> Marvel Masterworks Library

Avengers Masterworks Vol. 9
Regular Edition Cover

Vol. 9: Avengers
Variant Edition Cover



Original 27

  • First print: 9/90
  • "Remasterworks"

  • Second Edition, Second print: 12/3/03
    Marvel Masterworks: Avengers Volume 2

    Reprints: Avengers #11-20

    (Vol. 9 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

    Current Print Edition: Second Edition, Second Print
    Release Date: January 14, 2009

    REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 978-0-7851-3202-8 • List Price: $54.99
    VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 978-0-7851-3203-5 • List Price: $54.99

    224 Pages

    Scripted by Stan Lee

    Penciled by Jack Kirby and Don Heck

    Introduction by Stan Lee




    AVG #13: Page 1
    AVG #16: Page 2
    AVG #16: Page 20
    AVG #17: Page 16
    AVG #20: Page 2
    AVG #20: Page 10

    In which it starts to feel like a family!

    The Fantastic Four is the ultimate "family" book, because, well...they're a family! But any time you get a group of people together, bonded as one for a united purpose, it is inevitable that there will be intimacy and warmth between them. And in addition to the intimacy and warmth, you'll also get ill will, squabbling and hyperactive bouts of angst! And so it is with the Avengers, as you will read in this block of Avengers comics. More than anything else, Avengers Masterworks Vol. 2, which reprints Avengers #11-20, highlights the personal developments that occur between Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Sure, there's lots of slam-bang action, but one gets the feeling that for this era, Stan really wanted to make the action the backdrop to the human dynamics, and not the other way around. It also showcases for the first time one of the Avengers enduring traits: How the old order changeth. In Avengers #16, there is a cataclysmic shift in the lineup, with a wholesale roster change that stands as the first occasion that the Avengers did some housecleaning and lived to tell about it...but barely!

    The old school group is featured in the first half of the book. Avengers #11-15 has the prototype Avengers roster still in action. The "family dynamic" rears its head when Iron Man is absent from the proceedings in Avengers #11 and the team must make do without him. Concerned that perhaps Tony Stark is dead and that his "bodyguard" Iron Man is off tending to grave duties and obligations, they are forced to put him under a "leave of absence" so they can continue their work as a team. Chairmanship is switched around from issue to issue, with Thor or Cap or Giant-Man presiding over team meetings. The amity of the team in the first issues begins to break down, with Thor getting belligerent over the merit of Giant-Man's emergency call to action. (Well, I guess I would, too, if I was being inconvenienced to fight on behalf of a bunch of scared ants!)

    In these pages, we also witness the first traumatic breakdown of Hank Pym. In Avengers #15, after the Wasp was accidentally shot in a fight which left her critically wounded, ol' Hank simply can't take the stress, and is an emotional basket case for the rest of the proceedings. Little did readers know this was only the first glimpse into the psychological problems of the Master of Many Sizes.

    In the second half of the book, starting with Avengers #16, we see the first of many roster changes that would become a trademark of the Avengers. With Thor disappeared and Captain America off in the Amazon jungle, the rest of the team shares their similar feelings of "avenging fatigue", and they each desire to focus on matters involving their personal lives and ambitions. This begins the preparations to keep the Avengers afloat while they are gone, and that means recruiting new members! It just so happens that when Captain America returns, he is expected to lead a rabble of three new members, ironically all of them being former "bad guys!" Hawkeye, a pest from Iron Man's feature stories in Tales of Suspense, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, a pair of siblings whose only previous team affiliation was in Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, join together in an earnest attempt to fight alongside the great heroes of the day. Their credibility and goodwill ascertained by the outgoing Avengers, a new order is ushered in to carry the banner that says "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!"

    But you ain't seen squabblin' yet! No sir, not until you've read the audible emanations of un-egalitarianism that spew out of the mouths of this new foursome, later affectionately dubbed the "Kooky Quartet" by fans. Right from the get-go, it becomes apparent that there is more to the proceedings than avenging justice. Both Quicksilver and Hawkeye have eyes on the leadership of the Avengers, and Captain America is carrying a big chip on his shoulder trying to effectively teach this disparate group effective fighting skills. And the Scarlet Witch? When she's not busying siding with her brother in all disputes, she's got her witchy and womanly eyes all up and down Cap! (Would it be too much to ask for Captain America to notice a fine lookin' woman lookin' at him? In this Masterworks? Yep! Too much to ask!)

    This volume continues the team's visual evolution under the guiding hand of Don Heck. With Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers providing only layouts as a periodic assist, all art chores for this book (and the next couple year's worth of Avengers comics) are dispensed by Dastardly Don Heck. Even though he isn't recalled as one of the visionary elites of Marvel's days of yore, Don was as steady as she came and consistently turned in quite a few breathtaking panels, many of which you'll see scattered through the issue feature pages on this website.

    Also in this volume, a significant figure in Avengers history would appear: the Swordsman! In Avengers #19, this villain comes onto the scene trying to barge into the Avengers lineup with only mischief and mayhem on his mind. Reconciling with the more sensitive and life-affirming of human traits (as well as bona fide Avengers membership) would come later for the Swordsman, but for now he's (pretty much) all villain! Showcase villains include the Mole Man and the Masters of Evil, who stick their heads up for air long enough to witness Baron Zemo the First get what's coming to him at the hands of Captain America. (Remember what I said about Cap having a loooong memory?) Kang makes a single appearance in Avengers #11, which also features the only guest appearance in this long run of issues – and it's the Amazing Spider-Man who gets the honor!

    Enjoy Avengers #11-20! They're comics full of crackin' good fun!

    -- by Gormuu with Dum Dum Dugan

    Issues Reprinted
    Avengers #11-20


    AVG #11

    AVG #12

    AVG #13

    AVG #14

    AVG #15

    AVG #16

    AVG #17

    AVG #18

    AVG #19

    AVG #20


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