Friday, January 10, 2014

BAB Classic: The Avengers: The Top 10 Stories

NOTE:  This post was originally published on 9 October 2009

With all due respect to David Letterman and all of the other Top 10ers out there, we're going to start with the #1 Avengers story of the Silver/Bronze Ages and move down the list from there. The method to the madness of this more conventional reveal is to show how each story led to the next, or at least how the stories (although all are outstanding) somewhat declined in importance as each order on the rank is discussed.

1. Return of Captain America. Avengers #4

You might assume that the first issue of the magazine would be the most important. While I would not argue that it has a revered place in Avengers history, it doesn't crack my Top 10, giving way instead to stories that have played specific influence on the mythos. The most important story in all of Avengerdom is Avengers #4, and that is due to Captain America being the single most important member of all who have worn the mantle "Avenger". While not a founder (although later to have that status conferred upon him) of the team, Cap nonetheless soon became the face of the team, the glue that held it together, and its undisputed "go to" leader. And from the depths of the ocean to the bitter cold of the Antarctic, with his Golden Age comrade the Sub-Mariner playing a key role in his revival (as a new Human Torch had played a role in the revival of the Sub-Mariner), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby crafted a tale that would go on to influence the team over the next 45+ years.

2. Intro./origin the Vision. Avengers #57-58

If Cap is the face of the team, then the Vision is the body -- it was the Vision who graced the famous corner box for almost eight years (issues 93-184). While I don't have such a statistic handy, I would argue that the Vision has made more appearances in the Avengers than any other team member besides perhaps Captain America. His first appearance and original origin story, crafted by the classic Silver Age team of scribe Roy Thomas and artist extraordinaire John Buscema, stand as a classic and set up numerous plotlines that would be dealt with for years to come -- the relationship between the Pyms and Ultron, the relationship between Wonder Man and the Vision, the introduction later of the Grim Reaper, the ongoing struggle for humanity that would lead to the Vision becoming a father, his ascension to the chairmanship and proposed takeover of the world's computers, and of course his love for and eventual marriage to the Scarlet Witch. His quiet nobility and incomparable range of powers prove him the most dangerous of team members in combat.

3. First big line-up change. Avengers #16

There was nothing more exciting than those times when the Avengers formally assembled to draft a new roster. Despite ongoing tweaks in the membership with a member coming or going here or there, it was the wholesale changes that defined the team as a book set apart from other team books. Issue #16 is significant for tying up the Captain America/Baron Zemo conflict that had raged over the previous year, and showed that although members of a team, individuals would still be free to tend to individual business. But the dynamics of this new roster -- of bringing in three virtually unheard of characters, all three of whom had been criminals and all three of whom had certainly been untested in an arena as large as any the Avengers usually clashed in -- would shape the book for the remainder of the Silver Age. Scaling down the roster from five heavy hitters to four less-powered characters helped to focus on characterization, which was necessary to bring along the development of Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. In spite of Quicksilver's on-again, off-again tenure, Hawkeye and Wanda are in that next level of importance to the team directly below Cap and the Vision.

4. Hank's problems begin. Avengers #59-60

Hank Pym holds down the 4th spot on the list, and not for any of the right reasons. I am a big Hank-booster, and it has pained me to no end to continue to read the raw deal the man has received since the infamous wife-slap panel that occurred early in the 1980's. But prior to that the mental health ball got rolling early, even earlier than Avengers #'s 59-60. Almost from the beginning Hank had feelings of inferiority when in the presence of Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk; later, he marvelled at the leadership of Captain America. Shortly after, he found himself stuck at a height of 10-feet. All of these things began to put pressure on him, culminating in his breakdown in Avengers #59 when he took on the identity of Yellowjacket. In my opinion, to make matters worse, Janet agreed to marry Hank while he was unbalanced -- cementing the notion that while "normal", he was unfit to be her husband. But with his new powers and (temporary) personality he became someone whom she could spend her life with. Of course, Hank's downfalls would become a regular theme in the book, and we'll get to another one shortly.

