Well, it looks like Marvel's next big movie is almost here and will tell the tale of how the Avengers (the movie Avengers anyway) got together to form a supergroup and fight evil on an epic scale. In the spirit of this, this week we will be looking at a recent retelling of the original super-team's origin in the aptly named Avenger: The Origin, written by Joe Casey and drawn by Phil Noto; published Marvel Comics.
Frickin' Loki! Always stirring up trouble and trying to cause people to fight each other so he can keep his hands from getting dirty. Thor's half-brother is and always will be a douche and this comic shows that he has been that way from the beginning. In this case, he manipulates the dim-witted Hulk in order to get the attention of Thor and lure him into bringing Loki back to Earth so that he can be free from his banishment. A complicated premise that relies a lot on the predictability of how Thor would act, but what Loki can't predict is the other heroes he in turn brings together which end up leading to his eventual defeat and forming of the Avengers. A classic tale retold through modern words and pictures.
Too bad, I don't feel like it works. This five issue series tells a story that was told in one issue back in it's day and it suffers for it. Too drawn out, too much filler, too much standing around talking and trying to explain things that would be better figured out by the reader. It isn't that it is not well written, it just seems like it should have been told in one double sized special instead of a drawn out mini series. The best thing that comes from all this is the art of Phil Noto. It is beautiful. No line is wasted in his work and it honestly fits the classic costumes that all the characters wear to harken back to the designs of Jack Kirby. But in it's own way, this is a problem too. The entire series is set in some sort of odd time that doesn't exist. I get that it is a modern retelling where there is email, flat panel monitors, laptops, and modern cable TV, but then they are all in their very dated original costumes. The Wasp would not be caught dead in that weird helmet today and I doubt that Iron Man would be wearing the grey soup can armor. Oh and there are no cell phones...it just all doesn't add up and smacks of poor planning on the part of the book. Anyway, it isn't a bad retelling as you head into the movie, but I think you could be better served picking up some reprints of the Stan and Jack original series.