AVENGERS: FOUR — FOR FOUR STARS!

KC Carlson by Keith Wilson

KC Carlson by Keith Wilson


A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

Out in mid-June is a new paperback titled Avengers: Four that collects the recent five-issue limited series by writer Mark Waid, penciller Barry Kitson, and inker Mark Farmer (with a lot of last-minute art help). The title is very appropriate, given the subject matter of the collection is a modern retelling of the origin of the “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” early era that began in Avengers #16 (originally 1965). Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, and the Wasp all left the team simultaneously, leaving Captain America as the sole surviving Avenger. Cap quickly recruited three absolute rookies: Hawkeye, then a supporting villain in the Iron Man series, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, recently seen as supporting characters recruited (and ultimately dismissed) by Magneto for his initial Brotherhood of Evil Mutants team, beginning in (Uncanny) X-Men #4.

Avengers: Four

Avengers: Four


The Avengers: Four retelling of this era of Avengers history adds a ton of details and much-needed characterization beyond what we originally knew about this era of early Marvel. (It’s the kind of thing that Waid specializes in, if somehow you are not familiar with his comics work.) It also introduces a new character in this never-before-told (until now) story. Without giving too much away, it looks like this person is planned to be a major character in The Avengers in the near future, possibly not in a role you might suspect.

FEARLESS FRONT-FACER

Avengers #3.1

Avengers #3.1


This is a super-fun read, no matter how much Marvel history you know (or don’t know), especially if you love watching Cap trying to get a handle on things he doesn’t yet understand. (Because Cap is also very new to the Avengers, having just been thawed out of that iceberg he’s been in since the final days of World War II.) Hawkeye’s ego and arrogance is out-of-control, and Pietro (Quicksilver) is not far behind — as well as being the most over-protective brother in the Marvel Universe. The Scarlet Witch is a revelation here. Traditionally written by Stan Lee as the biggest wet blanket and sob sister in the Marvel Universe, Waid (ably partnered by Kitson, with his depiction of Wanda’s body language) made Scarlet Witch a better character without fundamentally changing her history or personality. Which is one of the neatest tricks in the series, and another thing to pay specific attention to, for those who love pure character.

Avengers: Four is also filled with supporting heroes and villains, starting with the original departing Avengers (mentioned above), Jarvis (the Avengers “butler”), the always frightening Frightful Four (The Wizard, Medusa, Sandman, and Trapster, most of whom were destined for bigger Marvel Universe roles in years to come — sorry about that, Paste-Pot Pete!), the Stranger, the Mad Thinker (and his android), Daredevil, Spider-Man, the Enforcers, the Acrobat, and even a giant monster or two…

Avengers #4.1

Avengers #4.1


Plus, much care has been taken to make the interior of the books (especially the non-story pages) look like the classic ‘60s Marvel lettercols (right down to the coupon to get the Merry Marvel Marching Society membership kit) and house ads for vintage comics, including the legendary Marvel 60s T-shirts. Best news of all — the last issue’s (modern) lettercol hints at possibly more retro-fun to come!

I can’t wait! (Or maybe I already have! This time displacement stuff really messes up my equilibrium!)

‘NUFF SAID!

The Avengers: Four collection hits stores (and comic subscription services) in June! Might be one of the best reads of the year! Don’t miss it!

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KC CARLSON: Real Fanatic One: A buyer of at least three Marvel mags a month. Keeper of the Flame: One who recruits a newcomer to Marvel’s rollickin’ ranks. And I have a No-Prize… but I didn’t earn it…

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. I have to be on a plane in four hours! That’s kinda irritating!

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Avengers: Four

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