5. Intro. Ultron. Avengers #54

We conclude our look at the individuals who have shaped the book over its long and (mostly) glorious history with a discussion of their most dangerous adversary -- the adamantium-armored robot Ultron. A construct of Hank Pym, Ultron has grown in the annals of Avengers history to be severely entwined in the team's legacy in a sort of perverse family relationship. From his "father" and "mother" Hank and Janet Pym, to his "son" the Vision, to his "wife" Jocasta, Ultron has left his mark time and again against virtually all team line-ups. His indestructibility, his lethal encephalo beams, and his computer mind make him not only the team's most dangerous adversary physically, but perhaps its most dangerous emotionally as well.

6. Bride of Ultron. Avengers #161-162, 170-171

This story celebrates the brilliance of author Jim Shooter and penciller George Perez, and delves further into the fragile psyche of Henry Pym. Appearing in Avengers #161 in his Ant-Man garb and possessing memories dating to the time in between the first and second issues of the title, Pym attacks the Avengers while in the employ of his creation Ultron. The Oedipus complex of Ultron is heightened by the fact that he wants to imbue his self-created wife Jocasta with the life essence of his "mother" the Wasp. My only argument with the execution of the story is the fact that in the intervening issues, there is no mention of Hank's collapse into the Ant-Man era. It was a great plot device, yet dropped seemingly immediately.

7. Kree/Skrull War. Avengers #91-97

Roy Thomas. Neal Adams. John Buscema. Sal Buscema. The Inhumans. The Kree. The Skrulls. Heroes from Timely Comics. The fate of the universe at stake. At the time this was written it was perhaps the longest story in comics history, at seven issues. Epic is the only appropriate adjective. A timeless tale that spanned galaxies and included an Avengers line-up without peer. Don't miss the wonderful scene where Ant-Man has to enter the body of the Vision.

8. Celestial Madonna -- true origin the Vision. Avengers #129-135 and Giant-Size Avengers #'s 2-4

If the above is Avengers Epic #1, then this would be Epic #1A. We've not discussed Kang the Conqueror yet, who most Avengers fans would place either in front of or behind Ultron for the Avengers vilest villain. This is Kang's (and author Steve Englehart's) magnum opus. Focusing on Mantis and her potential to birth the child who will rule the universe, the tale takes the Avengers across time and around the world. Kang's multiple identities as Rama-tut and Immortus are dealt with. Several dead characters are resurrected, including Wonder Man (in a try-out for his future return to the book?), an assemblage of Silver Age baddies including the Crimson Dynamo, the Titanium Man, and the Radioactive Man attack the team in Saigon, the Swordsman meets his fate, and the marriage of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch is witnessed. There isn't much time to catch one's breath. Oh, and did I mention that the true origin of the Vision (bah! to John Byrne) is revealed?

9. Korvac Saga. Avengers #167-168, 170-177

Oh, you want epics? Yeah, all of the above factors of greatness, with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Collector, and an old minor Thor villain who becomes a god thrown in. My only quibble with this story is that George Perez did not illustrate the entire run. But that's pretty small, as the plot and writing carry it through. Many have commented that the cover of #177 was one of the most impactful images of their young Avenger-reading.

10. Serpent Crown. Avengers #141-148

In some regards, this arc is the sequel to the Celestial Madonna storyline in that Kang is heavily featured in issues 142-144. As a kid I found the subplot with the team journeying to the Old West and interacting with the Two-Gun Kid, Kid Colt, the Rawhide Kid, and the Night Rider just a blast! The Squadron Supreme appears throughout in the main plot, which involves the Avengers attempting to wrest the Serpent Crown from the control of the alternate-reality president, Nelson Rockefeller. Silver Age ditz Patsy Walker becomes the Hellcat, Captain America returns to the team after the Nomad saga in his own book, and a young fellow named George Perez takes over the artistic chores. Not bad...

