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JulianPerez
12-09-2006, 11:25 AM
Roy the Boy's AVENGERS is justly famous as one of the great high periods on the book, and everybody remembers him as the inventor of the "big" Avengers story with Kree/Skrull Wars. So much of what made Avengers what it is we owe to Roy Thomas - for instance, the introduction of Ultron and the idea that Avengers villains have some kind of emotional connection to the heroes, so that the battles have a character dimension.

But what are some of the better, less-famous Roy Thomas Avengers tales?

I for one, always loved the Roy Thomas introduction of Ixar in AVENGERS # , which brought in the Black Widow into the Avengers fold. The thing I liked about this is Tasha herself: she won the day because of her killer instinct and her poker face - by threatening to kill Ixar's mortal body.


IXAR: Ha ha, I know you Avengers don't dare kill!
BLACK WIDOW: But I'm not an Avenger, not yet.
IXAR: You wouldn't dare...
BLACK WIDOW: (with an ice cold glare) Oh yeah? Look in my eyes.

WOW. I never, ever want to play Texas hold-em with Natasha, that's for sure. The greatest Avenger introduction until Steve Englehart brought the Mantis in by dropping Thor with one punch.

The best part about Avengers battles is how they escape from "unescapable" deathtraps using some loophole or quirk or seldom-used power. In this story, the only reason the Avengers are even alive today is because the villains didn't know Hank Pym regained his shrinking power.

Then we have AVENGERS #99-100 (1972), which is a huge Avengers epic involving Ares obtaining the Black Knight's ebony blade...and using it to still the Fire of Prometheus, turning all gods to crystal. With this - and an army of nasty Jack Kirby-created critters like centaurs, satyrs with hypnotic pipes, and Yellow-Crested Titans, Ares leads them to conquer Earth's dimension and then Asgard.

This one has it all, folks: every single Avenger that ever was fighting to invade Olympus itself, Avengers taking a last stand in London vs. an army of mythologicals, the Enchantress, Iron Man vs. a centaur, Ares almost creating thermonuclear armageddon, Clint Barton becoming Hawkeye once again, Wanda finally admitting she loves the Vision and Quicksilver becoming outraged...

LordEd1976
12-10-2006, 09:05 AM
You left out the issue number where Ixar appeared. It was Avengers (volume one) #36

Doesitmatter
12-11-2006, 12:08 AM
I'm currently reading his whole run on the dvd-rom. There's some great stuff here (the later John Buscema issues are gold) but there are also some low points.

The run that introduces the Vision and brings Ultron out as a major villain is fantastic.

On the other hand, I just don't buy Hawkeye changing to Goliath. He doesn't seem to have a reason. And the Wasp/ Yellowjacket wedding was convoluted, even for the silver age.

the4thpip
12-11-2006, 02:02 AM
The very first Avengers story I ever read was the one where Captain America talks the team into using Doom's time machine to find out if Bucky truly died, in Avengers 56. I think the quality of that story is why Bucky remained the one character Marvel never dared resurrect.
























:(

Babylon23
12-11-2006, 06:27 AM
I always loved Roy's Grim Reaper stories. his intro from Avengers 52 (which also brought the Black Panther into the team), and the follow-up with the Lethal Legion in 78-79 are both great stories.

The Ultron story from 66-68 is a great sequel to the Vision's introduction story.

I'm also a big fan of the Black Panther/Sons of the Serpent story from 73-74.

Kirk G
12-12-2006, 11:45 AM
The very first Avengers story I ever read was the one where Captain America talks the team into using Doom's time machine to find out if Bucky truly died, in Avengers 56. I think the quality of that story is why Bucky remained the one character Marvel never dared resurrect.


I agree, I agree....I remember it to this day! :rolleyes:
It's the story that got me started collecting the Avengers... I had to work backwards to pick up issues #55, 54, 53 and 52 to get all the Black Panther appearances, and the return of Giantman as well!

