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Avengers #1: Review

Sep 1963
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Coming of the Avengers

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #1 Review by (January 20, 2010)
Now I can speak up my mind!

Avengers #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Hulk's first battle with Iron Man. Plus, probably your only chance to see Hulk wearing clown makeup.

Avengers #1 Review by (August 10, 2011)
The Avengers effectively start life as a way of controlling the Hulk. They spend #1-3, Fantastic Four #25-26, and #5 trying to do that job, with time off to induct Captain America in #4. The Avengers will often return to the task of trying to capture Hulk. In fact it will be the first thing the replacement Avengers do (in #17) after they are formed in #16. Hulk, Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade haven't been seen since Hulk's initial run ended with #6. Then he used a machine to swap between Hulk and Bruce Banner. Now he seems to be permanently Hulk. But next issue will suggest he is still transforming by machine. The Official Index puts Thor and Loki here between Journey into Mystery #96 (in the same month as this issue) and #97. Loki has been imprisoned in Asgard for a while, including those 2 issues, but the Isle of Silence prison depicted here is a unique to this issue. During this period he is forced, as here, to pursue his vendetta against Thor by influencing others. Similarly Iron Man, in his clunky yellow armour, and Ant-Man and the Wasp are just placed between contemporary issues of Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish. Loki will never be a regular Avengers foe but he will crop up occasionally, the next event being the Avengers/Defenders war starting in #115. This and other early issues have had other stories interpolated by Avengers Classics and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes v1. Avengers #1½ was specifically inserted after this issue. And lately #1 was expanded into Avengers: The Origin limited series.

The Avengers was Marvel's response to DC's Justice League of America. And Rick Jones was the equivalent of JLA's teen Snapper Carr. But I think it is indicative of Marvel's approach that they didn't invent a whole new character to fit the bill, but used an existing one. Rick's ties to other characters was a big factor in him having a more substantial career than Snapper.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
In exile, Loki, God of Mischief, plots to destroy Thor using the Hulk as his pawn. He tricks the Hulk into destroying a railroad bridge, leading to a manhunt for Jade Jaws. The Teen Brigades call for help is answered by Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp who team up to capture Hulk. Loki sends an illusion of Hulk to Thor, who realizes Loki is the real villain and heads to Asgard to confront his archenemy. The other heroes track Hulk to a circus where the Green Goliath is performing as Mechano, a robot clown. Their attempts to subdue him only result in the wrecking of the circus and Hulk's escape.

Meanwhile, Thor manages to pass Loki's gauntlet of traps and apprehends his foe. Hulk's battle with Iron Man inside an auto factory is interrupted by the arrival of Thor who shows the others that Loki was the real villain. Loki attempts to fight but Ant-Mans quick thinking traps the God of Mischief in a lead-lined tank. The heroes decide to form a permanent team and Hulk reluctantly joins; they call themselves...The Avengers!

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Dick Ayers
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank Pym)

(Bruce Banner)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Loki Laufeyson)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Ben Grimm)


(Janet Van Dyne)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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