Now, if I were to name one other story, sort of a best-of-the-rest, it would definitely be Avengers #56, "Death Be Not Proud". To start, it has a powerful cover drawn by John Buscema. A very memorable image of Cap and the fallen Bucky, surrounded by that Avengers famous cover device, the floating heads. The story is incredibly emotional, and fleshes out the true end of Bucky's life in a time-travel tale that actually spills over into Avengers Annual #2. A classic, classic tale.

So, where did I err?


Doug said...

I apologize if this post doesn't look good on your monitor. I have tried and tried to get the covers to left-justify and for whatever reason am not being successful -- at least as I view them on my laptop.

So, hopefully your view is better than mine, and again -- I'm sorry for my lack of html knowledge.


But, have a nice day anyway :)


Doug said...

Kudos to my partner-in-comics, Miss Karen, for fixing up the spacing. At least as I see this post, everything is now aligned.

Booksteve said...

Although not technically part of the main title, I dearly love the AVENGERS FOREVER time-travelling mini-series in which Kurt Busiek wonderfully interprets and ties together what can only be described as a Roy Thomas wet dream of convoluted continuity!

Karen said...

That's a worthy choice, Steve. I think I'd have to include the "Under Siege" storyline, and the Busiek/Perez Ultron story from volume 3.

Doug said...

You know, having looked over the list several times, I would have added the Sons of the Serpent storyline from Avengers 31-33 and the expanded Hawkeye origin from Avengers 63-65. While the Colan art in that little arc was quite a departure from John Buscema, the moodiness fit the story well.

Had I included all Avengers stories in my Top 10, I would certainly have given strong consideration to the stories you each suggested, Steve and Karen. Had I to drop one of my choices, I probably would have switched out the Serpent Crown Saga for Under Siege. Other than that, I'd have to really struggle with where to put Avengers Forever, Ultron Unlimited, and the very fine Kang Dynasty arc.

What do you think?

Karen said...

It's a tough list to compose, there's just so many good stories. I agree with you, fitting the Sons of the Serpent in there would be nice. But I'd hate to take the Serpent Crown affair off the list- in some ways, I think it's better than Englehart's more popular Celestial Madonna story.

Doug said...

I would probably adjust it to include the Sons of the Serpent for its Stan Lee-moralizing value. It was certainly significant in its time.

I do, however, love the Serpent Crown affair for its large scope. Perhaps the best part of it is the fitting epilogue to Englehart's Celestial Madonna, which ended in a very cruddy fashion with Giant-Size Avengers #4 -- terrible story, forced Kang appearance, and awful Don Heck art!

So, is that Sons of the Serpent arc worthy of bumping the Korvac Saga?

david_b said...

How can one forget the Kree struggle or better yet, the Avengers/Defenders Battle in '73..!?!

Zodiac Battle, issues 120-122 with Cap's appearance was great too.

Excellent list.

david_b said...

Ooops, my bad.. You did list the Kree Struggle above. And I agree TOTALLY on the whole YellowJacket vein. HATED the ish 211 spousal abuse plot and resulting disintegration of Hank.

YJ was my favorite for so many years. Troubled, yes, but they just went over the top in ruining him. He had such a cool, brief stint in Defenders, which would have been a nice sideline for him if they would have stayed with that.

Matthew Bradley said...

Agree with david_b on multiple fronts. Not foolish enough to nominate a specific one among your ten (or eleven) to be supplanted by it, but I'd have to include the Avengers/Defenders War. And Hank Pym was always one of my favorite characters, so I was horrified to see what Shooter did to him. Fie!

William said...

My personal favorite Avengers story is #164-166, where Count Nefaria gains superpowers equal to that of Superman, and then sets about wiping the floor with some of the most powerful Avengers (including Wonderman, Iron Man, and Thor), in one of the greatest superhero slugfests of all-time. Speaking of Thor, he makes a dramatic appearance at the end of chapter two, and it is still one of my favorite comic-book reading moments ever.

I always thought this was a really clever way to have the Avengers vs. Superman without the hassle of setting up an inter-company crossover with DC. Plus, Marvel was able to have the Avengers pull off a decisive win.

This story also has writing by Jim Shooter and art by John Byrne when they were at the height of their creative powers. Awesome, awesome stuff! And definitely worthy of the Top 10 Avengers stories of all time.

