The Avengers

With so many Avengers graphic novels out there, and so many different Avengers series over the years, which proivde the best reads? Well, we like these…

Avengers Arena: Kill or Die – Yes, it’s a twist on The Hunger Games, as assorted young superheroes are abducted and pitted against each other in a battle to the death that only one will survive. The series overcomes the gruesome premise with wit, charm and excitement. By Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker.

Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis vol 1 – This is the second Bendis Avengers reboot, now reuiniting the core team of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, and for the first time key villains Kang and Ulton are in the same story. How can it be bettered? By Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.

Avengers The Initiative: Basic Training – Young superheroes gathered to ensure a team of officially trained protectors for every US state. You rapidly engage with a number of new characters while also encountering the obscurities of the Marvel universe. By Dan Slott, Stefano Caselli and Steve Uy.

Celestial Madonna – While not best served by an ever-changing roster of artists, this remains an ambitious and captivating saga that’s completely unpredictable. Including origins, great use of Kang and dead villains! By Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, Dave Cockrum, Don Heck, and George Tuska.

Marvel Masterworks: Avengers Vol. 10 – Two classic early 1970s stories in hardcover. The towering ambition of the Kree/Skrull war was new in 1971, and equally good is the Avengers invading Olympus. All beautifully drawn. By Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, John Buscema and Barry Windsor-Smith.

Marvel Masterworks: Avengers Vol. 17 – Late 1970s era-defining collection encompassing ‘The Korvac Saga’, the conclusion of Warlock’s long and tragic story, and three under-equipped villains taking on the Avengers. By Jim Shooter, Sal Buscema, John Byrne, George Pérez, Jim Starlin and Dave Wenzel.

New Avengers: Breakout – The Avengers had been disassembled, and are here reconstituted with a surprisingly different line-up that would see the team through a decade. A great statement of intent and a great superhero story. By Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch.

Ultron Unlimited – The highpoint of a decent run by the creators. Ultron, indestructible robotic psychopath, destroys a small Baltic nation. The sheer bloodbath is shocking for a superhero graphic novel, but the story compels. By Kurt Busiek, Stuart Immonen and George Pérez.

Under Siege – The premise is simple: what if all the Avengers villains united and invaded Avengers Mansion? Still astounding. There is an Epic Collection, but we recommend the original where the signature story isn’t surrounded by lesser work. By Roger Stern and John Buscema.

Young Avengers: Style > Substance – A team of Young Avengers written by someone who at least remembered their teens, and drawn in a consistently imaginative manner. The title is a misnomer. There’s plenty of style, but the substance is there. By Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.