I remember them so clearly, yet when I think on them, most are overshadowed by the artwork, with heroes standing spread legged, mouth open, howling at each other in the most dramatic of stances.. the emotion over powering the story. At least, that's what occurs to me now. I think most obviously of Hawkeye in almost every fight scene or cover, Thor on #52's cover,the Grim Reaper in #53, Cap on the cover of #56, all three of our heroes on the cover of #55 and almost everything except for the Vision's tear at the end of #58.

Do you agree?














:([/QUOTE]

icctrombone
12-13-2006, 07:09 AM
There are many to choose from . I loved the V.1 102- 104 saga that had the Avengers fight the Sentinels. Nice Rich Buckler art .

Ventura
12-15-2006, 05:00 PM
My favorite Roy T "less famous" story was the Super Adaptoid/Avengers Day story in Avengeres #45, the first Avengers book I ever read. It's basically a stand-alone story, coming after the multi-issue Black Widow/Red Guardian saga (#38-#44...after #45, I also "worked backward" and started buying older books to catch up on Avengers history). #45, with its large cast of Avengers, was a good introduction for a new reader (even though the art was fairly average, by Don Heck).

It's funny, in #45 and #46, the team seemed solid and stable, and then --pow!!! #47 began what could be called Roy's version of Disassembled: the team had a total of 7 full-time members (Cap, Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp, Quicksilver, Wanda and Hercules), plus regular appearances by Natasha...then starting with #47, the Avengers started dropping like flies--leaving the team--until only Jan, Hank and Hawkeye were left as members. Of course, T'Challa and the Vision soon joined, bringing the active roster up to five, and Roy instituted more or less regular visits from Thor and Iron Man.

Kirk G: yes, Buscema's characters' stances and poses and expressions are very distinctive and at times, too much. His characters never stand up straight, they're always almost bent in half. But I love his work anyway, and his covers from that period are gorgeous and dynamic.

Kirk G
12-15-2006, 08:31 PM
It's funny, in #45 and #46, the team seemed solid and stable, and then --pow!!! #47 began what could be called Roy's version of Disassembled: the team had a total of 7 full-time members (Cap, Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp, Quicksilver, Wanda and Hercules), plus regular appearances by Natasha...then starting with #47, the Avengers started dropping like flies--leaving the team--until only Jan, Hank and Hawkeye were left as members. Of course, T'Challa and the Vision soon joined, bringing the active roster up to five, and Roy instituted more or less regular visits from Thor and Iron Man.
.

Yes, I agree completely.

#45 ends on such a high note, after having multiple team members present since, say, issue #40... And then almost immediately, we see them stumble and fall, and end up with Hawkeye and Clint arguing on the spash page with Jan barely able to keep it from coming to blows. IMHO, that's where the second volume of EMH should have started, showing how the team was built from this unexpected low point up through the wedding of Yellowjacket and Wasp... and the addition of Vision, Black Panther and Hank's mental problems all taking minor roles.

But your point of going from the high of "Avengers Day" in the city and adding TWO news members... to having only three left at each other's throats was SUCH a shock. It really felt like two distinct writers or different books to me.

As I look back on it, it seems painfully clear that Hercules was written into the series in a one year at a time arc. The same can almost be said for the Vision, introduced in 57, and betrayal ending in 68... almost exactly a year spread. So much of the Avengers EARLY history can be charted in just such year at a time concepts or broader arcs. Look through your essentials or Marvel Masterworks and see if it doesn't appear so...
AFTER the initial 16 issues, they are in one year arcs that can be picked out...

Ventura
12-16-2006, 02:41 PM
As I look back on it, it seems painfully clear that Hercules was written into the series in a one year at a time arc. The same can almost be said for the Vision, introduced in 57, and betrayal ending in 68... almost exactly a year spread. So much of the Avengers EARLY history can be charted in just such year at a time concepts or broader arcs. Look through your essentials or Marvel Masterworks and see if it doesn't appear so...
AFTER the initial 16 issues, they are in one year arcs that can be picked out...

Yes...absolutely. Hercules appeared in #38 and left in #50. Thirteen issues, a year's worth of issues (plus one). I know Herc was exiled to earth for only a year, but still...

