Monday, May 31, 2010

1984 – Avengers #250

Avengers Volume 1 #250
December 1984
Artists: Al Milgrom/Joe Sinnott/Ian Akin/Brian Garvey

I recently received the Avengers: West Coast Avengers Assemble Premiere Hardcover and forgot how much fun Roger Stern and Al Milgrom’s run on the Avengers was. Stern’s run on the Avengers was obviously defined by his collaboration with John Buscema and Tom Palmer, but you can’t discount his early run. The issues are tightly plotted weaving multiple character storylines back and forth. Material from Avengers #239, #243-244, and #246 were pulled into this volume and even with these bits, you can an idea of what Stern was trying to accomplish.

Avengers #250 (included in complete form in this hardcover) was a prime example of Stern and Milgrom’s collaboration. Milgrom’s penciled art is tightly defined by veteran Joe Sinnott’s inks. About halfway through the issue, Ian Akin and Brian Garvey jumped in to ink a dozen or so pages. Their efforts give Milgrom’s art a soft, polish feel and is a treat for the eyes.

This issue takes place shortly after the West Coast Avengers miniseries and has them team-up with the East Coast branch to take on the threat of Maelstrom. In one double-sized issue, this team-up puts most of today’s “events” to shame in how well the characters are handled and how you can have a great, exciting story in 40 pages.

In an interview with George Khoury for MarvelMasterworks.com, Stern looked back on this run:

The trick was in figuring out which Avengers I could use. Three of them – Cap, Iron Man, and Thor – had their own books and would be unavailable for long stretches of time. Others would be pulled away for months at a time into miniseries. Keeping the right mix of characters was the biggest challenge, but after a while I managed to develop a pretty good working repertory company of heroes.

Al [Milgrom] was always a great idea man, but he was often drawing another book, as well as pulling down a day job as an editor. Because of time constraints, we never got to really collaborate as much as I would have liked.

The West Coast Avengers miniseries was a roaring success and spawned a regular, monthly series. Milgrom moved over from the Mighty Avengers and took on this spin-off title.

2 comments:

  1. This was one of the very first comics I ever bought. I wasn't a big fan of the Avengers (mainly because I didn't know any of the characters in their current line-up) but I really liked the West Coast Avengers so I gave it a chance. This one issue changed everything for me. It impressed me so much I had to keep buying the main Avengers title. The next issue saw Captain America return to the lineup and I was hooked. Within the next year we had few Secret Wars II tie-ins, an X-factor preview and Sub-mariner joining the team. For the next 10 years I didn't miss an issue.

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  2. One of my all-time favorites, also all-time favorite cover. I LOVED the two boxes- one for the east coast "heads" and one for the Wackos. The giant hand motif had been done many times, but these were all my favorite heroes. Thanks,

    starfoxxx

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