Doug said...

It is a great story, William, as is the aforementioned Under Siege. Were I to re-do this post there would be some tough considerations.

As with any list like this, should it be "significant" issues? Or "favorite"? How should it be approached? For the most part, I just hope it generates some good conversation!


dbutler16 said...

These are all great choices, and of these, I'm partial to the Korvac Saga (great story, great art, and tons of superheroes!) and the Bride of Ultron (the storyline going when I first started collecting Avengers).

A few other stories not in this list that deserve mention are:

Avengers/Defenders War;

The Squadron Sinister story from #85-86, plus the Squadron Supreme stories from the #140's;

an Attuma story (no fancy title that I know of for it) from Avengers #154-156, plus Giant-Size Avengers #6;

The Wundagore story from #185-187;

The Trial of Yellowjacket from Avengers 212-213, but sorta ll over;

The Redemption of Yelllowjacket from Avenger #228-230;

A done-in-one with Hawkeye and the new Ant-Man Scott Lang teaming up in Avengers #223;

Avengers Under Siege from 270 - 277 (minus 272);

I also liked the Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) being stuck in another galaxy and having to rely on her wits in the #250's, though unfortunately the Beyonder (argh!) came along and fixed everything in #260

Anonymous said...

Doug, great list and definitely a great conversation starter. And although we can all debate the merits of specific stories, I like the way you laid out the list based on characters/characterization. Cap's the head...Vision's the body...Hawkeye, Wanda, Hank. Yes, yes, yes.

A job well done.


William said...

It's a very good list Doug. Hard to argue with the choices. My very very close second favorite story "Bride of Ultron" made the cut at least.

I'm a big Byrne fan, and the Count Nefaria story made a huge impression on me as a kid, (and it's drawn by J.B.) so it holds a special place in my heart. (Plus it was an awesome story). :)

Doc Savage said...

Absolute Vision

Under Siege

Whatever they called it when they had to go to Olympus to retrieve Hercules

Spidey guest stars and they meet lava men

Yellowjacket's long history of mental illness results in his court martial

Avengers meet the Defenders and naturally fight

just off the top of my head...not sure what counts as a "story" since a lot of stuff spills over into issues not directly in sequence

I exclude anything with Mantis on principle.

Doug said...

Oh, and William --

Specific to the Nefaria story: could you imagine that story if Terry Austin had inked it instead of Pablo Marcos? Man...


Murray said...

Some fine choices indeed. I'll always have a fond place for issues #85-86, mostly because they were my first ever introduction to the Avengers. Nothing epic about it, really, but we meet the Squadron Supreme for the first time. The Buscema-Giaocia art in #85 is dynamite.

What is it about epics that artists fail in the final issue? Comics will always be a primarily visual medium to me (otherwise they'd be a short story). When a great arc finishes with a second-rate artist obviously crushed under an emergency deadline...the whole epic becomes flat soda-pop.

I loved the "Dark Reign" (I think. It is so hard to categorize modern comics) "Mighty Avengers" for no other reason in that Hank "Scientist Supreme" Pym was the star. The stories did everything they could to repair and restore Pym to real hero status. I have no idea whether any of it "stuck" in the ensuing years.

Doug said...

Does the Avengers Annual 7/MTIO Annual 2 story fit on a Top 10 list for anyone?


mr. oyola said...

This is a great list and I'm not sure I could add anything to it.

Unrelated question: When you do the reader-generated topics when do you normally post in the AM? I want to try to catch one early enough to propose a topic. :)

Edo Bosnar said...

No. 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 would also make my top ten, although not necessarily in that order. The other four, again in no particular order, would be:

Nights of Wundagore (which for me runs from #s 181-187, because the story in #s 181-182 is basically a prelude, and there's little bits relevant to the story in #183, and I just want to include that most excellent slugfest with Absorbing Man).

Under Siege, #s 270-277 - the peak of Roger Stern's wonderful run on Avengers.

