The Avengers Vault by Peter A. David (book review).

March 22, 2015 | By | Reply More

The most unusual thing from the start was the text being double-lined to space things out a bit, especially with the potted history of the Avengers which you would have expected to have a lot more detail. For me, these tend to be indicators of eking out the material to fit the page count. That doesn’t mean that the main highlights aren’t covered and but you would have thought there might be more to say about the mightiest team of super-heroes before author Peter David proceeds to cover each of the main original team members individually which tends to suggest padding rather than looking at their adventures or adversaries in more depth. He also doesn’t take things seriously enough and very tongue-in-cheek, especially with some of the absurdities. Whether that will please the older fans or the die-hards is hard to say. Yes, I know they exist but it does question whom Peter David is targeting as his audience here. After all, when we immerse into any reality, we accept whatever its creators give us as long as it’s consistent.


That isn’t to say that there isn’t a useful piece of information that you might not have heard before. Joe Simon comments that the Red Skull’s head was based off a big cherry that looked skull-like. Oddly, although in the opening of his piece on Thor, Peter David comments on the spelling of ‘Thorr’ with 2 r’s, the last page from his first appearance in ‘Journey Into Mystery’ shows the corrected spelling than the way it first appeared. Originally, it was seen as spelling mistake and the only time I’ve ever seen it that way.

This was the only example from Journey Into Mystery I spotted on the Net. The original had it in the caption of 'whoever is worthy...'

This was the only example from Journey Into Mystery I spotted on the Net. The original had it in the caption of ‘whoever is worthy…’

The selection of art outside of original pages and covers is occasionally odd, especially as there would be better examples. As much as I liked seeing a picture of Beta Ray Bill before he is transformed by the Asgardian hammer, it would have made sense to show him looking that way as well. Indeed, it would have made sense to have had a multi-figure illustration showing all the other Thors. Speaking of whom, there are several comicbook pages showing Thor with a blue helmet which tends to suggest someone recolouring than looking at the original pages.

In the five extra sleeves there are ten extras, most of this could happily have existed as part of the main book than loose pages. In some respects, I couldn’t help wonder if this book is capitalising on the film version but that isn’t even referenced which tends to suggest a licensing issue although the choice of individual Avengers to expand on does match this. In some respects, I think it would have made more sense to have had a serious look at all those who’ve been Avengers, especially as there is a complete list at the back of the book but that could have meant a bigger book in its present form.

For the die-hard long-term comicbook fan, most of the information presented here is likely to be known. For the newer fans, you will get a potted history to help your knowledge of the main characters and their chief villains, even if you’ll be left wondering why the latter don’t just team up to take on the team as a whole.

GF Willmetts

March 2015

(pub: Aurum Press. 173 page large hardback. Price: £25.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78131-398-5)

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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.

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