Also, ironic how, after Hercules became an official Avenger (in #45), he did not fight alongside them in battle (except in #45 and briefly in #50 when Jan, Hank and Hawk traveled to Olympus)! It made me think back then: why would Roy go through the trouble of making Hercules an official member, and then send him off on a solo mission (#47)?

Same with Natasha...she'd played a prominent role in many issues since #29...was offered membership in #45 but chose to retire her BW identity...and then she appeared in precious few issues after that. Why the big, multi-issue build-up (#29-#44, and gaining force starting with #36)- - and then not use her at all?

For a new fan, as I was with #45, the shock value of seeing the team dismantled a scant few issues later cannot be downplayed. I guess that is the effect Roy and company were after, to keep readers on their toes. I remember feeling back then, wow, anything can happen in a Marvel book (I was also reading some DC back then, and nothing so extreme ever happened in DC, not until a couple of years later).

Ventura
12-21-2006, 07:15 PM
As I look back on it, it seems painfully clear that Hercules was written into the series in a one year at a time arc. The same can almost be said for the Vision, introduced in 57, and betrayal ending in 68... almost exactly a year spread. So much of the Avengers EARLY history can be charted in just such year at a time concepts or broader arcs. Look through your essentials or Marvel Masterworks and see if it doesn't appear so...
AFTER the initial 16 issues, they are in one year arcs that can be picked out...


Kirk, if I may resurrect your point about the one year arcs, as I find it interesting....looks like Stan and Roy were constantly reinventing the Avengers roster in the Silver Age, which kept the book fresh. I've broken it down into my own arcs, each more or less 12 issues...so you're right!

#16-#28: in #28, Goliath and Wasp officially re-join as full-time Avengers. I have often wondered why they were brought back: was this just a way of keeping Hank and Jan in view, or wasn't Cap's Kooky Quartet bringing in the fans? I think they were brought back because Pietro and Wanda were fairly one-dimensional at that time...though that could have been remedied by developing a Wanda-Hawkeye relationship (any hope of such is discarded by #29, when Natasha appears). The active team by the end of #28 is Cap, Hawkeye, Wanda, Pietro, Hank and Jan.

#29-#37: The Black Widow makes her first appearance in the Avengers (except for a cameo--a flashback--in #16). She becomes a regular in the book, appearing in all issues through #47, except for #31 and #34. She immdiately becomes the dominant female presence in the book, and her addition means Hawkeye takes center stage (and it's in these issues that he develops into a bonafide Avenger instead of remaining just a loudmouth). Poor Wanda and Pietro take such a back seat that they are shipped off to Transia in #30 and don't return to active duty until #37.

#38-#50: the year-long Hercules arc starts here, as does the Black Widow "traitor" arc. Natasha's story is slightly shorter and ends in #44. As mentioned, #45 and #46 are the "calm before the storm" issues and feature a full complement of Avengers, plus Natasha. Then in the span of 3 issues (#47-#50), Cap leaves full-time duty, Wanda and Pietro are captured and leave, and Herc decides to return to Olympus.

#51-#62: the rebuilding year. T'Challa and the Vision join the trio of Hank, Jan and Hawkeye. Cap, IM, Thor and the Black Knight make appearances.

#63-#74: Hank prefers his Yellowjacket guise (and- -except for rare instances, such as #68 when he depends on his intellect instead of his powers- -becomes superfluous). Clint hangs up his quiver and becomes the new Goliath. Also, starting in #66, Thor, IM and Cap make frequent appearances.

#75-#88: Roy brings back Wanda and Pietro to the book, as de facto replacements for Hank and Jan (really, did the team need two insect-sized members?)...but I've always felt that Wanda was brought back at that time to jumpstart the Vision's story (after all, who else could he have fallen in love with? The married Jan? Not in 1970). Roy tested the waters with #81, which focusing on Vizh and Wanda's interaction.

#89-#97: the Kree-Skrull saga. 'Nuff said.

