When I was in the seventh grade I once used $35 of my paper route money to buy fifty issues of The Avengers between #9 and #104. In retrospect, it turned out to be one of the best comic book purchases of my life. Although the lot included all of the Neal Adams chapters (#93-96) as well as the John Buscema conclusion (#97), I was missing some of the issues leading up to the war itself. A couple of years later, Marvel reprinted the war in two “Baxter” issues, but alas, they merely summarized the events of #89-92. Also, issue #97 ends the war, but it doesn’t end the arc; it merely opens a mystery which would lead to the landmark 100th issue. Barry Smith was the artist of those three issues, and #100 features every character ever to have been an Avenger up until that time.

I eventually filled the gaps in my collection, but in this “Golden Age of Reprints” younger collectors can acquire the entire #89-100 arc in one swell foop! Issue #89 picks up shortly after the events of Captain Marvel #21, when the Kree Captain’s title had been cancelled for a second time. If you don’t believe me, you may read for yourself how seamlessly Captain Marvel Masterworks Vol. 2 continues into Avengers Masterworks Vol. 10! But not only does this arc continue that story thread, it also draws threads from across the Marvel Universe such as Ronan the Accuser and Sentry #457 (not to mention the Skrulls!) from Fantastic Four, and the Inhumans from their own series in Amazing Adventures, but it also continues to develop subplots from Avengers itself, such as the budding romance between the Vision and the Scarlett Witch.

A few years ago Marvel released a Kree/Skrull War tpb with Neal Adams’ proposed titled for #93 (“Three Cows Shot Me Down!”) gracing the cover as well as an essay explaining the story behind it. Both the cover and the essay are included in this volume, as well as the covers and introductory pages of the 1983 Baxter reprint series. Roy Thomas’ introductions are always interesting and informative, but he outdid himself this time writing a full eight pages! I read a lot of Marvel Masterworks and DC Archives. A couple of years ago I started a discussion of which volumes stood head and shoulders above the rest. Marvel Masterworks Avengers Vol. 10 hadn’t yet been published at that time, but if it were it may well have topped the list!

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I've got those Baxter issues, and of course the second one ends with Captain America asking what happened to Goliath (Hawkeye). What did happen to him - and how did he beat those Skrulls?
I could tell you, OR I could direct your attention to Avengers #48 (1997 series, a.k.a. #463), which is one of those "100-Page Monster" issues and reprints #98-100. If you want the nutshell version, though, SPOILERS follow. Hank Pym's growth serum had worn off and Hawkeye ("Goliath" at the time) was left behind Skrull lines as powerless Clint Barton. He improvised a bow and arrow and managed to set of a bomb with it before escaping in a shuttle. It was this explosion which interferred with the Intelligence Supreme's teleportation of "all Avengers living." He made his way back to Earth, crashed in Europe and hooked up with a gypsy carnival, one of whom was an amnesiac Hercules. That's as much as I'm going to tell you. You really should read that 100-Page Avengers #48. END SPOILERS
Thanks, Jeff.
1)When did Mar-Vell go blond? What was the storyline reason?

2)Ah, Roy Thomas Brand Overwrought Writing! Fun to read, but no one ever actually talks like that!

3)The Vision doesn't have his yellow word balloons? When did those start?

4)I always liked Annihilus as a character, I bet he's fun at parties.

5)Carol Danvers, pre-Ms. Marvel. Was she in Mar-Vell's book?

6)You know, properly doen, a CGI of the Supreme Intelligence could be really creepy.

7)"This is your ten-foot toreador talkin' at ya, crew." See number 2, above.

8)Why did Clint Barton become Goliath? I mean, both the story-line reason and why they decided to do that with the character.

9)"We've got this thermal underwear as well as our love to keep us warm." I'm surprised Jan didn't hit him.

10)Ronan messes with evolution - just like Light in "Ghost Light"!

11)Sal Buscema - Neal Adams - John Buscema - three great artists, but I wonder why they had to switch around.

12)Ah, yes, the whole Wanda/Vision/Pietro thing - I always found that storyline particularly tedious, for some reason.

13)The Vision in a turtleneck!

14)Was there ever one of these comic book Joe McCarthy's who wasn't an alien spy? Of course, for all I know, this guy could be one of the first.

15)"Holy Joe!" See number 2, above.

16)Hey, no eyepatch on Fury! Wait, now he's got one.

17)Goliath sets served! Barton always was a bit of a dumbass.

