Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Classic Comics - Avengers #100

   One of the great things about Roy Thomas' work is, you always get the sense that he approaches each story as a fan first.

   So when The Avengers hit issue #100 in 1972, he made sure it was an event by including every hero (or anti-hero) who had been a member of the team - even if that meant stretching things a bit.

   So for the first time since issue #2, the Hulk appears as a member of the team - even the Swordsman, who was a member of the team for part of one issue, shows up.

   The only hero who doesn't make it is Wonder Man, but he was dead at the time - he didn't return until issue #150.

   It takes a big menace to call for the entire team (and they had just finished fighting the Kree-Skrull War, so it was a busy time), so they were called to face an Olympic-sized problem - namely, the gods of Olympus were facing destruction because of the machinations of Ares and the Enchantress.

   What's funny, in reading this today, is how small the team was at the time. Where there are now hundreds of heroes (it seems) in the team, at this time the total number of Avengers was 13 (I think - I can't remember if the Black Knight was a member at this point, though he's in the story).

   It's a fun romp, all the moreso because of the art by Barry Smith, who also did some inking, along with Joe Sinnott and Syd Shores. Smith (who would soon become Windsor-Smith) was really starting to hit his stride here - the opening sequence where the team gathers is stunning.

   Amazingly, the entire story takes place in a single, 23-page issue. Could a modern team manage such a thing? I'm guessing "no."

Grade: A



No comments: