Thor enters a police situation where they are up against terrorist prepared to cause some serious damage. He dispatches them with ease until their secret weapon appears to go off. Thor finds himself aboard a ship, later on he learns that he's now in the 31st century, and he must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle against a powerful threat. This is only the beginning of something far larger in the works. -summary
When comic fans advise new readers to journey into Marvel's distant past in hopes of introducing the stories they feel to be the best. It's epics like Avengers: The Korvac Saga that provides them with the reasons for this way of thinking. The 70's and 80's is clearly the time when writers were at their strongest in hindsight. They were forced to dig deep into their creative bag in hopes of delivering enriching stories that could grab readers by the throat. The most interesting thing though, in hindsight once again, they were normally able to accomplish this without the use of massive crossovers and even gimmicks. They were able to keep the stories self contained with minimum guest stars, and work with the characters they were dealt. Jim Shooter, who I've mentioned before as one of the best creative writers to ever pen the Avengers continued his stellar run, with David Michelinie stepping in to assist on the writing duties. The Korvac Saga is a fantastic story that pits the Avengers against their deadliest threat yet Michael Korvac, a man from the future with vast powers hoping to reshape their present. This TPB collects Thor Annual # 6, Avengers 167,168, 170 - 177.
The first story taking place with Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy can feel like filler to some. Thankfully it's actually good filler that not only delivers with some good action, but also sets the stage for the story. This story begins the battle against Korvac, who later retreats and ends up on Earth far more powerful than he was in this encounter. It's believed by the Guardians he journeyed back to 1977 with intentions on killing one of their members, in order to prevent the group from forming in the future and opposing him. Shooter could have easily made this into a by the numbers plot. Instead, he abandons the main plot injecting many different story elements and juggles around with some of the Avengers powerful threats; you will see confrontations against the deep sea powerhouse Tyrak, the mad robot Ultron who returns to finish off the Avengers, and even a cosmic showdown with the Collector.
The writing is very strong delivering plenty of character development along with action and stand alone story development. While these side stories are going on, Korvac himself is being examined and the reader will have an idea how powerful he is. There are several displays of his power, and one will wonder how the Avengers will even survive this inevitable showdown.
Shooter handles the characters very well, and readers will get to know most, probably all of them very well. The Avengers are handled realistically dealing with real people problems; there's dissension in the ranks with Captain America being very vocal about Iron Man's poor leadership. Wonder Man finding it difficult to be an Avenger, since he had been killed before and he doesn't want to die again. His courage is given a boost watching female power houses take vicious beatings, only to return back into the very heart of the fight. The characters are handled well, and it must be mentioned that Shooter handles more than 20 characters; making characters like Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and Scarlet Witch feel very important. There's even time for some comedy here, with the Avengers having their government privileges revoked, resulting in them having to commandeer a public bus for transportation to the big fight.
The only issues I can think of is probably readers dying for some story elements to be cleared up. Shooter takes his sweet time with bringing some closure to plot threads, and things will feel like they're happening at random. Be patient though, because a majority of story elements are cleared up, and the small amount left open aren't important for this particular story arc.
George Perez's artwork is very good with him drawing plenty of characters in single panels with some type of detail. The action panels have moments of being truly marvelous, and they will probably satisfy all action fans. As good as it is though, it's not exactly perfect. On some occasions it will be difficult to follow the dialog bubbles, which makes it kind of hard to tell who's suppose to be talking next, and they will even be above the wrong character speaking at the moment. I didn't find this to be too much of a problem, but it did irritate me a little.
The ending is worked out well, and I like how there was this lingering doubt if the Avengers were really right. There's a strong possibility that they could've been wrong in what they did. I enjoy stories like this, because it's impossible that the good guys are fighting the good fight all the time. People fear what they don't understand, and on some occasions they can understand it, yet still fear it anyway and just don't like it. The Korvac Saga has that effect on me. Anyway, this is a story I recommend to comic fans. It has its wordy moments but I think it delivers where it counts, it's also the direct follow up to the TPB Avengers: Bride of Ultron. Another story that will fit great in your comic collection.
Pros: -Excellent writing and action
Cons: -Small issues with artwork
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