18)I like that Ben didn't automatically speak up for the Avengers.

More to come!
When did Mar-Vell go blond? What was the storyline reason?

That was in Captain Marvel #29 when he was granted the power of Cosmic Awareness by Eon (but I suspect the real reason was to make him appear younger).


“But you claimed I would change? A few alterations of costume, my hair now blond… not much of a change!”

“You see but you do not understand! How is it you know your hair is blond without gazing in a mirror? We have enhanced your total reception to life. You have become Aware.”


Ah, Roy Thomas Brand Overwrought Writing! Fun to read, but no one ever actually talks like that!

Personally, my favorite line is, “Wild! I see even you’ve forgotten the roller skates that are part of my arsenal.”

The Vision doesn't have his yellow word balloons? When did those start?

Issue #98.

Carol Danvers, pre-Ms. Marvel. Was she in Mar-Vell's book?

Carol Danvers was a key supporting player in the early issues, starting with Marvel Super Heroes #13, Mar-Vell’s second appearance. She gained her powers from exposure to the Kree Psyche-Magnitron in Captain Marvel #18.


Why did Clint Barton become Goliath? I mean, both the story-line reason and why they decided to do that with the character.

That was in Avengers #63. In story, Hawkeye borrowed Hank Pym’s growth serum to rescue the Black Widow (his girlfriend at the time, but not for much longer), rationalizing, “Guess I had this in mind the minute Hank said he was givin’ up playin’ Goliath!” Behind the scenes, I’m guessing that, since Hank Pym had recently become Yellow Jacket, Roy Thomas simply saw more use for a giant on the team rather than an archer. It was right around this time that Hawkeye's given name was revealed to be Clint Barton. Roy Thomas' introduction to Avengers Masterworks Vol. 7 claims it was this issue, but flipping through it I don't see it. I think it's issue #65.


"We've got this thermal underwear as well as our love to keep us warm." I'm surprised Jan didn't hit him.

He belted her a good one on the very next page, though!

Ronan messes with evolution - just like Light in "Ghost Light"!

Oh, let’s not even go there!

Sal Buscema - Neal Adams - John Buscema - three great artists, but I wonder why they had to switch around.

Roy Thomas addresses that in the intro. Essentially, Neal Adams requested to be assigned to The Avengers specifically. Sal Buscema was much in demand, and didn’t mind being taken off because team books can be a pain in the arse to draw. John Buscema drew the final chapter when it became clear Adams was too far behind deadline on #97.

The Vision in a turtleneck!

He plays chess, too! Roy Thomas, a chess enthusiast himself, explains why he can never look at that splash page without wincing: “[T]hough I got Sal to draw a realistic chess position there, somehow the correct black-and-white pattern of the squares got reversed, with the Kings and Queens consequently on the wrong sides of the board.” Whoops!

More to come!

Bring it on! Let’s get this discussion movin'!
I loved what they set out to do, loved the Neil Adams stuff, love anything in fact with the Vision in it as John Buscema intended him to be. Ant-Man's journey into the Vision hee is one of Marvel's greatest moments.

Also loved the new "3 cows shot me down!" cover that Adams did. It really does show the Vision's view as he appraoches the semi-reflective glass doors, or the view from inside the room depending how you look at it. That's clever! (It was used for the Essential too, and I think it was one of the TPBs I got signed by the Rascally one himself!

I don't love the ending. It kinda fizzles out. The greatest superhero space-war attempted up to that time and it ends with all these hoaky old z-grade superheroes flying out of Rick Jones? Wha..? Even the Rick Jones that played harmonica around test-bomb sites in 1961 was too young to know who they were, in any case!

I don't like that Adams bailed before the ending (and never drew the Avengers again, as far as I know), but I blame Marvel. He was a special talent and it was their job to hold onto him.
Figserello said:
Even the Rick Jones that played harmonica around test-bomb sites in 1961 was too young to know who they were, in any case.

The conceit was that those Golden-Age vintage heroes that Rick materialised came from his memories of old [Timely] comics that he had found, and read, in the orphanage he lived in as a child.
I finally read the Kree/Skrull War when it was collected in TPB form. Having read for years how great it was, I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed. The ending seemed like a last minute patch to finish the thing off. Twomorrows Comic Book Artist magazine had a lengthy Neal Adams interview where he discussed his involvement with the series and his disenchantment with the way the whole situation worked out.
Ant-Man's journey into the Vision is one of Marvel's greatest moments.

