Avengers Legends, Vol. 1: Avengers Forever by Kurt Busiek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oh, dear. I shouldn't have put off writing this review for so long. There is a lot going on in this book, because of the complexity of the storyline. It revolves around Rick Jones, a sort of honorary human sidekick of the Avengers who has some very traumatic moments, as well as having saved the Avengers himself a time or two. Immortus, a villain from the future fixates on him Rick Jones with the intention of killing him, and Rick uses his mental abilities to pull various Avengers from different time periods to help him, because helping him will save time itself.
This is my first official Avengers comic book. That was a good and a bad thing. It was good in the sense that it gave me a crash course in Avengers history. It was bad in the sense that there was so much information, I can't really say what is canon and what is specifically part of this storyline and the fact that Immortus can manipulate timelines.
This was a long book. I checked this out of the library, but regardless, I can definitely say I got my money's worth. The stories are quite different from my exposure to the Avengers from movies and TV shows, and I ended up getting introduced to a lot more members than I would have if it focused solely on the traditional team.
Honestly, I feel like it's a full time job for Marvel comics developers to keep track of the massive Marvel universe. So much happens, and it impacts the Marvel characters more or less across the board. I think writing this book was probably a huge challenge and it may have caused some serious migraines as the authors worked to keep it straight. At the same time, it was clearly a labor of love and a loving homage to the Avengers to people who really care about the stories and the characters.
The artwork is bright and descriptive, a bit dated looking compared to newer books, but still appealing. Clearly a lot of effort was put into drawing the same characters from different timelines as related (as in same character), but different due to their different experiences. There are some scenes that must have taken a long, long time to draw in all the characters, so that was a wow for me. Also, I like that there were footnotes that described the characters involved in the panels and when they first appeared and referenced which book they were featured in; as well as and the major events related to the various panels. That why I said earlier that this was like a crash course in Marvel history, Avengers and otherwise.
While I am quite sure that I prefer the newer artwork, and I think I will probably stick with the newer graphic novel publications for that reason, this book energized me to dive in headfirst (even more) into the Marvel Universe. I'm quite happy my library had this and I gave it a chance, even though it was a bit older book.
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