Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10 Thoughts On... Avengers: The Korvac Saga.

Hey all, X here with a random post about a hardcover I read over a month ago... I typed up the review back then, but never found my opportunity to post it... Until now! Tomorrow will be the New Comic Day post, but today it's some fun with the Avengers, circa the late 1970's.

Avengers: The Korvac Saga. Collecting: Avengers #167-168, #170-177. Thor Annual #6

Synopsis: Michael Korvac was an evil man, and was eventually transformed into a living machine thanks to some jerk-ass aliens. Korvac the machine bumped heads with Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but was always defeated. That all changed when he found himself on Galactus's massive spacecraft and absorbed millions of years of knowledge and immeasurable power. Now a god, Korvac has decided to bring order to a universe that was full of chaos. Sure that sounds good on the outside, but who would want to live in a universe where the order was enforced by Korvac? Certainly not the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy!

-First things first, this story had an awesome flow to it, especially considering it was written back before every storyline was geared towards a trade and thus 4-6 parts.

-With that said, Jim Shooter did a masterful job of putting this story together. We get a VERY slow burn leading up to the inevitable showdown between the Avengers, the Guardians and Korvac. I honestly don't think Shooter gets NEARLY enough credit for his work/contributions to comic books.

-I've got to admit, the Guardians of the Galaxy really didn't impress me much in this trade. How in the world did they have a comic in the 90's that lasted as long as it did?

-The fact that Captain America punched Iron Man, a man wearing ARMOR, while calling him a “low-life mercenary” pretty much guaranteed that this trade wasn't going to score any lower than an 8!Oh Cap... You so crazy!

-Speaking of characters who didn't/don't impress me, why Ms. Marvel was included here is simply beyond me. I mean really, what did she add to things? I'll answer that myself, actually. Nothing. Nothing at all. God do I hate her...

-Hawkeye defeating the Collector, a cosmic being, in one on one combat, automatically made this comic's score at least an 8 1/2!If you ever needed evidence as to why Hawkeye is the BEST comic book archer out there, here it is!

-The Collector's daughter being sent to spy on, pretend to love and eventually betray Korvac, who had the power of a god? Lame... Lamer still, the fact that she wound up really falling in love with him! That is SO clich├ęd!

-As a fan of Cap, I was really getting into his fight with Korvac! I mean the guy has NO powers, and was standing toe-to-toe with a GOD! Man is Cap awesome!Yeah, so he has the powers of a god... So what?

-So Korvac winds up dying because his wife wasn't totally devoted to him?! Really?! And then his wife kills HERSELF because Korvac was gone?! GAH!

-An issue of the Avengers from the 70's/80's wouldn't be complete without the obligatory Quicksilver/Vision argument!HA! He called Vision a digital watch...

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10. I enjoyed pretty much everything about this hardcover except for the ending... The way Korvac died just didn't do it for me. I will say this though, I LOVE that Korvac wasn't portrayed as a pure villain, but rather was somebody who truly wanted to do right. I mean he could have used his powers to run amok, but he didn't, he simply wanted to “fix” the universe. NOW I understand why this is considered a classic Avengers story!


  1. dude that's one of my earliest comics that issue where Cap. is one of the last Avengers standing against Korvac. if i was home right now i could tell you what number it is. that whole issue was just action packed kick ass fighting almost from cover to cover. i totally dig characters from both DC and Marvel who don't have super powers but are never the less bad ass enough to fight super powered enemies. good examples of characters like that from DC are Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Rick Flag and Adam Strange.

  2. Besides having this hardcover, I actually have the single issue you're talking about too! I think it has Donald Blake on the cover trying to resuscitate somebody(I want to say Cap, but I don't recall)... Oddly enough, that's the only part of the Korvac Saga I have in singles... I don't even know why I own that one. *shrugs*

    Same here! Hawkeye and Steve Rogers are my two all-time favorite Avengers. I mean you have to have balls to go and fight something like Ultron armed only with a bow and arrows or a shield! You could throw the entire Bat-family into that category as well, especially Bruce, he's fought more than his fair share of uber-powerful menaces on the JLA. And I totally agree with you on Adam Strange and Deadshot. That Adam Strange mini from a few years back sold me on him, and Deadshot(or Catman) would be my favorite Secret Six member. I'd also add a character like Vril Dox(Brainiac 2) who manages to get by on his brains alone.

  3. This is one classic Marvel story that, believe it or not, I haven't actually read. For whatever reason I'm just not as well-versed in Avengers history as I am with Spider-Man, X-Men, and some of the others.

    But this sounds pretty awesome! I love Korvac is a more complicated character than the average villain. I just find "pure evil" villains so boring...a topic I think I've ranted about more than once on my blog.

    Also, I'm happy you share in my feelings towards Ms. Marvel. There's nothing inherently wrong with her, it's just that she rarely seems particularly relevant to the stories she's in. Maybe someday a writer will do an Avengers story that actually features her in a worthwhile way, but I have yet to read one!

  4. I hadn't read this entire story until very recently myself, and I'd consider myself pretty well versed in all things Avengers! The various Korvac trades were always out of print, and there were just too many singles to pick up. That's why I jumped on this hardcover the moment I saw it.

    Speaking of Ms. Marvel, I can only imagine how painful that Ms. Marvel series must have been...

  5. I was an Avengers fan for most of my childhood and had every issue from 10 through 220 of the first run.

    For those of you who havent read this story arc from the 70's here is some interesting background- it was 167-177 Avengers and 169 was a filler because of the chronic latenes of artist George Perez. It was supposed to be Shooter and Perez's series, as ol' George loves to draw a zillion characters. Unfortunatley he was all over the place with deadlines and the finale was drawn by basically an unknown (Bob Wentzel I believe, with Sal Buscema filling in on others). Issues 178-180 were also filler issues and Marvel at the time barely made a peep about just what was going on with all the missed months. If you were a kid during this time it was agonizing. Finally, 181 helped to close the door on the whole series arc with the government(Namely Peter Gyrich, who has a cameo in X2 movie)coming in and choosing who the main Avengers should be. Gyrich would still be hanging around by issue 192.

    Marvel ran into a continuity issue after this with respect to characters who were very powerful, godlike beings. Michael/Korvac spends much of his time worrying that the galaxy's most powerful would recognize his power and confront him. Issue 175 shows him checking up on Eternity himself. But a few years later, Claremont and Byrne spiraled the now famous Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix storyline, where Phoenix has godlike abilities, yet no one from Odin to Galactus bats an eye. Shooter was editor at this time and made Claremont and Byrne kill off Jean Grey, as her creation caused all kinds of holes, specifically the basis of the Avenger's Korvac arc (The fact that she ate a whole star killing billions in Xmen 136 didnt help her cause either).

    So this series is really a jumping off point for the rest of Marvel until their decline in the 90's.

    A great job to this blog owner.

    Feel free to email me at torr59@aol.com

  6. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for the background, Torr. I love learning things I didn't previously know about the Marvel U, and that stuff about the artists was definitely new. And WOW, issues #10-220! THAT is pretty awesome! I WISH I could lay claim to having a long run of books from that era!