My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Good, ‘proper’, Avengers fun, with strong interpersonal dynamics, distinct and unique voices, a combination of individual storylines and group threats, and of course, wham-bam fight action that occurs as the result of narrative build-up and doesn’t just exist for the sake of padding out a few pages.
If you were looking for a ‘How-To’ guide for writing a super-team comic book, this would come close to being the one. Busiek deftly handles a variety of discreet personalities and motivations, and clearly shows the reader the purpose of a super-team: the element of putting aside one’s private troubles to unite in the face of a greater danger is displayed to perfection. George Perez’s art is the perfect accompaniment: clean, focussed, and equally adept at conveying small, quiet moments, or complicated multi-character battle scenes.
The Avengers has long been one of my favourite comic books, and certainly my favourite team book, even during a number of long, low periods. This collection is a reminder that when it is good, it is a stripe above any other team title on the shelves.