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Avengers: Dysfunctional
Review for Essential Avengers 2-A

Graphic Novel / Trade by Marvel, Jun 2000

     
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March 01, 2013
JohnnySOB

Avengers: Dysfunctional

In the second installment of the Essential Avengers, the team hobbles along and God knows how they come out on top between the back-biting and open insults hurled amongst by those quiver carrying and star-spangled garbed.

For those wanting consistent characterization regarding Avengers as how their creators intended, maybe want to think twice when reading these adventures that read like a spandex version of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Nobody wants to remain an Avenger with the core group of Thor, Iron Man, Giant Man and Wasp leaving the group leaving Captain America to helm a squad of Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch.

Even Cap isn't thrilled being left behind trying to land a job with Nick Fury, whom he contacts by dropping a hand-written plea for employment in the local letter box.

How does a Postal Service employee make a delivery to SHIELD headquarters?

As somebody who is familiar with Captain America since the mid 80s, it's...odd to see him insult and threaten co-workers. But, then Hawkeye is portrayed as a belligerent a-hole trying to undermine Cap and plotting to take his leadership position.

Of course, Quicksilver has his eyes on the prize, too.

As much as the group doesn't want to get along, they certainly don't seem apt to quit either and stick with each other in the end.

Strange.

On art, Kirby's influence remains on the book credited for layouts with Don Heck finishing which creates some awkward panel composition.

Midway, the creative team shifts with Stan Lee exiting writing with Roy Thomas taking over. Heck is replaced by John Buscema, whose art generally looks great in black and white.

Thomas is a breath of fresh air mainly for stopping the child-like behavior of the team and having Hawkeye pull a 180 in his respect towards Captain America.

Mainly, though, Thomas begins breaking Stan Lee's plotting where each issue starts with a splash page, 18 pages of fight scenes and the last page anywhere between six to nine panels crammed with word balloons suddenly ending the story.

The second Essential Avengers volume is worth picking up just watching the train wreck that is the group dynamic of The Avengers team.
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