Essential Avengers Vol. 8

The back-cover blurb calls this collection of issues the height of Space Opera Avengers and it’s correct.  Jim Shooter and David Michelinie write/plot these guys. Shooter is doing some double reverse engineering here using the ongoing sub-plot building structure he swiped from early Marvel for Legion of Super-Heroes, which became that books calling card Paul Levitz, and bringing it back to Marvel with the Legion cosmic stuff and bureaucracy attached. Co-starring the Guardians of the Galaxy who are literally Marvel’s Legion rip-off.  “The Korvac Saga” (the bulk of the book) is totally an unused Legion plot and I’ll never be convinced otherwise.  Structurally when a given issue’s main plot is a thudder Shooter is so adept at sub-plot juggling that the interest going forward is always there.  Despite the book’s Space Opera Avengers theme the best stuff is the three parter at the  beginning where Count Nefaria steals the Lethal Legion’s powers leading to the fucking of shit up and the stuff at the end where Michelinie takes over completely and pays off the sub-plots introduced in those issues almost two years later.  The former set  is the first three issues of the book and the latter is the last four bookends of John Byrne art and knowing how John Byrne is I can see him getting caught up on the year+ a half’s worth of issues he didn’t draw and saying, “nothing got done with the old man on the boat? Fuck that this is Avengers not Chris Claremont goddamnit.” and him and Roger Stern had a good laugh while they secretly hi-jacked Avengers and Uncanny X-Men in 1979.

-Daniel Von Egidy, 2012

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