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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avengers assemble.....then disassemble, 8 Sep 2006
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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Marvel's first and greatest superhero group.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's cleverly used Loki to mistakenly group together Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man and the Wasp as well as, very briefly, the Hulk.

The stories are first class and the artwork by Kirby and later Don Heck is stunning.

The first groups only outing together was against the shape-changing Space Phantom which led to the Hulk's departure which was on the cards from the word go.

Very soon it picks up a peg or three as The Sub Mariner joins with the wayward Hulk to battle the Avengers. Then to top that Lee and Kirby re-introduce Kirby''s 1940's iconic creation Captain America, thawed out after 20 years in the ice. Cap becomes the 5th Avenger.

Together the 5 heroes battle the Lava Men, Zemo and his ever changing Masters of Evil (initially Black Knight, the Melter and Radioactive Man). Zemo then joins with the Enchantress and the Executioner who have recurring roles throughout these early tales. We get Kang the Conqueror, Wonder Man who will play a major role in later Avengers stories. Immortus the Master of time and yet another Marvel version of Merlin. We get a guest appearance by Spiderman who helps take on Kang. The Moleman and the Red Ghost who end up bickering, Count Nefaria tries to make the Avengers into enemies of the state only to get hounded out of the Maggia himself.

The Wasp is seriously wounded during an alien war which is a pre-cursor to Zemo's 4 man Masters of Evil tale which itself leads to the break up of the original Avengers as Ironman, Giant Man and the Wasp decide they need a break from duty and Thor is called to Asgard.

Step forward the New Avengers, a reformed Hawkeye (one of my favourite Marvel characters) and the brother and sister act Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and with Captain America as the leader they settle in with a battle against the Mole Man and the Minotaur then the Commissar a giant communist robot which gives a great excuse for some typical 1960's anti-commie rhetoric.

Against the Swordsman and the Mandarin, another couple of Marvel favourites the undercurrents of tension within the group start to surface, Hawkeye has history with the Swordsman. Hawkeye is also jealous of Captain America assuming control, and even Quicksilver starts to question decisions. The next few tales are superb firstly with the Enchantress and Power Man succeeding in breaking the Avengers up, then the Ring Master and his dodgy circus put in a brief appearance. The tension built up leads to Captain America briefly quitting the group .

The last double-part tale is a great way to end this book as they take on Kang in the far-flung future and Captain America rejoins the group. We also see another side to Kang in this story.

Lee's handling of the infighting inherent in all groups over time is masterly and the introduction of Hawkeye who thinks Cap is nothing without his shield and his agility yet strangely Hawkeye's character largely depends on HIS archery as well as his agility. Eventually a grudging respect develops but the tension is always lurking beneath the surface.

There are some wonderful tales to come in the next few decades and I recommend these tales to all action fans as well as nostalgics like me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avengers assemble., 1 May 2010
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essential Avengers Volume 1 TPB (All-New Edition) (Paperback)
Marvel's first and greatest superhero group.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's cleverly used Loki to accidentally gather together Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man and the Wasp as well as, very briefly, the Hulk. The stories are first class and the artwork by Kirby and later Don Heck is stunning.
The first team's only outing together was against the shape-changing Space Phantom which led to the Hulk's departure which was on the cards from the word go.
Very soon it picks up a peg or three as The Sub Mariner joins with the wayward Hulk. Then to top that Lee and Kirby re-introduce Kirby's 1940's iconic creation Captain America, thawed out after 20 years in the ice. Cap becomes the 5th Avenger.
Together the 5 heroes battle the Lava Men, Zemo and his ever changing Masters of Evil (initially Black Knight, the Melter and Radioactive Man). Zemo then joins with the Enchantress and the Executioner who have recurring roles throughout these early tales.
Also featuring Kang the Conqueror, Wonder Man who will play a major role in later Avengers stories, Immortus the Master of time, yet another Marvel version of Merlin, The Moleman and the Red Ghost, Count Nefaria and the Maggia; an alien war and Baron Zemo and the return of the Masters of Evil which leads to the break up of the original line-up.
The New team, a reformed Hawkeye (one of my favourite Marvel characters) and the brother and sister act Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and Captain America as the leader settle in with a battle against the Mole Man and the Minotaur then the Commissar a giant communist robot which gives a great excuse for some typical 1960's anti-communist rhetoric.
Against the Swordsman and the Mandarin, another couple of Marvel favourites the undercurrents of tension within the group start to surface, Hawkeye has history with the Swordsman and is also jealous of Captain America assuming control of the team, even Quicksilver starts to question decisions. The next few tales are superb firstly with the Enchantress and Power Man, then the Ring Master and his dodgy Circus of Crime. The last two-part tale is a great way to end this book as they take on Kang in the far-flung future.
There are some wonderful tales to come in the next few decades and I recommend these tales to all action fans as well as nostalgics like me.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic look back at a time of simpler comics, 23 Jun 1999
By A Customer
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aga, 22 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Essential Avengers Volume 1 TPB (All-New Edition) (Paperback)
Marvel's first and greatest superhero group.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's cleverly used Loki to accidentally gather together Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man and the Wasp as well as, very briefly, the Hulk. The stories are first class and the artwork by Kirby and later Don Heck is stunning.
The first team's only outing together was against the shape-changing Space Phantom which led to the Hulk's departure which was on the cards from the word go
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Groundbreaking, but Good Clean Fun, 8 Nov 2007
By 
J. Crawford - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
'The Avengers'. The name conjures up all kinds of grim images; but obsessive, vengeance-crazed killers, these superheroes are emphatically not. In fact, aside from Captain America's oddly brief vendetta with Baron Zemo (the man responsible for his partner's death back in World War II), they're not really 'avenging' anything; instead they just sort of hang around 1960s New York, waiting for evil to show its face so that they can vanquish it with a good clean punch to the jaw. Some of them might even yell 'I say thee nay!' as they do so.

