Friday, December 28, 2012


AVENGERS: THE BRIDE OF ULTRON (Marvel, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Avengers Nos. 157-166 (cover dates March- December, 1977)
Writers: Gerry Conway (157), Jim Shooter (158-
Artists: George Perez (penciler 160-162), John Byrne (penciler 164-166), George Tuska (penciler, 163), Pablos Marcos (inker, 158-166), Don Heck (penciler, 157), and Sal Buscema (penciler, 158, 159). 
My Avengers don't sit around the breakfast table and spend an entire issue talking. No siree. My Avengers go out and save the world from Earth-shaking threats like Typhon (not Typhoon), Ultron, Graviton, and the then-newly hyper-powered Count Nefaria. My Avengers aren't snarky smart asses. The character development occurs during the events in the story rather than in conversation around the breakfast table. Wonder Man's crippling self doubt while in battle, The Avengers' growing resentment of Thor swooping in at the last moment and saving them time and again, Captain America's growing bitterness at Iron Man's failure in leadership and disjointed efforts as a team...these all unfold while things are actually happening. It's more fun to read than talking heads who all have the same “voice”. 
Ultron unhinging Henry Pym (Yellowjacket/Ant-Man/ Giant-Man/Goliath) and using him to copy the brainwaves of the Wasp to form his robot bride (later named Jocasta) is a grand, Oedipus Complex of a plot. In this case, he would kill the father and make a mother to marry. 
Artwork by John Byrne
George Tuska's artwork is much, much better with Pablos Marcos' superb inking than it was with Vince Colletta's. These are among the greatest Avengers comics ever made.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The late, lamented Marvel Premiere Classic line of hardcovers were a sort of junior Masterworks line, with decent restoration, nice paper, and sewn binding at a much lower MSRP.
Linework restoration rating: 4.75 out of 5. There are a handful of spots, including issue 166's cover, where there is visible pixelation and/or dropped linework. Aside from those few instances, the restoration is excellent.
Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5. Excellent, faithful recoloring that matches the original comic books' color palette.
Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. This line of books has a thick coated stock.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Wonderful sewn binding that allows the book to lay flat.
Dustjacket coating rating: 3 out of 5. This has that image coated/ solid blacks not coated approach that so many publishers have adopted. It is easily scuffed and therefore loses points here in the OCD zone. Durability trumps fancy production values every time out in my world.

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