02 03 Nerd Lunch: I loves me some Avengers 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

I loves me some Avengers

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Yessir, I loves me some Avengers. They weren't my favorite team when I was a kid --- I was more into the X-Men, which I got into just as John Romita, Jr. started drawing the book.

But as I got older, I started to appreciate what a cool model it is for a team book. Originally, it was sort of like the Justice League, with the most popular characters all in one book (minus Spider-Man and Daredevil, for some reason). But unlike the incredibly stable JLA, the Avengers started falling apart and putting themselves back together by about the second issue, when the Hulk got mad and quit.

Since then, it’s been an ever-changing mixture of heavy hitters with their own comics (primarily Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor), longtime second-tier stalwarts (the Vision, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch), and wild-card characters from every nook and cranny of the Marvel Universe (Crystal, Jack of Hearts, Tigra, Dr. Druid . . . ).

What really got me hooked was the great run by Kurt Busiek and George Perez a few years back — Busiek has apparently digested every Avengers comic ever read, and while it could be argued that he was mostly just regurgitating old continuity, I thought the creative team’s enthusiasm showed on every page.

So I’m very excited about this Avengers movie we have coming down the pike in a couple of years, and I was also pleased to learn that there will be a new Avengers cartoon, which will hopefully help me forget that really dire cartoon from a few years back.

For the record . . . if I were writing the book, I might try a lineup like this:

1. Captain America, Thor, Iron Man --- the big three.
2. Spider-Man, Wolverine, Daredevil --- there's something to this idea of putting the most popular characters all on the same team, isn't there?
3. Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk --- the former because she's a character with a chip on her shoulder who wants to make the A-list, the latter to stand in for the Hulk, and because I like sturdy women.

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