kmccubbin's review

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This is a tough one, but this book is a rough read. Jack "The King" Kirby stands in for just less than a third of the book and then the drawing duties are handed over to Dandy Don Heck who, hindered by somme inexplicably sloppy inking, doesn't find a way to make The Avengers look interesting (?!) until the last 4 issues or so (when the inking also dramatically improves).
Now, I've never been a "Slam Stan Lee" kind of guy. Let's face it, a lot of these guys were not doing the caliber of work they did at Marvel with Stan in the 60s for sometimes decade long careers before, but... If I were to make an argument that Kirby deserved a little more authorship credit, this book would be a place to start. Packed with some great ideas ("Let's kick out the most famous heroes in the Marvel Universe and replacce them with 3 ex-villans!"), the second Kirby leaves the series the writing seems to fall apart. The stories lose their drive, the cliches become more awkward than fun, sometimes the books simply don't make any sense.
Kirby's assertion than he did a lot more to guide these stories sure seems evident here.
I suppose we'll never know, but I can only recomend this volume as a historical read and I suspect that's mostly because of Jolly Jack's absence.
However, fairly soon The Avengers become sommething far more special and as we approach Ultron and The Vision, Roy Thomas and John Buscema the legend finally will solidify.