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

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Essential Avengers Series

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Paperback, February 25, 2009
$38.40 $22.86

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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
It's a great time to be an Avengers fan, isn't it? And these stories are amazing. They seem to have some haters, but all I can figure is they think 50 years ago we already had Millers and Moores, much less Bendis's and Loebs and Millars!

Not so! This is risque characterization and action that is a joy to behold. A lot of folks knock Stan and say Kirby was god. Maybe he was, but Stan delivers without Kirby. These issues alone should dispel any of the "Stan was a thief, Kirby did it all" creeps that are so abundant these days.

The action is mindblowing. And I mean it, true believers! There is so much more content in every issue than we have today in ANYTHING in print. You will blow through Walking Dead, New Avengers, GI Joe, whatever your bag is, in about 8 minutes today. These early Stan issues are packed with content.

The battles are just all hell breaks loose '60s action. Stan understood, unlike today in the post Wolverine/post Bat-God times we live in, that in a fight, EVERYTHING goes wrong. Every battle has the feel that anything can happen, anyone can win, anyone can lose, anyone could die. It's striking stuff.

Bad reviewers are Kirby-centric types that don't want to acknowledge the joy of reading late '60s comics when STAN LEE changed everything. Kirby was a genius. But that's no reason to ever knock Stan.

For people that don't want to see how Cap and Hawkeye become bros for life and see these two archetypes learn who they are in a new, scary world, it might not be for you. But I don't cherry pick my stories. I read them. Stan delivers. And guess what? So does Don Heck.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are certain guilty pleasures too good to resist, like revisiting childhood fancies:

This Avengers collection, along with Fantastic Four and Thor from the Marvel Comics Silver Age collection are items I purchased for a backward glance at creations that were to eventually make Marvel a significant pop phenomenon. Some have argued that Marvel blurred the line between good and evil, but I disagree. They arrived at the same outcome as other publications via a more circuitous route by introducing the concept of the "misunderstood" hero, but "good" beating "evil" was still the overriding message: that held for the Silver Age anyway (directly after the Silver Age, something of a more sinister nature was to enter comic book literature..and I don't just mean Roy Thomas!). This black and white morality of the "good vs evil" tales in a world of fabulous, costumed heroes seemed real to a 12 year old at the time, so a 12 cent comic book was a worthy investment. If only the world was that simple now!

Legendary comic book artist Jacob Kurtzberg (Jack Kirby), son of a garment factory worker from the immigrant melting-pot of New York and his collaborator Stan Lieber ( Stan Lee), built this empire together and today it goes without saying that "Marvel" is a household word. As a kid, these humble magazines were like gold to me.

The erstwhile Kirby may have made his name as a serious artist had he not settled for the comic-book world, where he was (and still is, in my opinion) without peer historically. If Kirby made an error in judgement, it was in trying to compete with Lee as a comic book writer instead of taking his artwork to another level.
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