Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The Avengers - Crisis On Two Earths!
I've been an Avengers fan since I've been a comic book reader. The Assemblers were soon my favorite Marvel comic book, they had no rival save perhaps for another super-team I cottoned to at another comic book company, a little group called The Justice League of America.
So the dream of having these two teams square off is something I've lived with my entire comic book reading career. There were fun hints of what it might be like, such as Marvel's homage to the DC heroes, the Squadrons Sinister and Supreme, and DC also had a doppleganger group, the Champions of Angor. When the two companies began to cross over their heroes starting with Spider-Man and Superman, the dream seemed almost to be coming true that the two great super-teams would at long last meet for real.
But office politics seemed to kill the project as Marvel and DC fell out and the two rival companies then spent many years in which the aborted crossover by Gerry Conway and George Perez was the stuff of gossip and rumor. Then in the early part of the new millenium, it suddenly was announced that the two super teams would meet at long last and that George Perez, the artist ideally suited to bring them together would be large and in charge of the project, with the writing going to Kurt Busiek, a man who had with the help of Perez revived the Assemblers some years previously.
Things were thrilling from the very first announcement, and I'm happy to report the story lived up to expectations as much as any single story could have after all those decades of anticipation. The story had the scale and scope worthy of such a crossover event, but still thanks to the special talents of these creators, the story was full of heart, the key element which makes any good comic book story worth reading.
Here's a gallery of the outstanding cover art produced by Perez.
Sadly, this crossover, as monumental as it proved to be, also proved to be a capstone to decades of reading the Avengers. While I stayed with the team some few years after, it seemed more and more that the magic which had informed the Assemblers for decades had withered away. They had changed, or maybe I had and with the great dream of the Avengers and the League finally having crossed swords accomplished, I felt it appropriate to close the book on my favorite book. That was nearly five years ago.
Now we have a new movie to look forward to. I'm eager to see it, the most eager for an Avengers project since the crossover. That's saying something.