After #97 it gets muddied, with all of the Avengers appearing in #100, Pietro leaves after #102, T'Challa is not present for a lot of issues, Hawkeye quits (#109), Natsaha officially joins for one issue only to leave the next, etc. Anyway, by #105 Steve Englehart was writing the Avengers. But as you said, most of Roy the Boy's Avengers work can be divided into serials. Those were the days (nostalgic sigh).

Kirk G
12-28-2006, 02:51 PM
Very good analysis. I never read them all that closely, but our memories are very close. I recently bought the Marvel Masterworks Avengers volume 6, which ends (I'm embarassed to say) with issue #58... Even an Android can Cry. Which works very well as an end point, I am surprised to say. I would have bet my final dollar that the book would end on issue #60 with the marriage of Jan and Hank. PS: Notice how suddenly in those issues Hank's hair becomes orange? I always thought it was blonde, like Steve's, Clint's and most heroes...

I didn't enjoy the Black Widow's intrusion into the series in 28-44. I felt it was needless soap opera to stir the pot. I also felt that was the reason for returning Hank at first, and Jan later. More angst. Also, I don't think he (Stan) really had any plan or direction for the series. And except for "helping" Roy with his first plot or two, I don't think the series is very consistant.

With regard to Cap's Kookie Quartett, they were immediately assailed by the fans in the letters pages and although it quieted some, it never really went away. Fans demanded the original big three back, and eventually, if only as guest stars, they got it. I think the return of Hank as Goliath was a move to appease some of those demands. But I also think Goliath became the centerpiece of the team for those issues, 28-44 because of his stature and bright new colors. He dominates every cover.

Don't you agree?

Kirk G
12-28-2006, 04:08 PM
There are many to choose from . I loved the V.1 102- 104 saga that had the Avengers fight the Sentinels. Nice Rich Buckler art .

I feel so bad that I bailed on the Avengers with about issue #102, at the end of the Ares God war...and, if I recall, the one shot about the Watcher and the man with the power, trying to kill off the five children (to slake off his power). Wasn't that by Harlan Ellison?

Anyway, that was it for me. I stopped collecting all comics cause I was a sophomore in high school, Marvel seemed to have lost the spirit that attracted me (Kirby art, Stan Lee writing) by two years... and I had a sense that I needed to start dating or meeting other teens and NONE of them were into comics. So, I became more social and put my geekdom on hold for about 8 years...

At this point in time, alternative earth's with alternative Fantastic Four where Ben was human and Reed was the Thing had been introduced, AND, instead of remaining a one shot back-up, these were becoming more and more a featured arc. There was a two part south american/central american dictator story with Chrystal, Johnny and Ben... and Thunderella was about to appear.

Over in the X-men, the title had stopped, and reprints were showing up.
And Whoever was in charge of the reprinting of Jack Kirby's Thor kept screwing up... The Grey Gargoil story showed up reprinted in at least two or three places within a few months... Then much of the Norn Stone saga was collected under a different artist's cover, and Double Feature paired up sequential issues for four lousy covers... Ultimately, Thor became a single issue reprint in Marvel Spectacular for 16 issues, BUT ELIMINATING ONE PAGE OF STORY PER ISSUE to fit in more ads. Wisely, they pulled the plug about the time they hit the Wrecker reprints, but page counts were about to jump with the end of Tales of Asgard and Tales of the Inhumans back-up features ending.

Daredevil was floudering as it approached #100.

Cap had lost it's way from Gene Colan artwork and the unsettling Secret Empire/presidential storyline... Sharon Carter had either died or was about to with the Femme Force introduced.

Nothing seemed to gel, and Marvel was getting more into monster books, horror reprints, and Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team-Up. And the whole problem seemed to be summarized by a cross-company design template for covers which appeared to be colored boxes or a "frame" on every cover, reprint or book produced. It just served to distance me from the stories. So, I left.

