Monday, 17 August 2015

KID'S KLASSIC (KIRBY) KOMIC KOVERS - THE AVENGERS #1...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Released in the same month as The X-MEN, The AVENGERS
were really the direct equivalent of DC's JUSTICE SOCIETY Of
AMERICA.  The FANTASTIC FOUR may have been inspired by
the JLA (or their success, at least), but the Avengers reflected the
set-up of their DC rivals more than the FF did.  And they had
their own battle-cry - "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!"

8 comments:

TC said...

When Martin Goodman instructed Stan Lee to create a superhero team similar to DC's Justice League, the problem was obvious: Marvel had been publishing mostly anthology comics (pale imitations of EC), and did not have a stable of superheroes to form a team. So Stan had to start from scratch with the Fantastic Four. By the summer of 1963, though, he had enough superheroes (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Wasp, and Ant-Man) to start a series that was more like what Goodman had wanted. That is, a team book combining popular characters from other strips.

I am not quite sure why Stan didn't just revive Marvel's All-Winners team from the late 1940's (Captain America, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, Miss America, Destroyer). That team was basically Timely's (1940's Marvel Comics) imitation of DC's Justice Society, which was the Golden Age forerunner of the Justice League. He eventually did bring back most of those characters, anyway. And Roy Thomas later used them as The Invaders.

Oddly enough, Stan later wrote out the original Avengers, and replaced them with the Kooky Quartet. One reason may have been that Hawkeye and Quicksilver had personalities that offered more possibilities for internal conflict and dissension. I've also heard somewhere that Stan wanted the team to comprise characters who did NOT have their own solo strips in other titles. That simplified the problem of cross-continuity. No more worrying about, "How can Iron Man be in New York with the Avengers fighting Zemo when, in his own solo strip in Tales of Suspense, he's in Manchuria fighting the Mandarin?"

Kid said...

That was my thoughts, TC. It would've been easier just to use the original Human Torch, Cap, Subby, Miss America, etc. but the '50s attempted revival of the Torch, Namor and Cap hadn't been the success that was hoped for, which is perhaps why Stan didn't use them. You could be right as to why Stan changed the line-up of the Avengers (was it Stan or Roy?), but I was always satisfied by the usual caption that said 'This adventure takes place before (or after) events in Cap's/Thor's/Iron man's own mag.'

Dunsade Dave said...

I love this cover, but I've always thought Iron Man's pose looks a little strange. Might have been better to have the Hulk in that position, with IM standing back aiming a repulsor ray at Loki. But, Kig Kirby knew what he was doing and he was probably (in my opinion) at the peak of his powers around this period, and it's a great piece of eyecatching art.

Kid said...

I think it's a pretty poor layout all round, DD. Thor looks too tall in relation to the other characters, while the Hulk looks tiny (and he's not far enough in the background to account for it). Loki must be standing on a rock or a soapbox, because he looks like a giant compared to the rest of them. Despite all that 'though, it still packs a punch.

TC said...

Comic Covers "Snap:" Marvel Adventures #13 (2008); Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #39 (2009); Freedom Collective #1 (Rough Cut Comics, 2009); 10th muse #1 (Avatar Press, 2002); Thunder Strike #21 (Marvel, 1995); and Shadowhawk #14 (Image, 1994).

Kid said...

I'm familiar with the Freedom Collective one, and the Thunder Strike one, but not the others. I look them up when I've got a spare moment, TC. Ta.

TC said...

I think Stan was still writing The Avengers in 1965, when the founding members quit in #16. Of course, the team had a lot more personnel changes over the years, including when Roy was writing it.

Kid said...

Yeah, I checked my Avengers Omnibus volume and noted that Stan was still the writer. I mainly remember those early tales from a British comic called Terrific.

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