Monday, August 16, 2010

1981 - Avengers Annual #10

AVENGERS ANNUAL #10
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Michael Golden (penciler/colourist) and Armando Gil (inker)

Claremont and Golden pull off one of strongest Annual efforts of the 1980s. This wonderful self-contained book featured a big event that was actually told in one story within one issue! Imagine that.

Avengers Annual #10 highlighted Claremont at his best, skillful handling a large cast of characters and at the same time, giving Rogue and Carol Danvers the special attention they needed (and for which Claremont was famous for as well). Claremont clearly loves Carol Danvers and has a history with the character having written her in her long-since cancelled series. Claremont excelled at moving the action along, compressing the story (with word-heavy caption I’ll admit), and really delivering value in this one double-sized issue.

This issue showed us the efforts that both the writer and editor put in to ensure that these events were in continuity and worked with all the other events that were recently happening in the Marvel Universe. They took advantage of the continuity and rewarded long-time readers.

This annual focused on Rogue who attacked Ms. Marvel and stole her powers using her mutant absorption abilities. - there’s a great battle sequence displaying how lethal Mystique can be as she and Rogue take out most of the Avengers. It was interesting to see Claremont tie up some loose story line from his tenure on Ms. Marvel. And again, working the Claremont strong woman angle, Carol tears a strip of her teammates over her rape (see Avengers #200).

The only criticism of this book would be the fact that the Avengers almost seem like guest-stars in their own Annual. Especially as the Avengers get their asses handed to them by the Brotherhood (to bring the overall plot about would claim Avengers fans of course). Okay, one more bit of criticism: most of the 1980s suffered under poor paper quality and colouring. I’d love to see these pages recoloured and printed as part of some Marvel Premiere Edition.

Interestingly, there’s a little girl in the hospital who’s called “Maddy Pryor” and of course any X-Fan worth their salt will recognize that name… turns out those Claremont was a fan of the folk band, Steeleye Span, and of their popular lead singer, Maddy Prior.

And lastly, this issue stands out for all of the above as well as being the first appearance of Rogue and of course, the spectacular art by Golden.

3 comments:

  1. I love this book. At the time I didn't normally pick up annuals, but thought this could be where Spider-Woman joined the team so had to grab it.

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  2. Best touch is that Silver Age-esque throwback cover with all the teasers. Always a guaranteed sale when I had my paper route money clutched in my little fist as I was at the spinner rack.

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  3. Avengers Annual 10 was some of Mike Golden at his best! especially the panels featuring the fighting between Rogue and the Avengers. the action just seems to come off the page. Fancy meeting you here Dan.

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