With perfect timing with the release tomorrow of the long awaited movie Avengers Assemble, my pre-ordered copy of the galaxy spanning volume 8 arrived 3 days ago allowing plenty time to read it. The opener sees the return of the Lethal Legion (Living Laser, Whirlwind and Power Man) and Count Nefaria as well as the first in a series of timely interventions by one of the team. The cross-over storyline starting in Annual 7 sees the team aided by Warlock, Captain Marvel, Moondragon, Spider-Man and The Thing against the awesome looking but death fixated menace of Thanos. With Iron-Man in command of the team there's plenty friction this time with Captain America accusing him of neglecting his responsibilities, unaware that as Tony Stark he has several personal issued at that point, it almost seems as if Iron Man is about to reveal his identity when a timely apology allows the moment to pass. The friction brings back memories of the good old days with Cap and Hawkeye, and with the team taking their eye off the ball Henry Peter Gyrich enters the Marvel Universe. The other main personal thread that runs through these tales sees Wonder-Man doubting his own courage throughout many of these tales often taking a back seat. The bulk of the volume though involves Korvac, a fugitive from the future, featuring the start of an extended role for The Guardians of The Galaxy as well as a cameo by Hawkeye. Ultron returns, reviving Jocasta (co-stars Miss Marvel), The Atlantean menace Tyrak (with Hawkeye) then The Collector (Black Panther, Hercules, Black Widow & more) which leads to the conclusion of the Korvac storyline with more Avengers than at almost any time as they fight for their lives against a seemingly unstoppable foe. The Squadron Sinister appear with a new unwitting Dr Spectrum; low level menaces from The Manipulator and Bloodhawk and finally the Absorbing Man flexes his muscles but the real threat in the end is from their own Government. Gyrich, a Government official from the US National Security Council hits them with accusations of massive gaps in their security which they are unable to counter and he imposes a series of restrictions on their operations that sees them having to use public transport and normal telephone lines at times putting his own country at risk. His toughest restriction though concerns the members themselves and the thorny issue of affirmative action for minority representation which sees one hero forced to join the team against his will. This volume brought back great memories of my relatively youthful days before I lost touch with Marvel in the early 1980's and tomorrow morning I'll be watching Joss Whedon's long awaited live action Avengers Assemble movie in 3-D. Great timing folks, `nuff said.
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This edition holds a load of memories for me. The Nefaria trilogy remains a favourite with Byrne's art. The start of the Korvac saga with Perez on pencils and then the start of JB's run featuring one of Wanda and Pietro's three supposed fathers and the Absorbing Man are very good. Sadly Perez left after four issues of Korvac/Collector to go to DC to revamp Teen Titans and Dave Wenzels work was not ideally suited to this type of work (his art on the hobbit is very good) and maybe John or Sal Buscema should have been given the job but that is merely a minor flaw. The Bloodhawk story by Jim Mooney looks dated compared to Perez and Byrne but the book on a whole is top class and worth the trip down memory lane.
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This product is an essential to any Avengers fan's collection, whether it's just a particular character you like or the storylines themselves, it's well worth purchasing the artwork themselves are fantastic and the storyline are second to none
As my title says too, I'm very disappointed and the cause of that is, that there is never mentioned that this is in black & white except one of the reviewers mention it, but I never read all the comments. I think no matter how good a Comic book is, without colors looses 40% of it's value.