Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bronze Beauties #13: the Avengers

No, no, Hanlon, there’s no Emma Peel and John Steed in this comic. Legend has it that the Marvel Age of Comics was ushered in when publisher Martin Goodman asked editor Stan Lee to come up with a superhero group to compete with DC’s successful Justice League of America. The result was the Fantastic Four, but Marvel’s true response to the JLA wouldn’t come until 2 years later with The Avengers #1, a 1963 comic book teaming a number of by then established heroes from other books.

While I was more of a DC fanboy, I dipped up to the hip in the Marvel pool, and one of the things that I liked about the Avengers was that they had a butler (provided by Iron Man alter-ego, millionaire industrialist Tony Stark). The Justice League may have had an orbiting satellite HQ, but they had to get their own drinks (at least after they got rid of their silver age sidekick, Snapper Carr). Then again, maybe that’s why they let Red Tornado hang around.

Here are two swell 1970s Avengers covers, #92 (Sept. 1971) by my first favorite comic book artist, Neal Adams (who really didn’t do a huge amount of Marvel work) and #152 (Oct. 1976), a supremely hilarious piece by Jack Kirby. The voodoo villain’s name is NOT Chicken Man, but rather the Black Talon. And the guy in the swamp with the fluorescent disco duds is Wonder Man. I couldn’t tell ya about him.

More covers to celebrate the release of THE AVENGERS movie!
Here's #83 (Dec. 1970) by John Buscema & Tom Palmer
#87 (April 1971) featuring a character who should've been in the new movie, the Black Panther, by John Buscema & John Verpoorten
#97 (March 1972) by Gil Kane & Bill Everett
#100 (June 1972) by Barry Smith
#116 (October 1973) by John Romita & Mike Esposito
#123 (May 1974) by Ron Wilson & John Romita
#141 (November 1975) by Gil Kane & John Romita
#172 (June 1978) featuring Hawkeye in the costume he really should've worn in the movie, by George Pérez & Terry Austin

© Marvel Comics

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