-Man instead of Hank Pym. Additionally, though all the Avengers show up, few of them get "screen time" even in subsequent battles. It feels like there's a lot of missing pieces, which I hope to fill in by reading Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor & Captain America. That said, the plot is simple enough that I don't feel I have to go back to previous books in order to understand. The point of Disassembled appears to be to shake up the Marvel Universe for a new launching point and on that level it succeeds.
Overall, though this book felt incomplete, it was enjoyable and clearly sets the stage for what is to come. Recommended.