The showdown with a powered-up Count Nefaria, #s 164-166 - William basically lays out the reasons why this story is so awesome. And as for another inker, obviously Austin's inks always looked outstanding on Byrne's pencils, but Marcos did a bang-up job here.

The Selbe/Taskmaster story, #s 194-196. Another winner by Michelinie, with superb art by George Perez.

Honorable mentions, or if this were a top-15 list:

Assault on Olympus, #s 281-285 - Stern's last complete story on the title, almost as good as Under Siege in my opinion.

The Kang/Taskmaster story in #s 69-71, which introduces the Squadron Sinister.

Time and Time Again, #s 267-269 - another great Kang story.

Agreed with dbutler on the Attuma story, which I think is called the 'Private War of Dr. Doom' - it runs from #s 153 to 156, and includes Annual #6 and Super Villain Team-up #9.

"Today the Avengers Die!" from Annual #9. A sort of somber, understated story written by Bill Mantlo, with some rare Marvel art by Don Newton.

As for Annual #7, I always considered that less an Avengers story and more the conclusion to the Warlock saga. In the same vein, I don't really think of Annual #10 as so much an Avengers story as a Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers story, and given that it's written by Claremont, it's also a bit of an X-men story (since that's where he introduced Rogue, who would become a major X-character).

Doug said...

For whatever reason, Osvaldo, we set the blog to switch over at 6:00 am CT (so 7:00 your time). I don't know why we chose Central Time, since Karen's in Pacific Time. Guess we should have split the difference and gone Mountain Time!

But anyway, you need to be up and moving by 7 am, fella!

Saturday's category is a "Spotlight On...", where a particular creator is featured, and then Sunday we're back to The Open Forum.


Doug said...

Edo, thanks again to you for suggesting we not only pick some of our classic reviews, but other topics that didn't get so much traffic back when they originally ran. Today's comments have been terrific so far, and I was really happy to see so much love for the Muppets last week. Great call, friend!


Edo Bosnar said...

Aw, shucks, Doug, you're makin' me blush...

Anonymous said...

I'm going with Doug on this one. Avengers Annual#7 and the follow-up in the Marvel Two-in-One Annual are the best, hands down.
The whole thing is stunning.
Required reading, I think, for any self-respecting comic book fan.
I would like to give an honorable mention to Avengers #168, which featured a cosmic battle between Starhawk and Korvak, brilliantly illustrated by George Perez. Also, Captain America takes a swing at Iron Man. About time!

Humanbelly said...

This is going to sound like utter, UTTER blasphemy. . . but I don't think I'd put issue #4 in the first slot. It's dynamic, it's an absolute hoot, it covers a TON of territory in one issue, and it has unquestioned historical significance. . . but, even by the standards of comic book storytelling of that time, it careens madly from one implausible absurdity to the next in order to get to the place Stan wanted the story to end up. I do love it, make no mistake, but I don't think I could ever make it the Top Avengers Story of all time, as it were. I'm still partial to 57-58 for that slot, I think.

Hey, and you know what caught my eye in your list? That string of issues from #56-#65 carry a heck of a lot of weight-- especially if you include suggestions from other folks. That, of course, is "my" personal Avengers team-- the era that I read first. And if you add #'s 66 & 67 to the mix, you come up with a string of issues that includes the Cap/Bucky finale, the stirring introduction of the Vision/origin of Ultron, a couple of tremendous done-in-ones w/ the Black Panther & then the FIRE & ICE mini-epic, Yellowjacket/Wedding, Clint's origin & shift to Goliath, and a BRUTAL return of Ultron as he gains his Adamantium shell.

Is it a single story? Nah-- and I do believe we've touched on this run in an earlier thread-- but I still champion it as one of the best runs of a comic book ever.


William said...

Count me in for the love on Avengers Annual #7 and MTOI Annual #2. One of my favorites ever.

On a related side note to this topic, I just picked up the hardcover "Avengers: The Private War of Doctor Doom.". With the addition of that volume, I now have now completed collecting my personal favorite era of the Avengers (which was basically the mid to late 70's) in collected book form.

