In ye Olden Days of Villain Stompage


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #14

As you may be aware, the “Marvel Adventures” comics are Marvel’s line for all-ages comics. Now there are some all-ages comics that are really just for kids, but “Marvel Adventures” — particularly their “Avengers” comic — isn’t one of them. It’s grand fun for both kids and grownups, the stories are wonderful and funny, and you shouldn’t feel a trace of embarrassment about buying them.

So in this issue, the Avengers answer a request to help defend a farming village in a fantasy-based alternate universe from a horde of marauding bandits. But they know that if they just lay the smackdown on the baddies, the villagers won’t be able to defend themselves from future bandit raids. So they teach the farmers how to be warriors.

Yeah, it’s a fantasy version of “The Magnificent Seven” starring a bunch of superheroes. You think a 10-year-old is gonna catch on to that? Heck no. That’s why you’re here, grownups. To buy that kid some comics and make sure he watches “The Magnificent Seven” (and probably “The Seven Samurai,” too. You ain’t gonna diss Kurosawa, are ya?).

Aaaaaanyway, the story is fine, but the best part of this really is the dialogue and one-liners. Spidey gets most of the obvious one-liners, but Wolverine has his share of laugh lines, too. If I’ve got a complaint, it’s that they went to the trouble of designing new fantasy versions of the heroes’ costumes, then didn’t give them a decent spotlight. But that’s a minor quibble.

Ohh, and there’s this great little four-page mini-story at the end about the “Mini-Marvels” helping Hulk get through his date at the soda shop with Betty.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Kids can read this, parents can read this, and you all ought to be reading it.

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