...Thats the basic premise of Acts of Vengenace - a mysterious stranger approaches the Marvel Universes greatest villains (Red Skull, Dr Doom, Kingpin, Manderin etc), highlighting that their many failiures are a result of always challenging the same heroes who have become accustomed to their tactics, and so are able to defeat them time and again. The solution offered by the stranger? Simple - swap enemies.
What follows in this volume is a dozen or so skirmishes where the villains and their lackeys go up against heroes who have never faced them before, and so do not readily know how to defeat them. Its a classic idea based on the question which has fascinated fans for generations - who could theoretically beat who in a fight in the Marvel Universe? So you have battles between Spidey and Gravaton, Captain America and Magneto, Quasar and the Absorbing Man, The Wrecking Crew and Ironman, The New Warriors and Juggarnaut, and many many others.
But does it work?
The answer is: 'Not quite'.
The various issues in this volume are generally entertaining enough in their own right, but I have several problems with the story overall, the first of these being that the bad guys never really quite win. Each battle tends to end in a similar way, not with the villain winning as such, but with the hero unable to quite defeat the villain. This theme becomes clear quite early on, and this means that the entire idea falls somewhat flat from the word go.
Secondly, whilst the story is based upon a masterplan by a council of the worlds greatest villains, really nothing but lip service is paid to the shady manipulations which form the basis of the entire story.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Classic marvel29 Mar 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
AoV is great! Not the best, but coming from 1989-90 is great from that time! If you love classic storys from the past, villians getting the best of the good guys, or if you love marvel comics then this is a must have! The art work is nice, but u have to remember that this was done in 89. I grew up on this kind of stuff and I don't mind the art work. There really are no extras tho. No intro about how it came together or anything like that. There are a couple of C&D pinup pages at the end which look like crap and there is a three page recap of the whole event. That's it for extras! I got mine on here for less the $60 which is a lot better then $100...nuff said!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A great representation of Marvel in the late 80s/early 90s17 Dec 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I started reading Marvel comics as a kid in the mid 90's and fell in love with all the characters and the world they lived in. If you're currently a fan of modern Marvel comics, you'll probably agree that most of the best stories/art in comics have occurred in the past 10 years. If you're looking to buy this omnibus to stumble upon an older grand crossover, that equals Civil War, Secret Invasion, or Dark Reign, this might not be the comic for you.
However, if you have decent knowledge of the characters and enjoy the simpler story lines of the 60's, 70's, and 80's of Marvel comics, this is a MUST HAVE! The best part about this omnibus for me is that all 30+ issues were released between December 1989 and February 1990. While reading, it's easy to imagine picking up these issues week after week at that time. Most Marvel omnibus's feature one title over the course of 2 or 3 years. With Acts of Vengeance, you get a very honest look at what the company was doing in a condensed amount of time. Moving into the 1990's comics went through many changes, and this book acts as a bridge for what was soon to come.
The story is simple enough, the super villains join up and decide to fight each other's respective heroes, in order to gain back the element of surprise. Doctor Doom, the Red Skull, Magneto, The Kingpin, the Mandarin, and....The Wizard(?) essentially team up to organize attacks on the Avengers. The majority of the issues in the omnibus are Spiderman, Avengers, and the solo titles for Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. I've always felt that these were the stronger Marvel titles and that remains the truth in this book. The weakest issues are the 3 Quasar issues and the 1 Cloak and Dagger issue, but that could be because I've never cared for those characters.
Some notable writers featured in this book: John Byrne, Ron Frenz, Tom DeFalco, Mark Gruenwald, Dwayne McDuffie, David Michelinie, Gerry Conway
Some notable artists featured in this book: Paul Ryan, Sal Buscema, Alex Saviuk, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane
The spiderman issues were probably my favorites, seeing him face off against Graviton, Titania, Dragon Man, and even MAGNETO! I'll even forgive the horrible horrible pay off to the overarching spider-man subplot concluded in the last issue. I won't spoil it for you but it's a doozy!
Bottom line, buy this book. It might not be worth $100, but through Amazon you can get it for around $60 which is a great price, considering it looks just as amazing as all the other Marvel Omnibuses and you get a complete story. I felt no need to have the issues that came before or after this book. Perhaps the companion omnibus Acts of Vengeance Crossovers is worth it but I wouldn't know, I'll wait to find that used for much cheaper. As always "make mine marvel!"
