Don't. Just don't.
Ever since the reveal of Marvel's "Season One" trades, I've been on board. I adored the X-Men and Fantastic Four ones, loved the Dr. Strange and Hulk ones, and overall enjoyed the Spidey, Daredevil, and Ant-Man ones. For those of you unfamiliar with what these trades are/do, they essentially retell and revamp a character/team's origin so that it's more current. Similar to what the Ultimate line did about a decade ago, the concept isn't new per se, but I'm a sucker for a good origin story (no matter how times it's been told). That being said, all of them have been thoroughly enjoyable, and I couldn't say that any of them were a waste of hard-earned cash ($20)... until today.
Right off the bat, Adi Granov's beautiful cover caught my eye. Incredible work, as usual, but the high praise ends right there. This book, unlike every single Season One trade did not accomplish revamping anything. The Avengers origin was told in about a page, and literally nothing about it was changed at all. It was simply a short (and I mean short) little adventure that takes place soon after Cap was unfrozen. Furthermore, for a story concerning the original Avengers, Hank Pym and Wasp were nowhere to be seen, which really hurt my interest in the story itself. Don't call this an Avengers book, if the "team" only consists of the Prime: Cap, Iron Man, and Thor (and Hulk, but he wasn't even a member at this point). Hank and Jan were mentioned very briefly, but almost all of my interest was lost when I realized they weren't gonna show up. That was problem numero uno.
I love Peter David. I think he's one of Marvel's top-notch writers as, as anyone reading it can tell you, his X-Factor is pure gold. So, along with Granov's beautiful cover, David's name was an "instabuy" for me. ...And boy, this writing was rough. I have no idea what David was thinking, but this isn't the age where characters literally say everything that's on their mind anymore. Seriously, these were the longest spoken monologues I've read since... well, the Golden/Silver Ages of comics. If I wanted to read about what's on Cap's mind, don't make him say it. Let him think it. The captions, or even thought bubbles are your friend, and are there for a reason.
Along with the excessive and tiresome dialogue, comes a completely unoriginal story. As I've stated before, this wasn't at all a revamped Avengers origin (which is what I paid for and expected). This was a very short story that takes place post-Capsicle. The Season One books, up to this point, have always been fairly long and some even contained more than one little adventure (like the FF one, for example). In this one, Loki is the main adversary (not a spoiler, it's in the preview), and he's doing the exact same thing he did that formed the team in the first place: screwing with people's actions and getting them to fight/distrust each other. What's even worse about this boring plot is that Loki was disposed of in one page! And the Avengers never even touched him!
Ok, let me set the scene. Spoiler alert, kiddies:
Iron Man: Wait! Thor! My armor went off by itself!
Thor: Verily! And my attitude has been quite gruesome in this quarrel!
Cap: Wait! You don't think...
Loki: NYAHAHAHAHA! Those fools!
Odin: Loki! *does that pointing thing that dads do when they're upset at their toddlers*
Loki: Curses! Damn you, Avengers!
So, in a nutshell, here's what worked:
- Beautiful cover. Seriously can't give Granov enough praise.
- Exceptional interiors. The art wasn't the best, but wasn't the worst either.
And here's what didn't:
- Unoriginal plot.
- Failed to do what Season One trades set out to accomplish.
- The Avengers did not include Hank or Jan.
- Atrocious and winded spoken monologues.
Don't waste $20 on this one, guys. I'm a huge fan of the Avengers, David, and the Season One books, but good lord this was a tough read. Go out and buy the Ultimates or something if you want a well-written and original approach on the Avengers's origin, because this one's certainly not it. Heed my warnings, children. You'll be better for it. Be good to one another!