February, 1978

It’s a perfect example of one of the problems apparent in many of the comics on sale today. AVENGERS #168 was the first issue of the series I read (after having encountered the group earlier in SON OF ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS) and I was lost.

This was the second part of the well-remembered Korvac saga, and as a result, more super-powered costumed characters were running around than normal. You got the full Avengers team, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a guest appearance by Nighthawk. And all in all, I was confused, and uninvolved. This feeling was made worse by the fact that many of the characters seemed shrewish–an ongoing plotline that had Captain America and Iron Man at each other’s throats made both characters look like assholes.

It’s not a bad issue at all if you read it in context to the rest of the run. A long-time reader probably enjoyed it a great deal. But as somebody’s first, it was a non-starter. I wouldn’t look in on the Avengers again for three more months.

It’s particularly ironic that this was the case in that this issue was written by Jim Shooter, who was a positive demon for new-reader-clarity during his tenure as Marvel’s EIC.

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