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It's an exciting time in comics- '89 & '9025 Dec 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm really loving this, but I'm a *huge* fan of 80's & early 90's artwork, so please take this into consideration.
This is an effective snapshot of an exciting time in comics. I love the bright & clear colors of the 80's & early 90's here. This is a time right before computer coloring and full-bleed comics hit it big. In this volume we barely start to see artists breaking away from traditional, grid-based page layouts, with panel compositions getting a bit more creative.
Highlights here for me...
*Avengers titles. I already knew I loved John Byrne's Avengers West Coast issues, so that's the main reason I decided to risk getting this. I now think the other Avengers titles here are capable enough too, even if the artwork isn't as refined as I'd like. Seeing Byrne's work on slightly over-sized paper is a reminder of how much I'd *love* to see an Avengers By John Byrne Omnibus collection.
*Spider-Man titles. This is the biggest surprise for me here. These Spider-Man issues are really great fun to me. I really appreciate Sal Buscema's clean & simplistic visuals. I love Erik Larsen's "Saturday morning cartoons meets McFarlane" style. I had never seen Captain Universe Spidey before(!). And Todd McFarlane draws Spider-Man *and* the Hulk. Sal Buscema has 3 issues here, Larsen has 2, and McFarlane has 1, but really, I like all the Spidey-titles inside.
*Captain America 367. Magneto vs. Red Skull! I absolutely *love* the cover design for this issue, so I had high expectations here. That's probably why I'm a little disappointed to actually see it. The interior artwork isn't nearly as good as I had hoped, but the writing helps to save the day. It's not that I consider it to be super great writing either. It's enjoyable & capable enough considering the great potential this confrontation had. I can't help feeling there's so much more that could've been done with this situation.
*It's the New Warriors! It's their 1st appearance in Thor 411, and 1st full issue in Thor 412. Nova, Marvel Boy, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Firestar, and Speedball- a very colorful team. They started their own popular series around this time, so it's neat to see them begin here.
*Enemies united- Just as there came a day when Earth's Mightiest Heroes united against a common threat, so too now an assortment of earth's mightiest villains is attempting a nearly similar thing. See Loki, Magneto, the Red Skull, Doctor Doom, Mandarin, Kingpin, Wizard, and *more*, as they wreak havoc on the Marvel Universe! This is what Acts of Vengeance is essentially all about.
Part of the reason I love this event so much now is that I skipped a lot of it because I was mainly a fan of the X-titles at this time. This is bringing me back up to speed on the main event itself. If people want to see the connected X-titles, they might want to check out the companion Acts of Vengeance Crossovers, since this 1st big Marvel event of the 90's is just too big to be contained in a single volume.
If you've ever seen these event collections in person, you already know that quality is hit-and-miss all the way through. That's the way it is with a great variety of creative teams. I'm certainly not saying everyone should immediately run out and get this. I am saying, for whatever it's worth, that as an already confirmed fan of these comics, I'm very satisfied with this purchase.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A vast collection of 90's stories for fans8 Aug 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Originally written 2-11-13
A mysterious figure enters the planet Earth through a teleportation portal completely undetected. He then seeks a private audience with the most dangerous super villains on the planet. His goal is not only to completely annihilate the Avengers, but every superhero on Earth and he has put together the perfect plan. Who is this man, and will his plan actually work? -summary
For those out there who believe Marvel had been overkill with the massive crossovers to run through the titles during the early 2000's on to the present. Well, this actually began around 20 years earlier. The beginnings of these large company wide crossovers can be traced to Secret Wars II. In order to sell more books that crossover stretched through quite a few main characters titles. Apparently Marvel enjoyed some success, and they decided to get even froggier with this money grabbing technique, by introducing an even larger crossover that may have stretched into every last one of their titles. This crossover is the Acts of Vengeance, in which this story follows a group of super villains that are coerced into pooling their resources to wipe out Earth's heroes. However, there's a twist to this, since certain villains had been defeated by their nemesis time and time again, they decide to do each other big favors and swap enemies, by pitting opponents against the heroes whom they fought maybe once or never before; for example, instead of sending Graviton after the Avengers, whom he has lost to and they know his powers. They send him after Spider-Man who doesn't know him at all creating a terrible mismatch. There are developing and previous storylines here that keep it from being just a huge versus book that proved to still be quite entertaining for me.