When first launched, the Avengers consisted of virtually every superhero Marvel had apart from the Fantastic Four, who were already a team of their own. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Ant-Man and the Wasp all had their own comics, but they all found time to help out as Avengers, too, just as Superman, Batman, and co. were doing over at DC. Thus the very first Avengers comics, collected here, are an odd bunch, as five heroes from very different comic books team up to fight villainy together. In their own comics they inhabited different universes, with different rules: Thor lived in a world of magic, gods, and monsters, Captain America inhabited a shady realm of secret agents and international terrorists, Iron Man hailed from a sci-fi universe of giant robots and powered battlesuits, and Ant-Man had his own little world of goofy villains and looming series cancellation. Putting them all together took them out of those niches and into a world of 'generic superheroics', and while there's a certain wacky fun to be had from seeing the mad scientists from 'Captain America' team up with the evil demigods from 'Thor', overall they lose a lot of colour and focus from the change. As if realising this, the original Avengers soon returned to their own comics, leaving Captain America to lead a team of new recruits - Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch, all minor ex-villains without mythologies of their own - and allowing the Avengers to start carving out their own niche.

For obvious reasons, The Avengers bears a lot of the burden of Marvel continuity, and a lot of the events that move the universe forwards happen in these comics. Other comics from this era frequently refer to events in The Avengers, and continuity fans will definitely want it to see moments like the return of Captain America and the death of Baron Zemo. Some of the stories here are good in their own right - the final story where the Avengers battle Kang in the future is a particular favourite of mine - although the early ones struggle to find anything capable of taking on the combined might of the original Avengers, and the later ones have the disadvantage of being drawn by the merely competent Don Heck rather than the brilliant Jack Kirby. But as a whole, the collection never reaches the heights of the best Spider-Man or Fantastic Four comics. Overall, four stars: not exactly world-shaking, but good, clean fun none the less.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Avengers Indeed!!!, 2 April 2007
This was my first time reading "old skool" comics, but im glad i did!!

these stories are great! the characters are great, and they look amazing, its great artwork all the way through. from the start where loki pulls together a group of superheroes who form the avengers until the end! im only half way through, but im gripped!

it doesnt bother me that they are in black and white, but people who have read the original coloured versions may find it annoying, but they could always get out some pencil crayons!!

im looking forward to getting the whole series of avengers essentials, i just wish the group stayed the same! as i think ant man/giant man is fantastic, and is my favourite of the avengers!

the way they talk amuses me, coming out with comments that normal people wouldnt even think of, its easy to see these were written in the sixties (correct me if im wrong) by some of the things that, mainly the females say!! the wasp seems to have a crush on everyone!

the enemies are just as good, i couldnt pick a favourite as they are all entertaining!

overall, this is a great book to read, wether ur catching up woth your past, or starting out fresh like i was!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very very good, 2 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Essential Avengers Volume 1 TPB (All-New Edition) (Paperback)
bourght for my husband who says it is very very good it took him back to his child hood.
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Essential Avengers Volume 1 TPB (All-New Edition)
Essential Avengers Volume 1 TPB (All-New Edition) by Stan Lee (Paperback - 25 Feb 2009)
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