Of all of Marvels books, I have to admit that I think this one is the most writer driven of all. Usually for a Marvel book to be a hit, a top artist has to take over. But while this book has had some solid art, it seems like its the writers show.
I chose Kurt Busiek because his Avengers most resembles the Lee/Thomas Avengers, but with a whole lot of baggage to work out. Why not just chose Lee or Thomas? In my opinion, neither should be on the list, they deserve a special spot....Lee/Kirby created the team and Thomas/Buscema made it the first non Lee/Kirby success and in a lot of ways, laid the foundation for Marvel in the seventies.
Englehart's dialogue could bother me sometimes....too many cadences. (Amen to that, Avenger, Amen to that!)
Shooter was ambitious and controversial. I don't know if I will ever decide if issue 213 was a good idea or not. Thomas certainly left room for something like that in the character....
Stern is my second choice. His Avengers were really their own independent thing....I think Roger put as unique and imprint on the team as Lee/Thomas and the stories were really well constructed.
Byrne's run was cut short...I think he decided to leave the book over a disagreement or something, but I can't substantiate that. What Byrne was doing was interesting, I would have liked to see more. I didn't particularly care for what he did to the Vision in West Coast...but thats more of a quibble.
Harras run actually had some really good ideas in it, I thought. I might be one of the few that liked the concept of the Gatherers and how it related to Sersi. Some of what Harras did seemed a little 'cookie cutter' though, like he was picking certain bits and recycling them. I also really liked the team from that time period...it just had a charisma all its own.
The less I say about Heroes reborn, the better. Except that Walt Simonson has my utmost respect and his issues were well written.
Busiek took a book that, I thought, was languishing and with George Perez, started to hit home runs again. The characters I knew were back, the stories were new and compelling, yes there were some things that creatively might not be to peoples taste...but you had to admit, the writing hadn't been this consistently good since, well, Roger Stern.
Geoff Johns ruined the book in my opinion. Dropped the book. I left comics entirely for about four years.
Chuck Austin really just followed in Johns footsteps with more inappropriate stuff after another. (This issues I read much later, as back issues.)
I thought Bendis would be more of the same, especially after the Hawkeye breakfast conversation about Super villanesses they had dealt with...so I dropped the book again.
To my surprise, I picked up a random issue during Secret Invasion and while the tone is still a little out there, I think Bendis dialog is some of the funniest I have read. I enjoyed the last 12 issues of New Avengers(vol 1) and I am enjoying both his storylines in the new books.
I was okay with Dan Slott until he had Hank say to Reed, "It's on now, B****". This didn't seem like it was in character at all. But, every thing else about his run, including the surprise invitation to Loki, was pretty good.
I cannot pick one to vote on! Stern, Busek, Johns, Lee, Thomas, ahhh!! I'll tell you whose last on this list in my opinion is John Byrne. I know some people loved him, but he began the destruction of the Vision in my opinion. If I had to pick one at gunpoint I would take Stern and his Masters of Evil storming Avengers mansion.
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Slott is an interesting writing presence at Marvel. There were people that were fanatical about his Mighty Avengers run, and people that thought it was slow and horrible. The sales slipped, but I don't think it was because of quality.
If he's passionate about a character, he does a great job with them. I think I'm going to read his Spider-Man just because I like his style.
And, ignoring that it wasn't really Wanda, his MA run let me get Khoi Pham drawing some beautiful Scarlet Witch.
Speaking of Avengers writers, I liked Stan Lee's stories. They were cheesy and goofy, but most stories were then. He set the groundwork for some amazing concepts and, really, some of his origins would become randomly indepth.
Wow, that list is really impressive. I would have to say BMB just because I have read so much of his stuff. I love Slott b/c of Spidey, but his work on Avengers is also top notch. Stan Lee and Roy Thomas are legends and set the Avengers up for years of greatness. Busiek also had a good run. But overall I have to say BMB.
I am not saying Slott wouldn't have a character say a line like that, but that he would not have a character like Hank Pym say it.
Slott is one of the very few writers I would buy a comic from where I have little interest in the main character.
Bendis. Bendis is easily the best Avengers writer ever...
But no seriously? I've never been big on Avengers. I've read bits and pieces of various runs over the years. But I loved Kang Dynasty the most. So yea, Busiek.
Roger Stern is the MAN.
My personal top 5 in order...
Michelinie I felt was awesome, but his run felt very limited (as in, not many issues, I'm NOT talking about content) to me. I remember wishing it was longer than it turned out to be. Still I have to give him an "honorable mention".
This is not a slam at any of the other writers, hell I like Bendis. Its just if you make a top 5 lots of great writers will get left off the short list.
Last edited by Tymminator; 09-30-2010 at 06:22 PM. Reason: clarification and typos
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Roy 'the boy' Thomas is the foremost Avengers writer for me. So much of the rich tapestry of the MU issued from his typewriter. As I listed in the thread which bears his name--just think of all that he introduced: Ultron, Vision, the Lethal Legion, Red Wolf, the Black Panther as an Avenger (likewise Hercules) Clint became Goliath, Hank became Yellowjacket (Hank and Jan were married), the Invaders, the Lady Liberators (which introduced Valkyrie), the Squadron Sinister/Supreme, Red Guardian, the Kree-Skrull War, and much, much more (this was just off the top of my head).
His writing style was far beyond the norm of many comics in its day (and I believe the argument could be made that it holds up quite well and is on a par and in some instances superior to the writing today). After Roy come Busiek and Bru and then probably Stan Lee followed by Stern, Englehart, Byrne, then the rested are all sort of jumbled together.
On the artistic side--John Buscema is THE Avengers artist followed by Neal Adams brief stint, then George Perez and Sal Buscema. In the present day only Alan Davis, Steve Epting and Mike Deodato come close to matching their forerunners.
Roy Thomas is the originator of the spirit of the Avengers!
"The LESS some people know the MORE stubbornly they know it!"
"That which does not KILL us only serves to make us STRONGER!"
I was going to sing the praises of Roy Thomas and of the Thomas/Buscema team, but CaptainLiberty76 has summed it up perfectly. Everything that defines an Avengers book can be found in Thomas' run.
After Thomas, I'd say Stern, Englehart, Shooter and Busiek.
For me it ranks:
Not all who wander are lost....