In case you haven’t noticed, Avengers Infinity War hits theaters any day now.
In the Mighty Marvel tradition, much of what I will publish at Longbox Graveyard in the run-up to Avengers Infinity War will be “reprints” of past columns. As a courtesy to long-time readers, here is my upcoming schedule:
- 4/18 Thanos Love & Death
- 4/19 Thanos Gallery
- 4/20 Avengers Bride of Ultron
- 4/23 Marvel 77 — Avengers Annual #7
- 4/24 Avengers Assemble Gallery
- 4/25 Thanos Infinity Gauntlet
- 4/26 Avengers Kree-Skrull War
- 4/27 Thanos Sings!
On that list, only my Marvel ’77 review of Avengers Annual #7 is “new” … or as new as a review of a book from 1977 can be! Everything else has already seen print here at Longbox Graveyard in one form or another.
But just like Thanos cannot resist the Infinity Gems, neither can Longbox Graveyard resist the collateral clicks that come with the release of a big Marvel movie!
So feel free to skip these entries if you have already read them … or better yet, read them again, and give me your fresh comments! The past is never really over at Longbox Graveyard!
(We join this multi-part crossover with Super-Villain Team-Up, already in progress). The details are muzzy, but it looks like we’ve walked in on some multi-cornered war between Doctor Doom, the Avengers, the Sub-Mariner, and Attuma and his undersea goons. But the tasty prospect of a George Perez-pencilled Avengers vs. Doctor Doom showdown must wait, as the bulk of the Avengers are knocked out on the splash page, and mostly what Doom does in this issue is gloat. And this man can gloat. (The recap pages are packed with action, though).
Eventually the battle gets going. With most of the Avengers on the sidelines, it is the Beast and Wonder Man who get the spotlight. Oh yeah, and the Whizzer, too. (Pause for adolescent snickering). The issue ends with the Vision going rogue and seemingly making common cause with Doom — we know better, of course, but it will cost us another thirty cents next month to find out what’s really going on!
- Script: Gerry Conway
- Pencils: George Perez
- Inks: Pablo Marcos
Please share your comments below!
The voters have spoken (and in one case, a voter may have spoken many times).
The Championship round is set!
The voting from the semi-final looks decisive, but the numbers tell only half the tale:
- Avengers over Justice League 66/34
- Fantastic Four over X-Men 62/38
Now, it is true that the Avengers/Justice League match-up was never close. The Avengers opened with a big run and never looked back. But the Fantastic Four/X-Men tilt was within a few votes, either way, for much of the week, and in fact I had begun to expect a tie.
(Which might have led to the FF and the X-Men teaming up against the Avengers in the final round … but no matter!)
It was the weekend that told the tale, with the Fantastic Four surging out to an insurmountable lead, right about the same time that an avalanche of votes came in from the European country where I suspect Krackles has his secret headquarters. (No, it isn’t Latveria). Hey, there are no rules against stuffing the ballot box! I even encourage it, sort of.
Bottom line … the Fantastic Four ended up burying the Uncanny X-Men, and whether it was due to an outburst of Kirby phantasmagoria or a generational divide is a moot point. However agonizing a choice it might have been for my most dedicated readers, Marvel’s First Family is on to the Finals, to face Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — the Avengers!
Let’s look at how each team got here.
Coming in as a #2 seed, the Avengers haven’t been challenged in this tournament. They clobbered X-Force in the opening round, easily bested The Legion of Superheroes in the second, and blitzed the Justice League in the semi-finals. Whether it is because the Avengers have nearly all of Marvel’s hottest heroes, or they’re enjoying peak popularity because of the movies, or just because Scarlet Witch can take down Superman in a flash, the voters of Longbox Graveyard have left no doubt that they want to see the Avengers in the Final. And they are going to be tough to beat!
The Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four have surprised me at every stage of this tournament. I thought they were over-seeded as a #1, but the readers were right. While they haven’t had as easy a time of it as the Avengers, the Fantastic Four did make short work of the Metal Men in the opening round, and fended off a pesky Justice Society in the second. The X-Men looked like they would get the best of the FF in the semis, but Mutants Don’t Work Weekends, and the Fantastic Four are in the Finals. In this case, I think people are voting for the world-building and mythos of the Fantastic Four as much as the team itself … and that’s fine! Your voting criteria is your own!
And speaking of voting … the time has come. Only one team can win the Longbox Graveyard March Madness Super-Team Showdown. Cast your vote now (and if you are an Avengers fan, figure a way to vote many times, before Krackles deploys the Ultimate Nullifier again!)
World’s Greatest Comic Magazine vs. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!
Your vote(s) will tell the tale. Get ’em in by Sunday, April 1st (and no foolin’!). The winner of the tournament will be announced on Monday, April 2nd at 1:00 PM Pacific Time.
Thanks for all your hard work, great comments, and passionate advocacy throughout this tournament … and may the best team win!
(The comments section is open!)
… The Avengers! (1963)
Even as a fifty-something-year-old fart, my pulse still quickens a little at the thought of The Avengers. Not the movies — though I like those well-enough — and not the blizzard of Avengers-branded titles Marvel has spammed onto the racks these past ten years.
No, my Avengers are from the 1970s, when the team pretty much stuck to their titular book, and being an Avenger seemed like a rare honor, like being an astronaut or an Olympian. The roster was limited and membership changes felt like a big deal. If you followed a second-tier Marvel hero — like Hellcat or Ms. Marvel — then seeing that charcter get a whiff of Avengers membership felt like getting called up to the Major Leagues. And because we lived vicariously through these heroes, when they joined the Avengers, we did, too.
The Avengers was also Marvel’s event book, before they did event books (and well before, seemingly, everything became an event book). The Avengers is where the Kree-Skrull War broke out. They fought the Defenders. They crossed over with the Fantastic Four for the wedding of Crystal and Pietro. They fought Korvac and Thanos.
And along the way we had Marvel’s greatest soap operas. The romance and wedding of Vision and the Scarlet Witch. The weird Oedipal saga of Ultron and Hank Pym. The Celestial Madonna. The bureaucratic intrusion of Henry Peter Gyrich that elevated the who’s in/who’s out? roster drama of the Avengers to operatic levels.
I loved those stories. Avengers Assemble, for me.
What’s YOUR favorite “A” comic? Let me know in the comments, below. Share your Avengers memories or tell me what I’ve missed. (Come at me, “Amazing Spider-Man” fans).
- Honorable Mentions:
- The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
- Astonishing Tales (1970)
- Action Comics (1938)
- Adventure Comics (1938)
- All-Star Squadron (1981)
- Astro City (1995)
- Afterlife With Archie (2013)
- All-Star Superman (2005)
Read more about The Avengers at Longbox Graveyard:
- Digesting The Avengers
- All-New All-Different Avengers #1
- Uncanny Avengers #1
- New Avengers #1
- Avengers Kree/Skrull War
- Silver Age Avengers
- The Bride of Ultron
- Avengers Gallery
- Avengers Assemble Gallery
Check out the complete Longbox Graveyard Comics A-To-Z HERE!