As a result, I missed the entire Vision/Grim Reaper arc, the Captain AMerica/Hydra connection, the return of the Sentinels, the Quicksilver/Crystal meeting .... and ultimately, the new Uncanny X-men as well. I might have enjoyed the early Steve Englhart stories, but the awful artwork that accompanied them into the GiantSized Avengers books, with Mantis and Zodiac and all... would have eventually killed my interest until after college, some 8 years later when Byrne was leaving the Xmen and Miller was taking Daredevil to new heights!:eek:

icctrombone
12-28-2006, 04:41 PM
The good part is that these books can always be re- read years later if you missed out the first time . I wasn't reading as much during the Engelhart era , but I caught up later on .

Ventura
12-28-2006, 05:50 PM
: Notice how suddenly in those issues Hank's hair becomes orange? I always thought it was blonde, like Steve's, Clint's and most heroes? [QUOTE]

Yes, and that was so jarring! I suppose it was a deliberate decision by Marvel management because the team had too many blonds (Clint and Cap). Maybe it was done to help the colorist? I remember around that same time in FF, all of a sudden pale orange haired Alicia sported dark brown hair (FF# 79)...again, I think to help the colorist distinguish between her and Crystal (who had darker orange hair). And remember towards the end of Avengers#58, when Cap, Clint, Hank, T'Challa all had their masks off? Our fair-haired fellows--Clint, Hank and Steve--all looked interchangeable...even with Hank's new hair color.

[QUOTE]I didn't enjoy the Black Widow's intrusion into the series in 28-44. I felt it was needless soap opera to stir the pot. I also felt that was the reason for returning Hank at first, and Jan later. More angst. [QUOTE]

Yes, exactly! After a year of Cap's Kooky Quartet, all of a sudden we have Hank, Jan and Natasha in the mix, which fostered the "soap opera" elements Marvel books were known for back then. I always wondered why, from #16-#28, a Cap-Wanda-Clint was never explored, because it could have provided the requisite angst. Even if it was just Clint and Wanda (since at some point Cap became interested in Sharon Carter), this would have caused some tension between Clint and Pietro over Wanda. I get the impression that Roy was not very interested in Pietro and Wanda back then; not only did they leave for several issues (#30-#36), but when they returned to action they were still on the back-burner and one-dimensional. Roy started a half-hearted Wanda-Hercules romance, but it never progressed. Then the twins left in #47. I may have said this in another thread (Clint-Wanda chronology), but I think the ONLY reason Wanda was even brought back (in #75) was to further the Vision's development as a character.

[QUOTE] But I also think Goliath became the centerpiece of the team for those issues, 28-44 because of his stature and bright new colors. He dominates every cover.

Don't you agree?

Agree 100%!! The figure of Goliath dominates the majority of covers between #28 through #42. And, in the stories, his problems (stuck at 10 feet, his antagonism with Hawkeye over Natasha joining, etc.) took center stage. I've read that Roy wanted to bring back other original members too but Stan said no (because they had their own books and continuity would get messy), so Roy added Hercules (a god) as a Thor-substitute, in #38. A year or so later, Roy had enough control over the book so that he could--and did--have Thor and IM appear more and more frequently.

And Kirk, regarding your other recent post:

Yes, #101 ("Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow") was by Harlan Ellison (story/plot) and adapted by Roy.

The next issue, #102, featured a Grim Reaper-Vision encounter as well as kicking off a three-issue Sentinel story, written by Roy but, according to the credits, it was "from an idea suggested by Chris Claremont." I believe is his first published credit, at least in a Marvel book.

It's around this time I stopped reading comics, mainly because my family and I moved to a new neighborhood and there were no stores nearby that stocked comics! What a shock. And as you say, the art and writing was changing, and not for the better. My last Avengers issue was #105. After that--nothing for years. Also, like you, I didn't really know many people who liked comics, at least not as much as I did; and my parents HATED the fact that I read them (so subscriptions were out of the question). So comics faded from my life.

And to think, if I hadn't stumbled across some "Essentials" volumes in the bookstores a few years ago, my passion might have stayed dormant forever. :)

Kirk G
12-28-2006, 06:06 PM
Well, that's very interesting that we both "checked out" for other pastures about the same time period. It was only when I wandered into a 7/11 after moving to a new neighborhood for a new job AFTER college that the Miller cover to Daredevil #169 (Too Many Daredevils) drew me in and Byrne's Uncanny X-Men #142 "Days of Future Past" spoke to me.

