Avengers (Vol. 1) 1963 Year In Review

Image taken from Avenger (Vol. 1) #2.

How Many Issues?

Two issues (#1-2), published bimonthly.

Creative Team:

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Dick Ayers (#1), Paul Reinman (#2)

Was It Good?

It wasn’t good, but it was still entertaining. The characters aren’t working together as a team so far, and there is no group leader yet. The character moments —- okay, the character squabbles —- are what make this fun to read, but the stories themselves are pretty forgettable. Of course, there were only two issues with 1963 cover dates, so this is a small sample size.

Since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby work on all of these characters in their solo titles, there is a pretty high level of consistency with their appearance, personalities, and powers. That is often a problem with comic book teams, but thankfully is not here.

This book wasn’t bad in 1963, but it wasn’t very good, and nothing in it impacted the characters in their own titles.

What About the Sub-Plots and Continuity?

  • Oddly enough, the Wasp may not technically be considered a member of the Avengers. She wasn’t listed on the banner, above the title of Avengers #1. She’s not pictured in the corner box on the cover, either. In #2, Iron Man tells Thor and Hulk that they cannot start their meeting without Ant-Man, but doesn’t mention the Wasp! This is clearly a bunch of crap, because she was very much a player in both issues. She even named the team! Maybe the other Avengers see her as Ant-Man’s sidekick, and not a full member? Whatever the reason, it’s aged poorly.
  • The Space Phantom knows Iron Man’s secret identity, and hinted that he knew the rest of the team’s secrets, too. I’m fairly sure this doesn’t come up again.
  • The Hulk quit the team in Avengers #2. This is the first time a Silver Age Marvel character actually quits their team; the Fantastic Four have had a few brief break-ups, but have never lasted more than a few pages.
  • Rick Jones’ Teen Brigade plays an important part in defeating the Space Phantom.  Will Rick’s involvement with the Avengers fade, now that his buddy, the Hulk has quit?

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