Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Avengers [without the Jumpsuit and Bowler]

In preparation for the upcoming Avengers Assemble movie, the cinema high-spot of the year, I'm reading a stack of old Marvel Avengers comics. I'm really enjoying them. So far there's epic battles with the mighty Magneto, the origin of the supercool Black Panther and major grouching at the X-Men.

Currently I'm reading about a new enemy, the Brain Leeches! Captain America is the new leader of the Avengers but he just can't shake his rivalry with Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic. I'd forgotten how many 'gods' and 'demigods' there were in comics. The Avengers are sprinkled with dieties like Eros,  Thor [of course] and Gilgamesh [pictured: Marvel], who I had to look up on Wiki! I'm sure there'll be many more [?].

Who are your favourite Avengers characters? [besides Steed and Emma Peel!] and do you have any Avengers/ Thor/ Fantastic Four, in fact any Super Hero collectables?


  1. Growing up my favorite Marvel characters were Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America and I haven't strayed from that. Spidey comes in second. The '60s series of animated cartoons were a hoot to watch with their non-animation techniques (mostly still art with speech bubbles). I haven't read comics for many a moon and this past year, while doing research for the toys on my blog, I've been totally surprised at just how many characters are a part of the Marvel Unviverse!

    1. I also loved those 60;s cartoons Ed. Oddly enough my favourite series was Spiderman, followed closely by Frankenstein Junior and the Impossibles. Happy days!

  2. My history with the Avengers is a little too involved to go into here, but suffice to say I used to know them very well indeed. In fact, one of my vivid childhood memories is of drawing a group portrait of the team in school when I was five years old -- including Captain America and Hawkeye, as well as the Black Panther and two others not included in the film, Giant-Man and the Vision, the latter of whom had just been introduced a couple of months earlier. It was absolutely one of my favorite comics (I was always drawn to the teams rather than to solo heroes) and I remained a faithful reader for the next 150 or so issues.

    The trailer for the movie is really something, isn't it? Possibly relevant to this blog, I can't wait to see how they handle the Avengers Quinjet and the SHIELD Helicarrier, both of which appear all too briefly in the previews (and both will be heavily merchandised when the film opens).

  3. I really enjoyed your comment Richard and I can tell that your'e real comics fan. I have to ask, what was it like working at Marvel, which I think you mentioned on another post?

    1. I wouldn't know where to start! It was a lot of fun. Marvel at the time was a very chaotic and informal place. (I was shocked to visit the competing DC Comics and discover that employees were expected to wear shirts and ties in the office as if they were working at an insurance company.) The Marvel offices were a bit shabby and rundown, and seemingly everything got done at the last moment. There were a lot of stunts and pranks and office competitions, the sort of thing that happens when a lot of creative, funny people are all trying to keep from being overwhelmed by the pressure of impossible deadlines.

      The one downside was that I didn't care for the actual comics Marvel was publishing at the time. To put it in context for non-comics readers here, imagine being hired by Gerry Anderson and expecting to work on Thunderbirds but you end up doing Lavender Castle or Dick Spanner P.I. instead. (I've never seen either of those; I'm just using them for purpose of illustration.) I came to feel that I'd missed out on the company's best days by just a few years.

      Eventually, the word "Marvel" came to mean the people I saw at the office everyday, receptionists and secretaries and janitors and pasteup guys and production staff, rather than the people whose names got into the comics. (Though a few of the people I worked with then have since become pretty famous.) When I heard other fans talking about Marvel, they were only talking about the public side of the company. I tend to be very critical of that side; Marvel has done a lot of things I dislike. But I also remember Marvel as easily one of the nicest places I've ever worked.

  4. Really interesting Richard. Thanks for sharing your insights into Marvel. They must be making more from films these days than comics! There's so many movies. Are you still in touch with your old workmates?


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