If you are catching up via the Essentials, you'lll do pretty well, except for occassional color essential issues... like Thor's dyed Black hair in a back-up Tales of Asgard story as he impersonates the villian.

Have you purchased MANY of the Essentials, or are you picking and choosing your sellections? I have Avengers Essentials #1-5 and an occassional Hulk, SPidey, Iron Fist and Thor #2-3 collections, as well as most all of the Marvel Masterworks volumes.

Your comments on the hair color of Clint, Hank and Steve at the end of Avengers #58 are exactly on, as mentioned in the liner notes or margin instructions on the original artwork, reprinted as filler at the end of the sixth Avengers Masterworks volume that just arrived in my house at Christmas. (Thank you, Santa...)

My family won't buy me comics, but I'm working on educating my 7th grade daughter on them. She will read them and remember them clearly, but prefers the Captain Marvel and Vision characters through most of the Avengers. She's also into Data in Star Trek for the same reason, I suspect.

Ventura
12-28-2006, 07:26 PM
I'm basically picking and choosing my Essentials. I read most if not all of these stories in their original form, except for the Cap, Thor and IM stories. Here is what I have so far:

Essential Avengers , vol. 1-5
Essential FF, vol. 1-5
Essential Thor, vol. 1
Essential Iron Man, vol. 1-2 (even though I never read the original issues and I would only occasionally read some of IM stories in the reprint book Marvel Collector's Items Classics. But for some reason I picked up these volumes and I was hooked!)
Essential Uncanny X-Man, vol. 1 (contains #1-24 from the original run)
Essential Classic X-Men, vol. 2 (contains #25-53 and Avengers #53)
Essential Silver Surfer, vol. 1
Essential Captain America, vol. 2 (even though, as with Iron Man, I was never a fan back in the day...but I was attracted by the artists here, Kirby, Steranko, Colan, etc., even in black and white)

It's funny, if I need to quote something exactly, say, for a board like this, that's when I refer to the Essentials. But astonishingly, I remember a lot of these issues (plots, writers, artists, etc. ) as if I'd read them yesterday; that's how much of an impression these comics made on me as a kid.

My local Barnes and Noble does not carry the Masterworks series (and neither does Borders). I'd love to get some of these, I guess they are available on-line at Amazon. I also have some DC Showcases, though i vastly preferred Marvel to DC.

I also have some tpb collections, such as the Avengers-Defenders War, the Celestial Madonna saga, the Serpent Crown, etc. This is all stuff I had not read before, since these all were subsequent to my last regular issue, Avenger #105 (first issue scripted by Steve Englehart). But you know, it was so easy to get back into the characters' lives!! Hmmm... scary what that says about my maturity...:)

I picked up the Avengers Disassembled tpb. I know many people do not like Bendis and this arc in particular, but I liked the focus on two of my favorite classic Avengers, Wanda and Hawkeye. BTW, Kirk, the other day I came across a post of yours and someone else (Pyro?) from September asking about an "unresolved plot element from Avengers #90/91" (Clint is daydreaming about Natasha and then her face is replaced by Wanda's). Another poster gave a great response about Clint and Wanda's past history. I also recently posted a lengthier chronology about the Clint-Wanda connection, so if you're interested, here it is:

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=156980&page=15

I also have the Vision-Scarlet Witch (first series) and West Coast Avengers Visionquest tpbs. I think these were both published shortly before Disassembled, to remind people of Wanda and Vision's history. Has your daughter read these, or is she reading the earlier books (when Wanda and Vision were very tentatively starting their romance?) I remember that their incipient romance made an impression on me, too, when I was a kid. :) One of the most striking aspects of the original Kree-Skrull War was the Vision coping with his growing feelings for Wanda.

