Monday, March 24, 2008

Avengers: Remastered Special Edition

I had been avoiding Marvel's Avengers Classic series in my local comic shop for months. I viewed it with high skepticism as a reprint cash-grab, but I buckled on my self-righteous morals when I saw issue #9 on the stands last month. Avengers #9 is the earliest issue of the original title I own. I remember picking up "The Coming of the... Wonder Man!" at a convention back in the mid-'80s -- when a con to me was a weekend stint of dealers and shops setting up tables at the local mall. So I decided to pick up Classic #9 and am actually pretty happy with it.

In the same way I enjoy the remastered editions of Casablanca or Vertigo or Blade Runner on DVD, I enjoyed the original Wonder Man tale presented in Classic. It had fresh, vibrant colors on quality paper that shamed the drab, 44 year-old original sitting in my long box. And, to take the DVD analogy a step further, the new ten-page story included in Classic #9 holds up well as a sort of bonus content special feature. The hyper-stylized story fills in the blanks about how Wonder Man captured Wasp to help put Baron Zemo's plans into motion in the original tale. Also included -- although less interesting than the between-the-panels story -- in this "special edition" of Avengers #9 is the original letters page reprinted from 1964.

So I guess there is some value-add to be found in the sexed-up repackaging, but I doubt I'll be double-dipping on any subsequent issues of Avengers Classic in the near-future. Probably because the next sequential issue of Avengers in the Original Collection is the second appearance of the Dane Whitman Black Knight in issue #48.

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