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The Avengers: The Kree-Skrull War (Review/Retrospective)

The Kree-Skrull War is perhaps the grandaddy of great Avengers story. A series of interconnected one-shots with subplots congealing into an arc, it allowed writer Roy Thomas to really define the Avengers. Written towards the start of the seventies, the saga feels like something of a transition from the innocence of the classic Silver Age superhero sci-fi zaniness and a more sombre and mature Bronze Age. Despite its age, the adventure still holds up remarkably well, partially because Thomas has some very clever ideas that are still reverberating around modern comics, and also because Neal Adams’ artwork hasn’t aged a day.

Thomas had quite a Vision for the title…

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“I Want to Read Comics After Seeing the Avengers”: Post-Avengers Comic Book Recommendations…

The Avengers opened in a lot of major markets this weekend. It is opening in the United States this Friday. It’s set to be huge and has been quite well received by critics and audiences. Now, I know that this massive blockbuster movie won’t convert the millions of avid movie-watchers into comic book fans, if only because other comic books have failed to see that appreciable a gain from success in other media. However, on the off chance that somebody comes out of the cinema thinking “hey, I really like that and would like to check out the source material”, I’ve compiled a handy list of recommendations that should be readily available and easy to find for would-be fans looking to get a taste for the iconic characters in their original media.

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Mighty Avengers: Dark Reign (Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Read our review of The Avengers here.

Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers is so distinct from Brian Michael Bendis’ run on the second Avengers flagship book that it might as well have been a different title. Indeed, the name (and, arguably, the use of thought balloons) represent perhaps the only ties to the second major Avengers title. While still defined by it, the status quo has little to do with the aftermath of Civil War, and the lineup is markedly different. In a way, you could argue that Bendis and Slott had similar goals with the title: an attempt to tell more bombastic and traditional Avengers stories, with high stakes and a global focus, in contrast to the relatively “urban” feel of Bendis’ New Avengers. There’s no denying, however, that Slott handles the nostalgia and conventional superheroics with far more aplomb than his predecessor.

Not so Mighty...

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Kurt Busiek’s Avengers – Avengers Forever (Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Read our review of The Avengers here.

In many ways, to me, Kurt Busiek’s Avengers run represents comic book nostalgia given form. I can’t help but read it as an attempt to call back to the “good old days” of mainstream comic books, with all the illogical and insane twists and an old-school approach to dialogue and characterisation. On the best of days, I’ve found his approach giddy and enjoyable – it’s hard not to get caught up in his genuine enthusiasm for the material. However, when Marvel gave Busiek a twelve-issue Avengers miniseries, it seemed inevitable that the writer wouldn’t just seek to nostalgically emulate the past, but tie it all together as well. In this respect, as it weaves through decades of Avengers continuity, Avengers Forever feels almost like continuity porn. Hardcore continuity porn.

Avengers! Avenge!

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Kurt Busiek’s (& George Perez’s) Avengers – Avengers Assemble! Vol. 2 (Ultron Unlimited) (Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

I want to enjoy Kurt Busiek’s Avengers run. It’s apparently one of the better Avengers runs out there. In fact, I can actually see the reasons why one would fall in love with it. It has great characters, great villains and great stories, written by a writer who adores the subject matter and an artist who is among the best in the business. And yet I can’t help but feel locked out of the series, as if this is a book intended for those who like a particular style of old comics – rather than those seeking accessible and fresh takes on classic characters coming together to fight evil. This second volume is perhaps the highlight of the run, collecting – as it does – the Ultron Unlimited storyarc, perhaps regarded as Busiek’s finest hour on the title (with only Avengers Forever and The Kang Dynasty competing, depending on who you ask).

Boy, is his face red...

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