Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Classics - Avengers #58

Continuing our look back at classic issues of The Avengers, let's take a moment to sing the praises of the writer who was second only to Stan Lee in importance to the growing Marvel Universe: Roy Thomas.

It was Roy who had the unenviable task of following Stan on most of Marvel's biggest titles. He was a perfect fit on this comic because of his command of continuity. Stan had woven Marvel's titles into one big interlinked picture, but it was Roy who tied everything together with amazing skill.

In this issue, for example, we see the origin of the Vision and Ultron, which is tied to Goliath (Giant-Man) and the early Avengers battle with Wonder Man. (Years later, Steve Englehart would expand even further on the continuity threads, but that's a review for another day).

Roy even manages to include Thor and Iron Man in this story - a rare event since their "retirement" from the team almost four years before.

It's a tale of exploration and action, with plenty of humor and even some touching moments included. That last page put a tear in the eye of many a fan, and that's a tribute to Roy's skills.

The issue also features Roy's best partner in art, John Buscema (here inked by George Klein). I loved Buscema's work on this title, as he loaded it with kinetic layouts (the cover is particularly wild), heroic figures and powerful, emotional moments.

The two had a long, glorious run on this title - and then they moved over and put in even more great work on Conan the Barbarian.

They were a crucial element in Marvel's growth to becoming a dominant force in comics, thanks in no small part to their amazing work on The Avengers!

Grade: A


Joe Jusko said...

Avengers #'s 57 & 58 are the books that introduced me to the work of John Buscema and made me choose comics as a profession. By coincidence I just did a painted recreation of this cover for the 2012 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

Chuck said...

Really? I look forward to seeing it! I almost picked this issue at random - I wanted a good representative of the Thomas / Buscema team, and this one jumped out at me. Always a favorite, especially that final splash panel of the Vision.

Joe Jusko said...

Here ya go!

Chuck said...

Awesome! Thanks for the sneak preview, Joe!