The "essential" collections by Marvel Comics give the chance to younger generations to see how the Marvel superhero-with-everyday-problems comics that made the silver age of comics come about in the early 1960's. If you're looking for muscles that would give century old tree-trunks a run for their money, don't buy this book. Don't buy this book, either, if you're looking for non-stop fight scenes and full-page panels from end to end. The Essential Avengers reprints in black and white the first couple of dozen stories by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Don Heck of a series egged into creation by DC's team comics of the late fifties and early sixties. They are simple stories, seemingly one or two-dimensional in the light of the eighties and nineties work by people like Alan Moore and Frank Miller, but they are vital, well-balanced stories that have aged, yes (for example, they're sexist by today's standards - why is the Wasp always left out when the original Avengers are mentioned?), but the stories do show us how it all started. There would be no Miller and his ilk if there had been no Kirby, whose work here round about the time when he was co-creating the Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Thor and so many others is dynamic and alive. Heck's work is not up to Jack Kirby's, but is artistically competent and shows the artist's ability at visual story-telling. A good buy for comic nostalgia buffs.