x35's Acts of Vengeance Omnibus #1 - HC review

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Infinity Vengeance

AF Reviews: Acts of Vengeance

The Acts of Vengeance Omnibus is a gigantic 744 page titan collecting the key issues and tie-ins to Marvel's Acts of Vengeance story which stars a group of villains forming a Cabal to destroy the Avengers and other super-heroes. The book stars almost all of the Avengers in some way from Captain America, Iron Man and Thor to Hellcat, Moondragon and Stingray and also features Spider-Man.

This is an immense collection of mostly very enjoyable and very good issues from 1990 with creators John Byrne and Mark Gruenwald being the chief minds behind the ongoing story. We also have writing from David Michelinie, Dwayne McDuffie, Gerry Conway, and Tom DeFalco with art from Erik Larsen, Kieron Dwyer, Paul Ryan, Ron Lim, Todd McFarlane, and Byrne himself.

While the story is based around a simple premise, that doesn't mean it is bad. Many of the tie-ins and crossovers fare exceedingly well in exploring different elements of it and the continuing exploration of the Cabal and their relationship always proves interesting and intense. We also get some fantastic fight sequences including an incredibly memorable battle between Magneto and the Red Skull. Also within the crossover is a ongoing Spider-Man story, where the titular hero is bestowed with new Cosmic powers which prove to be more of a burden than they are worth.

The omnibus also has a few bonuses: 3 scenes not included in the issues themselves such as the main villain of the story arriving on Earth to commence his campaign, Doctor Doom being recruited for the Cabal and a failed attempt to recruit Cobra for the Cabal. We also have extra pages from another issue of Cloak and Dagger which feature the villains who appear in their issue. The omnibus also presents a back-up story from Avengers Annual #19 which clears up one or two glaring continuty errors and ambiguities within the story itself. Lastly, there are 10 or so pages of bonus art (covers, pin-ups, etc.) and an article from Marvel Age.

In terms of missing content, there is a follow up omnibus entitled Acts of Vengeance Crossovers Omnibus which reprints 30 or so tie-ins which are not presented her due to size restrictions. I will cover any further oversights within the review for that omnibus.

As far as Marvel's event omnibuses go, they have mostly been clunkers. Either collecting average stories like Evolutionary War or Atlantis Attacks or grossly overpriced like Secret Wars. Acts of Vengeance, however, is a colossal hardcover with a large page count and comics of mostly a very consistent quality. The few weak issues within are dwarfed quickly by spectacular issues of The Avengers or Captain America. Without a doubt this is the standard that all the event-based omnibus should be held to and is just a fantastic collection altogether. If you only buy one Marvel Omnibus, you darn well better consider this one.

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