This is the type of review, and the rare one, as in the second that I have ever done here on the Reviewer’s Corner. I will still have a means to back up why I enjoy it so much, but well, either way, I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
I am sorry, but the introduction is not done yet.
Back in 2010, in October, Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, a cartoon began to air. I was still only a fan of the characters through the previously aired films and did not know more than that. But after the first week of the show airing we went to the book store. I decided to look only to find the first volume of Avengers. It contains the original 10 issues reprinted. I remember reading it so much on the first day I had to stop myself and limit just so I could savior it longer. It was really the start of when I got comics.
It started with this graphic novel. I mostly got others of how the franchises began. Although I read another series, The Runaways, (which also had the potential of being the first comic review) but that was years prior and only now I have the series. But after a year of getting the graphic novel masterworks of Marvel comics I started to get single issues. Starting with Thor, then Spiderman, and now after a year break of comics I am finally opening to DC Comics, the Flash. My taste in comics is ever-growing. My love for it has grown to. Although I always liked superheroes before, even my story I been working on for nine years revolves around superheroes, I would like to think reading this comic was the start of that full of passion I always get whenever I see another Marvel movie or new show.
So, with that super long introduction out-of-the-way, let’s get started with the Tales that Started it all, Marvel Masterworks Avengers Volume 1.
The original 10 issues were all self-contained stories. At the time when Marvel was just kicking off in 1960s, Stan Lee as the writer and Jack Kirby as the artist, two of the biggest names in comics today worked on all of Marvel’s starting series. It was the first with characters who have their own adventures work together in a series. The Original Avengers is vastly different from the one in the movies. Ironman, Ant-man, Wasp, Thor, and Hulk start the team. Iron-man, Ant-man, Wasp, and Thor were tricked by Loki that Hulk was on a rampage. His original intention was to trick is longtime nemesis Thor into fighting the Hulk, but the news was caught by the others. They quickly figure out this trickery, team up, and defeat Loki.
After a few issues Hulk leaves, due to no one trusting him. Captain America joins, since Kirby originally created the character and took him out of retirement after almost 20 years. Captain America was the first to join after. Only much later, another volume I believe until the team starts changing more.
The characters are vastly different to who they are now, in both the comics and movies. Iron-man originally had to plug himself into a wall. Ant-man and Wasp (Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne), who would one day marry, were still dating and the shrinking technology all revolved around pills. Hulk, although this was after he was both gray and could only transform at night, had more intelligence and control. Thor also had his doctor identity as Doctor Don Blake, who used a cane to transform into Thor. Captain America also revealed that magnets were how he controls his metal shield. Of course there are several other details. Most notably that Zemo, although a Nazi, instead of getting some chemical burn, he got his mask glued to his face, which is why he look the way he does.
Going off that, the time period called for a few of these things. The comics were aimed originally for kids. Yes, there were guns and violence, but it also had things like getting the mask glued to your face verses covering up chemical burns. It also showed how revolutionary some technology was, which we take for granted today, like electric outlets. For the time period a lot of this stuff that now seems goofy makes sense.
When it comes to the story, you can always expect it to be self-contained. Rarely it does early on. This was so you could just pick up at any issue and not miss what got them to that moment. Although there is less of that now and the audience has grown. It just reminds you of a simpler time.
But art style is another thing. Everything was done by hand, no computers or anything like that. The art, words, everything done by hand. Some details always work better than others. Jack Kirby was drawing all the series, and not just Avengers, but nearly everything that Marvel was coming out with at the time. Stan Lee was also writing all of it too.
The stories are enjoyable and fun, the start of something that allowed it to grow to what it is today and liked by many people. I know I am looking for something more in my reread of this, but at the same time I cannot help but to enjoy it. It is that nostalgia factor. Unfortunately, the series went out of reprint for masterworks, so I was only able to get the first few for Avengers in paperback since I believe they are reprinting in hardcover. But I am okay with that. The tales are long past, but have always made an impact to the stories of today.
- Overall Enjoyment: 90/100
- Art Style (Keeping in mind for the time): 80/100
- Story (Keeping in mind for the time): 75/100
- Overall Score (Affected by Nostalgia): 85/100
As always I hope you enjoyed.
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Again, I hope you enjoyed and see you next time.