A post from my long-ago Marvel blog in which I react to the first Avengers novel and plus some issues that are about to see print.
On a lighter note, after revisiting the 1968 novel CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE GREAT GOLD STEAL a couple of weeks ago, I’ve since gone back and reread the other Marvel novel of the period, THE AVENGERS BATTLE THE EARTH-WRECKER, which was the first prose interpretation of any of the Marvel characters ever done.
It was awful.
Written by Otto Binder, who both wrote some excellent vintage science fiction (including the Adam Link robot stories) as well as being the man who single-handedly wrote about half of all of the golden age Marvel Family stories, sadly this novel is not his finest hour. Binder tries his best to emulate the Stan Lee style of Marvel story, but he fails on almost every conceivable level. The dialogue is strained, the characterizations are wooden, and the plot (liberally borrowed from AVENGERS #8, with Kang the Conqueror changed into the less-interesting Karzz the Conqueror) is almost nonsensical.
No, really, this was not a good book. Even the cover painting is weaker than the one on the later CAP novel (and features Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, who aren’t in the book, while Iron Man is.) I generally am not a big fan of prose interpretations of comic book super heroes, but even by my standards, this was a bottom-of-the-barrel affair, capturing noting of the charm of the series it was patterned upon.
On a more positive note, today is Wednesday, which means it’s time for this week’s Marvel heroes Hot Pick for the week. And while I’m sorely tempted to go with the beautiful STAN LEE MEETS DR. STRANGE, it immediately loses points for having cameos by myself and the Heroes Office crew in it. So instead, I’ll have to select CIVIL WAR FRONT LINE #7, in which the saga of Speedball takes a bad bounce, Sally Floyd comes to a dramatic epiphany, lots of things blow up, and we offend some more people by comparing our fictional war to a real-life conflict of the past. It’s your interim hit of CIVIL WAR goodness while you wait for CIVIL WAR #5, on sale in a few short weeks.