For anyone interested, the books include:

"Avengers: The Serpent Crown" TPB - Avengers #141-144 & 147-149

"Avengers: The Private War of Doctor Doom." HC - Avenges #150-156, Annual #6, and Super Villain Team-Up #9

"Avenges: Bride of Ultron" (my personal fave) HC - Avengers #157-166

"Avengers: The Korvac Saga" TPB - Avengers #167-168 & 170-177

"Avengers: Nights of Wundagore" TPB - Avengers #181-187

"Avengers: Heart of Stone" TPB - Avengers #188-196 & Annual #9

If you have all these TPB and HC editions you basically have Avengers #141-196 (give or take a couple of fill-in issues) plus a couple of Annuals.

If you also throw in the "Avengers / Defenders War" HC and "Avengers vs. Thanos" TPB, (which includes Avengers Annual #7 and MTIO Annual #2) and it makes for a pretty nice bookshelf collection of some of the greatest Avengers tales of all time.

dbutler16 said...

Doug, yes, the Avengers Annual 7/MTIO Annual 2 story should have been on my list also.

david_b said...

I liked HB's comments on that period of Avengers just after Vish came on board (with Clint as Goliath), especially the Barry Smith-drawn Ultron issues.

Very tense, but WAY cool.

Probably my favorite Avenger period outside my original collecting (ish 114-129).

Doc Savage said...

Is #4 on the list just because it reintroduced Captain America (and utterly ignored those great stories from the '50s)? 'Cause honestly the story itself is...not good would be putting it mildly.

Doug said...

Well, Matt, this is what I wrote:

"While I would not argue that it has a revered place in Avengers history, it doesn't crack my Top 10, giving way instead to stories that have played specific influence on the mythos. The most important story in all of Avengerdom is Avengers #4, and that is due to Captain America being the single most important member of all who have worn the mantle "Avenger"."

So yeah, because it reintroduced Captain America and ignored the three or so Cap stories from the '50s.


Doc Savage said...

How 'bout the 10 best Defenders stories. I like 'em better than the Avengers.

Edo Bosnar said...

Top 10 Defenders stories? Great idea, sounds like a perfect topic for one of this month's "Readers' Write" posts...

david_b said...

Doug, to play devil's advocate here.., Matt brings up a good point.

Why would you consider ish 4 'more revered' that say ish 1..? It's grand that Cap joins in issue 4, but you had 5-6 Avengers start in the first issue, more or less 'introduced as Avengers'.

Just curious.

Also, the Defenders Top 10 sounds like a winner.

Could the Top 10 FF stories be far behind..?

Doug said...

Guys -

I've now reread that paragraph beside Avengers #4 several times today, and I guess I can't state my opinion (and that's all it is) any more clearly than I did four years ago. To me (again, my opinion), Cap is THE Avenger. When he is around, no matter who holds the chairmanship, they often defer to Cap (Thor and Iron Man included). Since #4 heralds his return to comics and initiates his tenure on the team, I note that as my personal top Avengers story.

Matt, it doesn't' t make it the best story, and it's certainly not my favorite. But to me it has to be the most significant.

And in regard to #16 being third on the list, why isn't anyone asking why #2 isn't in that spot? After all, there are two line-up changes in that issue (Pym switches to Giant-Man and the Hulk quits). Perhaps it is more significant - although I'd argue that the Kooky Quartet era is important due to the scaling down of the team in number and power.

Lists are fun, aren' t they? The first two days we come back, we have a list-mania weekend planned.


david_b said...

Awesome Doug, thanks for great insight on both #4 and 16, the latter I finally purchased 2yrs ago.

Ish 4...? Oh, I can dream.

Humanbelly said...

The devilish detail, I think, is the unintentionally ambiguous word "Top" as the qualifier. It really could be interpreted as "Favorite" or "Best" or "Most Significant", or even describing a story that balances multiple superior elements the most successfully. Doug, your case for "most significant" is very sound, and I'd probably raise my hand in support if I were in the room for the presentation. But Top, for me, needs to have more going for it than just that. Gotta have a more balanced score-card, I'm afraid.


