Sunday, June 17, 2012

Avengers Assemble #4

It's been funny to hear the reaction of fans of The Avengers movie to the brief reference to Thanos - they have no idea who he is.

Which is understandable, since he's been little used in recent years, and most of his appearances (outside of Jim Starlin written or drawn comics) have been in mini-series and his own short-lived series.

For those who came in late, Thanos is simply one of Marvel's greatest villains - and certainly one of the most intimidating.

He's a cosmic-level threat (both physically and in terms of sheer power) and he's extremely intelligent, crafty and merciless. He has rarely been out-and-out defeated, and he's been at the heart of several of the best Marvel stories since his creation in the '70s.

To prove the point, he shows up in this issue of Avengers Assemble, takes on the combined might of the team, and... well, you'll have to see it for yourself.

It's a wild issue that shows how high the stakes are, and why Thanos makes a great opponent for the team.

When you get right down to it, this series by writer Brian Bendis and artists Mark Bagley and Daanny Miki could easily be the next Avengers movie - it's big, loaded with twists, all the characters get some good bits of business, and there's a good sense of humor despite the destruction.

Considering that this series is not laboring under a crushing weight of back story or continuity, it's a clean sequel to the film (there's still some question as to whether or not this is taking place in the regular Marvel Universe or in the Marvel Movie Universe - assuming there is such a thing). The last page somewhat confuses things.

Still, terrific art, lots of action and mysteries to be solved - this is the best Avengers comic on the market today!

Grade: A-


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