The Avengers: Kree/Skrull War by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, Neal Adams and John Buscema (graphic novel review)

November 20, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

One of the of gaps in my comicbook collection was getting all the issues of the Kree/Skrull War in The Avengers # 89-97 together in my youth, mostly because the price of the Neal Adams issues and their availability at the time made it difficult on my budget. After those interview magazines by TwoMorrow I’ve reviewed here in the past year, I thought it was about time that I did actually read it in its entirety which you get with this graphic novel. As Stan Lee was cutting back how many comicbooks he was writing at the time, as writer Roy Thomas explains in the introduction, he was taking on these titles and the ‘Kree/Skrull War’ was the first multi-issue epic. Indeed, he ended up resolving a lot of question marks with this series, chief amongst these was when the four Skrulls were defeated in Fantastic Four # 2, why were only three hypnotised and shape-shifted into cows?


The Skrulls had been around since then and the Kree since Fantastic Four # 64-65 and Thomas quite rightly realised that two big alien empires would surely be tangling and the Earth would get caught in the middle. With the demise of the ‘Captain Marvel’ comic, he also wanted to resolve how the Kree Captain Mar-vell was connected to Rick Jones and they have to swap space (sic) to have any life on Earth. If anything, it was more of a surprise at the time that they hadn’t realised before that the solution was in the Baxter Building where Reed Richards had a portal into the Negative Zone. I’m being a little cautious in case this is spoiler for any of you folk out there.

Things in the Kree Empire have had a bit of a rebellion as well with a revolution led by the recently escaped Ronan The Accuser usurping the Great Intelligence and ordering the Sentry 459 on Earth to capture Mar-vell for his energy source with the Avengers getting in the way. While Ronan is away, the Skrulls go on the attack and, of course, that means war. There’s a lot of details that I’ve glossed over here but this is a depthy story. At the end, though, by the Avengers protecting Mar-vell, they end up in court for aiding an alien. As they are compromised, the original team of Thor, Iron Man and Captain America return but things don’t get any better for them when Senator Craddock shows he’s after blood if they are named Avengers. Things aren’t helped when a damaged Vision arrives at the Avengers Mansion and apparently dying. It is up to Henry Pym, once more as Ant-Man, to literally do some mico-surgery to restore the android and find out what is going on.

Revived, the Vision explains that the Skrulls have captured Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch and Mar-vell and he was unable to stop them after a fight with the Super-Skrull. Before they could lay plans, Craddock has instigated the Mandroids to capture all the Avengers. Considering Tony Stark created this armour he has the advantage in stopping them. I should point at that at this time in Marvel Universe history, the other Avengers didn’t know who was Iron Man. They also discover through Triton that the Inhumans are under attack and need aid, especially in finding their leader, Black Bolt, who had amnesia because of his brother, Maximus. Again, Roy Thomas was bringing in elements from ‘Amazing Adventures’ which has been cancelled at this time. Dividing their forces up, the team are having to decide their priorities, especially as the Kree wanted the Inhumans as a military unit. Interestingly, this is also the first time we see the normally quiet Black Bolt make a speech albeit quietly.

Later, with the unofficial intervention of Nick Fury, the Avengers take the fight to the Skrulls while Rick Jones ends up being kidnapped by the Kree and discovers that, although deposed, that the Great Intelligence has been active behind the scenes. If you want more, it’s time to buy this graphic novel.

It’s rather interesting watching the musical chairs of artists with this ten issue story. Starting with Sal Buscema, it then jumps to Neal Adams and with deadlines to meet, John Buscema was brought in to fill the gaps and finally the conclusion. However, the latter two were mostly inked by Tom Palmer which kept some semblance of style, although both artists demonstrate similar skills.

Storywise, if you kept up with Marvel Universe history and had a lot of the comics from this time period, you would have seen all the dots joining together and answered, even if it’s all self-contained in ‘The Avengers: Kree/Skrull War’. As the others are also available, you can read with or without them as they are recapped here. The story holds together well simply because there is an emotional under-current there that still works today. Even more peculiarly, the Avengers contribute to but are not the sole winners. Truly epic and still works today.

GF Willmetts

November 2015

(pub: Marvel. 208 page colour graphic novel softcover. Price: CK if you know where to look. ISBN: 9781-7851-8499-7)

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Category: Books, Comics

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Comments (1)

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  1. Eamonn Murphy says:

    It is indeed a fine piece of work and I have this full colour collection. The art is great and the story even better.

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