Are The Avengers Still Needed?
And there we have it. the final issue of this reprint series. Let's look back at the advantages and disadvantages of this series, shall we?
To fully appreciate this six issue series, I think we should mention the original source material. The Avengers was a TV show released in the 1960s. It starred Patrick Macnee as a bowler hat wearing man with an umbrella and Dame Diana Rigg as a charming attractive redhead. They were the Avengers; John Steed and Mrs. Peel. It was a spy television show, but it had it's mixture of humor, quirkiness and most of all: style.
This particular comic book series is a reprint of a 3 part series published by Eclipse. Given Boom! Studios normal page allotment for each issue, the series was reformatted to be 6 issues long. This reformat did cause some problems for this series. For example, the cover of Steed And Mrs. Peel #3 corresponds to events portrayed in Steed And Mrs. Peel #4. In addition, the solicits are wrong for several of the issues and the covers from #5-6 were stolen directly from the comic itself. That being said, I am glad they reprinted it so I could actually read this series.
The art is one of the whimsical elements of this series. Done by Ian Gibson, the artwork contains many vibrant colors and has various styles contained within it. At times, Gibson's avengers looks nothing like the actor who played those characters. And then, there are times when they look remarkably the same:
I believe Gibson's attention to detail in some spots is a highlight of this series, if I do say so myself.
We had two stories for this series. The first was called "THE GOLDEN GAME" and was written by Grant Morrison. I'll admit I'm normally not a fan of Morrison's work as much as everyone else. I think he's too smart for his own good and makes stories a little too complicated than they need to be. However, I must say the first story was fairly entertaining and it was a surprising difference to his work on say Batman or Superman. The story itself is amusing and I have say I like it.
The second story has a very different feel to it. The "DEADLY RAINBOW" was written by Anne Caulfield and tells what happens after Mrs. Peel's long lost husband, Peter Peel. This story has all the makings of a backup story. Most likely in the original series this was a story to fill up the final third issue. I does have some good spots (as mentioned before there is the relationship between the Peels. Plus, there is Steed being a little jealous.
My first instinct was to give this issue a 2.5, but in rereading I decided this series deserves a 4 because it does have it's highlights. I must admit, this isn't really a good series for someone who has never seen the Avengers before, because it doesn't really reintroduce the characters all that well. That being said, if you have seen the TV series (even a little bit), then this series would be pretty fun.
In the title of this review, I asked, "Are The Avengers Still Needed?" After some thought, I have decided Steed and Mrs. Peel's action packed and humor filled adventures are still needed. I'm glad to hear Mark Waid will be writing an ongoing series in August. I hope it goes well.