Saturday, June 16, 2012


AVENGERS: CITIZEN KANG (Marvel, 2011; Softcover)

Collects Avengers Annual No. 26, Captain America Annual No. 11, Fantastic Four Annual No. 25, and Thor Annual No. 17 (cover dates Annual 1992)

Writers: Roy Thomas, Mark Gruenwald, and others

Artists: Larry Alexander, Herb Trimpe, Geoff Isherwood, and others

The '90s...sigh. (Shakes head.) What were the artists of the day thinking? Did they see the works of Neal Adams, Russ Heath, Steve Ditko, etc., and think Let's do the opposite, because those guys don't know how to draw! The artwork is in this book is atrocious. Lots of Liefeld inspired open mouthed facial expressions. Ridiculously hyper-muscled heroes. Hideous costume designs. Women with boobs bigger than their head. The worst offender is Herb Trimpe because of his defection from his once classic Marvel “house” style of artwork to this dreck. He knows how to draw and chose to draw like this. Larry Alexander's artwork on the Captain America Annual is the only one that didn't make cringe in the book. 

The hand lettering in these issues is pretty abysmal. Lettering seemed to go to the crapper in '90s comics. Again, I have no idea why people made these artistic choices and, worse still, why fandom embraced them at the time. I would have gotten torches and pitchforks and stormed Marvel's offices.

The story in and of itself isn't bad, as it was a Roy Thomas spearheaded continuity drenched undertaking. There is some clunkiness and dated aspects to the writing here and there, but it has a decent plot. The nuances of Kang and time travel are mind boggling. There was a point in time where I thought that I had a grip on it, but as time goes on it has become increasingly convoluted. I will sit down and read all of these Kang appearances in order of publication some day and hash it all out. 

The OCD zone- This book has a nice, dull matte finish coated stock paper, similar to the weight used in the softcover Marvel Masterworks. The cover is the typical Marvel wax coated cardstock.

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  1. Thanks again for saving me from buying something like this. I have removed it from my "to buy" list.

  2. urchin ( 5, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    yes, the story and artwork were terrible.

    but it's significant in that it explains how Phineas T. Horton created an android identical to humans in 1939! hasn't anyone besides me wondered for decades how that happened? or, rather, how Marvel was going to explain that?

  3. Yes... this art, and Herb Trimpe really is under all this, somewhere?!?