- 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)
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Essential Avengers, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – February 25, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good stories of the early Avenger saga- but if you can you'd be better off getting them in color so you can see the art as it was originally intended- this is one way to read the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by thirdtwin
A great way to introduce new readers to the might Avengers. Also a great starting point for fans of the movies.Published 14 months ago by Brad Zimmerman
Moldy. I had to kill off the mold before I could read it.Published 18 months ago by Timothy D Osterlund
take a trip back to the 60s with this collection of avengers. from the very beginning, to the return of captain america and baron zemo, to wonder man and the masters of evil, to... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mark Anderson
Launched in September 1963, the Avengers were Marvel's answer to the Justice League. However, there were some marked differences from the Justice Leagues. Read morePublished on February 16, 2014 by Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author
The essential series lets a fan catch up with old favorites and be able to read classic comics . I started reading the avengers about the time of Galactic Storm and wished I had... Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by William P. meredith
It is interesting to read the old books that I did as a kid, and to see how they have been reinterpretted in the contemporary movies.Published on January 21, 2013 by John W. Obannon
Awsome book nearly done reading it. Great condition. Never knew there was a Ant man & wasp woman in it.Published on January 15, 2013 by D-Rock