The “Oh So Short” Avengers


Over the last several weeks, Marvel.com has been putting up the 2003 “Red Zone” issues of The Avengers by Geoff Johns and Oliver Copiel LONG before visions of Blackest Nights and Sieges were dancing through our heads. Poised just a year before “Dissassembled,” these issues offer a truly different take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. While the issues are not without flaws, there are some really cool images and moments contained withing this bioterror/Red Skull storyline.

First off, I loved the radical, military take Copiel took to redesign Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther and … sniff … Jack of Hearts. I never had any use for Jack before this arc … and, then, a few issues later, he was gone.  This was not your daddy’s avengers … with some B-characters like Scott Lang and Falcon … and that was interesting.

I have a feeling Ms. Marvel fans didn’t like the football pads, but I found them rather fitting for an ex-military gal with an inferiority complex.

Johns and Copiel also took some pains to emphasize that Vision is a synthezoid and isn’t like us. (Byrne played with this a lot in Avengers West Coast.) That led to these moments of tom-coolery …

What nice eyes you have …


And, then, of course there was this. Ooooooooh …

This was an interesting and inventive and, sadly, forgotten period of real promise in the Avengers universe. After “Red Zone” wrapped up in #70, we had a rather mature romp to The Vegas with Jan Van Dyne and Hank “My Last Name Also Has a Y In It” Pym … and then a change of artist to Scott Kolins with the search for the She-Hulk  and a trip to Merry Ol’ England … and then … the day the Scarlet Witch went gonzo. This was a short period in Avengers history, but I dug it. It was a neat idea that came just before a ginormous idea.

Anyone remember the new Captain Britain? Yeah, I liked her, too … I hope for the “Heroic Age!” Bring back Kelsey!

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3 Responses to The “Oh So Short” Avengers

  1. Mike Kocinski says:

    I loved these issues too. Enjoyed Copiel on Legion Lost (still waiting for that to be collected), and Johns brought a lot of fun and high concept to the Avengers. His stories felt fully developed to me, very complete. Then we had a few Chuck Austen issues–UGH. I quit the Avengers for a long time after that. It’s nice to see Copiel drawing them again in Siege.

    • Mr. Q says:

      I should have quit the moment Bendis took over but, like many others, I fell for the “brand new writer, brand new direction” craze like a twit. X_X Johns run was short but definitely sweet. Makes me wish he stayed longer in the house of ideas and offered his full vision of the Avengers and the whole MU.

      Now that’s a “What If?” to think about.

      Mr. Q

  2. Matt C says:

    I have fond memories of these issues and really should revist them at some point. It sort of went downhill from there for me….. Chuck Austen’s short run is best forgotten, and then someone let Bendis into the room…

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