Monday, November 14, 2016

The Avengers #1.1

   When The Avengers shocked the world, I was there.

   Which is to say, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the lineup of the team just over a year after its creation, I was reading along - and I was shocked.

   Captain America stayed on, but the rest of the team - Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man and the Wasp - all stepped away to deal with issues in their own titles (Thor wasn't even there to say goodbye - he was off facing the Trial of the Gods). The Hulk had quit in the second issue!

   But the departing members were kind enough to recruit three new members to take their place: Hawkeye (the archer), Quicksilver (the speedster) and the Scarlet Witch (with her hex power)!

   Needless to say, it was a steep de-powering of the team - but that's one of the things that made it fun, as they had to learn to work together to overcome the odds.

   To be honest, I'm not sure why Stan and Jack did this. The accepted notion is that maintaining the continuity was too much of a headache, but that seems doubtful - didn't Cap have his own adventures in Tales of Suspense, just like Iron Man?

   My guess is they just wanted to give the title a fresh look and try to model it more on the highly successful Fantastic Four (the steady leader, the hothead, the beautiful woman, and the smart aleck) - and allow more opportunities for romance and character development. 

   All of which is a long way around to talking about this new series focusing on that era. It's written by Mark Waid and drawn by Barry Kitson and Mark Farmer, so you know it's going to be great - and they deliver, with a look behind the scenes of the change of the guard - and the surprising result of their first battle.

   It all fits snugly into Marvel's continuity, and for long-time fans, it's a wonderful trip down memory lane. (Be sure to try the letters page - it's tasty!)

   All I can say is: more, please!

Grade: A




Kevin Findley said...

I wasn't quite old enough for the original issues, so When Marvel Triple Action reprinted them, I was in Heaven. Defeating Power Man and the Enchantress are my favorites from this period.

Chuck said...

Yes! Love the Don Heck / Wally Wood art!