Of course, as mentioned, since I dropped comics a few issues later, I never knew how their romance had turned out- -until years later. And it is shocking to me that Disassembled dealt with elements that were introduced back when I was a young 'un!

the4thpip
12-29-2006, 04:05 AM
[QUOTE=Kirk G;4167983]:



Yes, #101 ("Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow") was by Harlan Ellison (story/plot) and adapted by Roy.

The next issue, #102, featured a Grim Reaper-Vision encounter as well as kicking off a three-issue Sentinel story, written by Roy but, according to the credits, it was "from an idea suggested by Chris Claremont." I believe is his first published credit, at least in a Marvel book.

It's around this time I stopped reading comics,



And it's strangely the exact same time when the publisher who had brought Marvel comics to Germany in rather faithful adaptations. Williams Comics ended Avengers with #101. After a few years, another publisher picked up at 102, but in a horrible digest format that had bland recoloring and where up to 75% of the dialogue was left out due to the smaller speech balloons. :(

Not quite sure why the numbering was off, guess they skipped one issue. Sometimes that happened in Germany when, say, a swastika on the cover meant the legal hassles were too much of a bother.

http://www.wmca.de/bilder/cover_raecher/raecher_100_100_hq.gif

Ventura
12-29-2006, 07:49 AM
Pip,

this is a great scan...thanks! It took me while before I recognized the Vision in the trademark box, what with that strange coloring! ;)

Kirk G
12-29-2006, 12:41 PM
Yeah, I think she's read the original individual issues of the Vision Quest arc, or the Byrne run, but I didn't buy the tpb, as I have two sets of the originals right now. When you said they had been published just before Dissembled, I started to reach for the reply key, to correct that they had been out many years before.... then I realized you were talking about the reprint tbps coming out...

If you're really serious about picking up some of those Marvel Masterworks, there are two or three ways to go. First, the original four volumes featured a gold foil frame on the dust jackets. Later, there have been more colorful dust jackets around version that sell for about $5.00 less. Some of those gold foil frame varriants (as they are now known) are produced in limited quantities, and so, prices for them on Ebay have soared into tripple digits. You can find virtually any of these books on Ebay eventually.

If you're looking for just any copies of these hardbound books, you can find them for a variety of prices on ebay, by searching for "Marvel Masterworks". I have a particular source or two whom I rely upon for buying them at half price when they come out... about $32.95 each... or 3 for $100 plus shipping. List price is about $55 each or more. If you'll settle for the NON-foil dust jackets, you can score them for about $25/each or 4 for $100... but can't guarentee that each volume is still available. It's a waiting game.

I find some of the re-coloring to be too bright and garish as the ink sits on top of the glossy paper and is too white and bright. But, if that's how they are produced, then that's what we get. The original printings had ink that would sink into the newsprint and smell so wonderful... and so, have a special place in my heart and memory.

The worst offender was the first volume of Daredevil, which featured one page that was completely tinted with orange due to a printing error. The first Fantastic Four volume had to be recalled due to a production error that switched two pages from FF #5 (when Sue was captive of Doc Doom or offers herself up on the roof of the Baxter Building). When reading this volume, you can tell that the pages are out of order, but it is still an error. I don't think that this error has made any increase in price, as it is unwanted. Subsequent reprintings have corrected that error. I'm not sure of other errors.

The two most rare that I am aware of were the first variant printings of the first Thor/Journey into Mystery volume (poor artwork by Kirby & company, IMHO) and the Submariner variant edition (with GREAT Gene Colan artwork, IMHO).

Anyone else?

Ventura
12-30-2006, 12:47 PM
Kirk:

Thanks for the info on the Masterworks. I had no idea there were variants. I've experienced some less than stellar service from ebay (for different items), but I'll definitely take a look and see what's out there.

I'm especially intrigued about that Sub-Mariner edition you mention. There is no Subby Essentials (nor any planned soon, as far as I'm aware of)...but if there is a Masterworks out there- -wow! I love Colan's work; he's always been one of my favorite artists.

the4thpip
12-30-2006, 01:51 PM
The bright colors in some of the Masterworks bother me too. DC adds a slight yellowish/beige tint to the paper in their Archives which works much better.