Humanbelly said...

Oh lordy, I've clearly somehow split off into a parallel universe of myself. I'm now both of me. My life is going to take on the artificiality of the split-screen twin-treatment of 60's sitcoms. . .


Doug said...

William -

That's a nice list of books. If you want to stretch it even further, there are trades for Celestial Madonna and the period when the Beast joined. There's also an older trade that reprints Perez' s second run, including the introduction of the Taskmaster.


Redartz said...

Loads of great Avengers stories here! One more for the list: the two-parter with Absorbing Man, issues 183-4. Obviously not as significant as most of the tales mentioned above, yet a great story nonetheless.

Edo Bosnar said...

Redartz, I share your fondness for the Absorbing Man story - that's why I include it in Nights of Wundagore in my own list.

Doug, do you mean the George Perez Avengers Visionaries book? Or is there another one I'm unaware of?

Otherwise, with reference to William's excellent list of HCs and tpbs, I'm a bit bummed that the UK publisher Panini has apparently stopped its series of Avengers digests. They've only done three: Bride of Ultron (which collects issues 158-167, the Korvac Saga (collecting issues 168-177 plus Thor Annual #6) and Nights of Wundagore (collecting issues 178-187). These are a really inexpensive way to get tons of color reprints. I thought they were going to at least keep going forward, i.e., do an equivalent to the Heart of Stone tpb, but apparently it's not even in the works.

Doug said...

Edo -

That's it. I couldn't think of the name of the book off the top of my head. It reprints several issues in the 190s.


Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, that's what I thought. I was hoping that maybe there was a another book that reprinted those stories but that didn't have a bunch of the material that I already have in other reprint books.

Fred W. Hill said...

Avengers #4 is a mixture of the grand and goofy that marked many Marvel mags of the early years, even FF #1 itself. I'll agree with Doug that it deserves a place on the Top Ten Silver & Bronze Age Avengers stories for its significance. Taking an expanded view, it's part of Marvel's first cross-over epic, starting with the Avengers clash with the Hulk and Namor in issue #3, which led to their discovery of Captain America, and was followed up by tying in with the FF's clash with the Hulk in FF #25 & 26, and with an epilogue in Avengers #5, the last Silver Age issue to include the Hulk in the main part of the story, aside from issue #100 and not counting issue #17, in which the new team searched for but didn't find the Hulk, and for some odd reason included several panels from the concurrent issue of Tales to Astonish of the Hulk tangling with the Leader's androids and Bruce Banner apparently being killed by the army. I've never read whether that issue was purposely constructed that way or if there was some sort of behind the scenes snafu that brought it about.
Re Avengers Annual #7 -- this and MTIO Annual #2, tied in with the first Magus epic, I'd regard as a contender for Marvel's greatest Bronze Age epic. Certainly, IMO, it's the most consistent in the high quality of both writing and art, with perhaps the Dark Phoenix story being the most prominent contender.

Stephen said...

Put me down as well for a "Top 10 Defenders Stories" post. Heck, I'd love to see a "Top 10 [title] Stories" for Thor, JLA, FF, Daredevil, Iron Man, Batman, and The Champions! ; )

david_b said...

On 11/2/2012, I ginned up a similar suggestion, if anyone's interested...:

A limited series of columns on a selected DC or Marvel hero where readers can chime in on their top 5 stories that are either monumental to the Marvel (or DC) Universe, changed the hero the most, or were just plain fun.

For instance one column can be on DD or Flash, and folks can chime in on favorite or stories that either defined them for long afterwards, or were instrumental in changing their universe.

Could be fun.

Doc Savage said...

Do the Champions even have 10 stories?

Anonymous said...

Doug, regarding the lack of addressing Hank's memory issues after issue 162....Iron Man states in #163 that Jan says Hank is doing great in his treatments. I think we all have a tendency to skip from 160-162 directly over to 164-166, ( for ovious reasons ! ) and tend to miss that Shooter remembered to address the problem.
ps. The site rocks, keep it up !!

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