Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Avengers: Kree-Skrull War

From the beginning of my rediscovery of comics in the past year, I've sought out books I missed out on both in my youth as well as the two decades I wasn't reading them at all. There's as much nostalgic puffery as there is critical disdain surrounding older comics- every generation of readers has their own favorite tales with which they identify themselves. I came back into reading them during some eventful times, after DC's Final Crisis and Blackest Night and right before the big DC reboot currently underway.  And what has happened in the Marvel Comics Universe in the past 20 years has been at least as daring from what I gather- I dove into a lot more contemporary DC reading material upon my return, but the Marvel work I chose was much older, earlier Marvel Essential volumes.

In conversations with readers ten or twenty years younger than myself, I've been surprised at their lack of experience & knowledge of the Silver & Bronze Age material. As I said, each generation of readers has their own identity rooted in the their own times, but I'm somewhat let down by how quickly the younger has dismissed some of this work. Some of the older work is often ridiculously far-fetched & melodramatic, and the dialogue can seem stilted, lengthy, & sanctimonious to those unfamiliar with the parlance common to comics of yesteryear. I'll resist diagnosing younger readers with a disabled attention span- I was young once, knew what I liked, and didn't need some old goat telling me what's good & what's not. Closing in on forty, however, my need for angsty and hormonal, twenty-something emotions have long since subsided, and I'm often left just want to read something fun.  The Avengers: Kree-Skrull War provided just that, as well as some comic history all with...

The "Kree-Skrull War" story arc ran through the Avengers title, issues #89 - 97 (June 1971 - March 1972), right before I was born. The Secret Wars were the cosmic epic of my youth, precedent to that type of book however, came this dramatic, interstellar tale with an all-star Marvel cast. The longtime Kree & Skrull conflict boils over with Kree hero Captain Marvel's return to Earth, involving Avengers Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Quicksilver. Avengers Captain America, Iron Man, & Thor are soon involved along with Giant Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket & Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Triton & Black Bolt of the Inhumans join the effort to save Earth and Avengers Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, who were captured by the Skrulls along with Captain Marvel. Kree outlaw Ronan The Accuser turns up the heat from the other end, sending robot Sentries to attack our heroes opposite the Skrulls, his goal to devolve Earth back to prehistoric times and use it as a base against the Skrulls. The Supreme Intelligence, ancient & wise Kree invention then imprisoned by evil Ronan, aids Captain Marvel's companion Rick Jones in saving the day.

I enjoy the comic artistry of this vintage, unaided by any of today's computer technology, and Sal Buscema, Neil Adams, and John Buscema were about as great as anyone working at the beginning of the 70's. My only regret is not reading it on the dingy pulp it was originally printed on the year I was born! :D   And writer Roy Thomas has been a big part of the industry, starting out at DC Comics in 1965, only to leave for Marvel 8 days later, where he would eventually rise to editor-in-chief after work on Sgt. Fury, Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, The Invaders, The Defenders, Fantastic Four, Thor, Conan The Barbarian, & Amazing Spider-Man to name a few. His return to DC Comics in '81 to realize his childhood ambition of writing about the Golden Age heroes he loved in All Star Squadron, Thomas' revival of the Justice Society of America. Thomas is currently co-chairman of the board of directors at The Hero Initiative, a charity organization for comic creators, writers, and artists in need of quality of life assistance.

Pictured above with the trade paperback are my 9" ToyBiz Famous Covers Vision & Scarlet Witch, whose odd romance is also introduced in this story. I found it hilarious when upon noticing some unusual behavior among the two unlikely lovers, whatever bystander would shrug of the suspicion as absurdity. Because let's face it: caught in interstellar battle between Ronan & the green-skinned, shapeshifting Skrulls, alongside Captain Marvel dressed in tights & a cape is one thing, but an android's unrequited love for a mutant witch is preposterous  :D

More Later- Keep It FUN!


  1. I just read a couple 'World's Finest' from '78 and yes, comics back then were a heck of a lot more fun and rooted in a lot less continuity and seriousness.

  2. Great write-up! It was an amazing story and still holds up pretty well