Friday, February 11, 2011

Review- Avengers: West Coast Avengers Assemble; Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four Vol. 12

AVENGERS: WEST COAST AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (Marvel, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects West Coast Avengers (Vol. 1) Nos. 1-4, Iron Man Annual No. 7, Avengers Nos. 250 and selections from Avengers West Coast No. 100 (cover dates September, 1984- November, 1993).
I bought the first issue of the mini-series when it came out, but either didn't buy or don't remember reading the rest. It's possible that I didn't pick the series up on a regular basis until they relaunched it as an ongoing in 1985. In any case, this is a solid read about a not so solid team. I loathe Hawkeye, as he is one of the lamest and unlikable characters in the Marvel Universe. His team of Avengers is strictly second tier: Mockingbird, Iron Man (the Jim Rhodes '80s replacement...you kids know him as War Machine), Tigra, and Wonder Man. I kind of like the underdog aspect of this team, and am looking forward to the next hardcover, which is due out in May. That run was a ton of fun back in the day.
I love these Marvel Premiere Classic hardcovers, as they cover material which will likely never get Masterwork-ed in a nice package. Hardcover, nice paper, sewn binding, all of the sweet spots are hit. They are a bit lower in page count than a Masterwork volume, but they are also significantly cheaper than a Masterworks volume. 
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR  VOL. 12 (Marvel, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects Fantastic Four Nos. 117-128 (cover dates December 1971- November, 1972)
This is why I am so disinterested in much of what Marvel does these days. These are fun stories by some of the best: Writers Archie Goodwin, Stan Lee and Roy Thomas and Artist John Buscema. That's an all-star bill if ever there was one. No member of the team has to "die" for a cheap momentary sales spike, no crossovers, things actually happen in each and every issue...just good, solid, comic book storytelling. I know that kids today couldn't give a rat's ass about comic books, but maybe if they presented material in a fun, energetic way they might. Cartoons like Ben 10 Alien Force and Star Wars: The Clone Wars appeal to my son, and they aren't the arrested development, "fanboy" pandering crap that seems to come out of most comics today. If you live in your parents' basement and like to see "boobies" in your comic books, then your mileage may vary.

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