Friday, May 1, 2015

CBR Avengers: The Origin

With the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, now's as good time as any to finally review this great Avengers book by one of my favorite artists in the medium.

Follow the reviews of Marvel's tiniest heroes - Ant-Man and Wasp!

Comic title: Avengers: The Origin
Written by Joe Casey 
Drawn by Phil Noto 

Published by Marvel Comics 
From 2010
Lineup Avengers franchise
Format: Trade paperback collecting the issues Avengers: The Origin #1-5 as well as a reprint of The Avengers #1.

Who doesn't know the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers?

Specially nowadays thanks to the big blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe? Well, let's not forget that before that, the Avengers were a comic book created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963.

Originally the team was first assembled to face Loki following some similar rough lines like the first movie.

The original team didn't feature yet Captain America. Instead it was only composed of Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man and the Wasp! And The Hulk never truly was a member of the team, usually a foe or a having a guest spot on the group.

The problem with comics, and mostly big mainstream publishers like Marvel who have been running in real time for ages is that continuity starts getting complicated pretty quick. And then there's "Marvel Time" aka Marvel's sliding compressed timeline. Iron Man's origin can't take place at the height of the Cold War anymore, or that would make Tony Stark a lot older than Marvel wants to keep him. The same goes for many other heroes. That's why once in a while the had to retcon the characters' backstory or update those storylines.

Avengers: The Origin is a retelling of The Avengers' historic first meeting.

A slightly modernized take on Lee and Kirby's The Avengers #1. Joe Casey wrote the comic pretty true to the original tale, with the only real update being first and foremost the dialogue. Otherwise it's a pretty straightforward update of the original 1963 comic.

Released around the time of the movie, offering a nice return to basics for The Avengers, a retelling of the original Avengers team-up, with great vintage-style artwork by Phil Noto.

The story begins with Thor's evil brother, Loki. Loki wants to take his revenge on Thor and these annoying Earthlings that cause him so much trouble in the past.

The god of mischief starts messing with everyone's mind and tricks The Hulk into a path of rampage and destruction. His latest plan? To trick Thor into fighting The Hulk!

At the time the story is taking place, Hulk couldn't revert back to Bruce Banner.

But while a call was made for the Fantastic Four, Iron Man intercepted it. And he's soon joined by these newcomer heroes Ant Man and the Wasp!

After some misunderstanding, the heroes shake it off and turn to the real villain. While Loki was hoping to cause mayhem, he has accidentally helped unit these heroes at last!

After this adventure, Wasp sees they had so much fun, they'll now have but one thing to do - form a super-team!

What I liked with Avengers: The Origin - with the original tale as well - is that it's a pretty simple but compelling tale!

An oldie, a classic from a simpler time back before comics delved into much more complex gritty tales. And The Origin is a welcomed return to classic comic books.

Joe Casey was able to keep much of the 1960s tone, thanks for the most part for Phil Noto's great artwork.

It's a fairly basic adaptation of the classic comic, retold with some minor updates.

The basic story was simply stretched over five issues over the original classic single-issue format, allowing some more room for character development and the introduction of this cult classic Marvel superhero team.

It's a great story, with a great sense of adventure. It's great to see these characters back to their basic simpler original forms. Tony Stark's still optimistic here, Ant-Man and Wasp don't carry as much history, Thor is awkward in our world and Hulk was still on the run.

The story expands upon the original Avengers #1 by adding more depth here and there. Explaining a few details kept pretty vague in the original comic, like explaining how Hulk ended in a circus for one. Tony Stark is seen here with a bluetooth earpiece, Rick Jones uses the internet instead of the radio, etc.

All in all, it's a fair adaptation of the original comic.

In fact, the very first The Avengers #1 issue is reprinted here as a backup feature, a nice companion piece for comparison. And it just goes to show how close they were able to stick to the first issue, unlike other reimaginings.

Phil Noto's art is great. Well fitting for this tribute to Kirby.

It's fun seeing where most of the Marvel Universe started with this crossing over with a bunch of different characters from different books. Where it all began:

Great story, lovelyart.

Not only it this a great retelling, but a fun read too. Keeping intact the original 1960s designs and tone.

Overall, this is a great tribute and new readers-friendly starting point. Unlike some other reimaginings of classic comics. It's more like an update of a classic story first and foremost.

The comic was published around the release of the Joss Whedon's Avengers movie.

Compared to the film, it's a radically pretty different way The Avengers first assembled. But there are some similar noticeable notes they were able to keep in the film, like using Loki as the main foe the Avengers got together to stop, his whole plan to take his revenge on Thor and Earth. The main differences being without a doubt the Avengers the movie skipped over - Ant-Man and Wasp (who will finally get be brought into the MCU with their upcoming film in a couple of months).

Highly Recommended to both long-time readers and newcomers alike. It's a great way to (re)discover the original Marvel comic book team, without any baggage from decades-worth of continuity or Hollywood's interference.

A lovely book with gorgeous art, a really nice read.

I give it:
3 / 3 Howards!

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