This book features more than 35 issues with writers such as Dwayne McDuffie, Mark Gruenwald, Ron Frenz, Tom DeFalco, Howard Mackie and others, along with various artist such as Al Milgrom, Collen Doran, Herb Trimpe, and just so many others. This book collects Avengers 311 - 313 and Annual 19, Avengers Spotlight 26 - 29, Avengers West Coast 53 - 55, Captain America 365 - 367, Iron Man 251 - 252, Quasar 5 - 7, Thor 411 - 413, Cloak and Dagger 9, Amazing Spider-Man 326 - 329, Web of Spider-Man 59 - 61, and Spectacular Spider-Man 158 - 160.
The plot follows the super villains assembly made up of Dr. Doom, Red Skull, Kingpin, Magneto, Wizard, and Mandarin, as they conduct various plots to kill their enemies by using lesser but very powerful villains. There's a sub plot going on between them whether all these egos can even function in the same room, plus some of them already hate each other enough to kill on the spot; such as Magneto harboring a serious hatred towards the Red Skull for being a World War II Nazi, and he being a holocaust survivor. Various times there's this feel they're going to self-destruct on each other, but the true mystery is who their benefactor is. Putting that aside though, the book has many fun moments with some very interesting match ups. Thor goes one on one with the Juggernaut only familiar with his reputation, and Iron Man takes on the Wrecker of the Wrecking Crew, just to name a few.
Despite the fact these attacks are primarily aimed against the Avengers, it's Spider-Man who shines the brightest with his storyline. This is the time period where Spider-Man gained cosmic powers. He's very disturbed about these abilities, because he believes that he now has complete control over life and death. These new powers play a great role in effecting his personal life; on the action side, the reader will get a nice taste on how powerful he becomes. This crossover is also especially memorable for storylines that would play a major role years down the road, and even the debut of the newest superhero team being the New Warriors. Even though their first appearance as a team never impressed me, they would go on to play major roles in the Marvel U.
Since I read these stories in original form, and I mean every last one of them. While they go on to make characters like Quasar who feels like Marvel's Green Lantern very interesting and cool, it's the choice of stories that actually works against this book. Now the Acts of Vengeance Omnibus is broken up into two different books, with this being the main storyline, and the other book titled as the crossovers. The problem here, is that this book tells the stories somewhat out of order, since it contains the actual ending and the aftermath, which results in one big fat spoiler on who the main culprit is and how he's defeated. I think the book should have been broken up into two volumes, with the final stories capping everything off in volume two as well as a really good mix-up between the books. Personally, I think the crossover book is worthless to someone who wants immediate closure and to save money. Unless you're a hardcore Marvel fan, you may not even care for the next book. Marvel's editors really should have been watched with a closer eye on this project.
Now the artwork, it's a revolving door of artist and it would take forever to give every book its due. So I'll keep this part short and mention that on many, many occasions the action is fun and imaginative. The comic geek looking for that versus plot will love this. Thor vs. Juggernaut, Cosmic Spider-Man vs. Goliath and later the Hulk, Captain America vs. Controller, Avengers vs. U-Foes, and many others that will keep hardcore readers entertained and trying to finish the book.
Now the quality of the book itself actually amazes me. It's over 700 pages, kind of heavy if you try to hold and read it as opposed to sitting it down on a table, but when you sit it down flat there's very little to no gutter loss. Unfortunately, although the remastering coloring can be very pretty. On very rare occasions some of the words aren't properly or completely written. I found myself having to re-read passages because I thought a G was a probably a B or something, or some times just some of the word was missing. You can still make out what is being said so this is a minor gripe. The binding feels pretty strong, but I still recommend treating the book with care.
In closing, it was nice to re-read these stories again despite the book feeling a little dated. I recommend this mainly to hardcore comic readers and only to newbies who have developed some type of interest in the genre. I cannot recommend a casual fan shelling out this type of cash for a comic book. Their interest may not be as high in this stuff like myself or others like me. I advise those folks to run through several dozen more stories of many different characters to develop their interest.
Pros: Great batch of stories, quality of book is good
Cons: Quality could have been better, mainly for hardcore fans
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
GREAT OMNIBUS4 Dec 2013
Michael D Gonzoles
- Published on Amazon.com
great book!!I used to own all these individual comics when I was 17 and it brings back many pleasant memories of first reading it