It is, and Roy Thomas gives all the credit to Neal Adams for that sequence. He writes in his introduction that he envisioned (you should excuse the pun) the Vision’s interior as being less mechanical than depicted by Adams; just like a human being’s, in fact, except synthetic. But when the penciled pages started coming in, the was no way he was going to request changes!

Thomas also points out in his introduction that it was Adams’ idea to make the Vision the rebuilt version of the original Human Torch (thus settling a disagreement from the old board). When Ant Man looks off panel at… something… in utter astonishment, it was Adams’ intention that he discovered proof that the Vision and the Torch are one and the same.

Also loved the new "3 cows shot me down!" cover that Adams did.

I did, too, but I agree with Thomas that it wouldn’t have made a good title (nor did it fit the theme of other titles throughout the storyline. Thomas also mentioned that Stan Lee hated Adams’ title “Do Or Die, Baby!” from the X-Men. Personaly, I think it illustrates Adams’ need as a writer for an editor.

It really does show the Vision's view as he appraoches the semi-reflective glass doors, or the view from inside the room depending how you look at it.

I’ve thought about this, and I think we’re seeing the Vision bursting into the room from the outside, with Iron Man, Cap and Thor reflected in the glass. My reason for this is the vision’s fingers. They are shown pressed against the glass. If we were seeing the Vision’s relfection and the “Big Three” through the door, we would also see the Vision’s arm extending to the door. But you’re right: it is a very clever idea for a cover.

I don't like that Adams bailed before the ending (and never drew the Avengers again, as far as I know), but I blame Marvel. He was a special talent and it was their job to hold onto him.

I’m going to respectfully disagree. Roy Thomas and inker Tom Palmer barely got #96 done before the deadline by pulling an all-nighter. I don’t think Thomas had any choice. Adams’ idea for #97 (writes Thomas) was to set the conclusion in the far future with a framing device narrating the conclusion as part of a museum guide’s speech. Adams intended to finish penciling the issue his way, anyway, but never finished doing so, a situation Thomas laments because it would have made an excellent supplement to Avengers Masterworks Vol. 10.

The ending seemed like a last minute patch to finish the thing off.

That’s why I maintain issues #89-100 constitute an arc. The so-called “ending” of the Kree/Skrull War storyline (#97) may seem a little disappointing, but the conclusion of the story arc (#100) is not.
doc photo said:
Having read for years how great it was, I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed.

Try looking at it this way, doc.

The following essay appeared in Avengers Special Edition #1, comparing the movie-making industry to the unlimited special effect budget of comic books. The comparison is no longer quite as valid as it was in 1983, but it was certainly true then.

FROM BEYOND THE GALAXY TO WITHIN THESE PAGES by Alan Zelenetz

As far out and fantastic as movies are these days, with extraterrestrials and barbarians walking around any number of outer space worlds, you would think there’s nothing beyond the capabilities of filmmaking. Well, consider what you hold in your hands — Marvel’s Kree-Skrull War, originally presented in The Avengers a decade ago. It’s an epic so grand, only the comics could bring it to you.

I’m serious. Even in this age of mega-buck movie-making, the price-tag for a production of this magnitude would probably trail its digits from the Milky way (where Avengers Mansion can be found, by the way) to the Greater Magellanic Cloud (home galaxy of the Kree empire) and back.
Think of it. Special effects light years ahead of Skywalker and company — we’re talking the devolution of Alaskan ice tundras into savage tropics, a fantastic voyage through the innards of an android, shape-shifting alieans, Omni-Wave Projectors (don’t ask what they do, just savor the ominousness of the name), holograms, gleaming starships of galactic empires, mandroids in titanium-powered exoskeletons, a Great Refuge of Inhumans, ethercraft armed with nuclear warheads, the clash of intergalactic armadas in the gulfs of outer space. And the location shots — from Cape Canaveral to New York City, the Tibetan Himalayas, the Milky Way, the Kree and Skrullgalaxies, the Negative Zone. And then, consider the number of wardrobe peopleyou’d need to costume all those superheroes. And not just any super heroes, mind you, but the Earth’s mightiest, the cream of the crop, the Avengers — Thor and Iron Man and Captain America, the vision and Scarlet Witch, ass assisted by a then vigorous Captain Marvel (may he rest in peace).

Like I said, there’s not a studio that could touch this property — why, we’re talking maybe jillions here. (Super heroes don’t come at union wages, y’know, not to mention what the SPFX department would be asking for.) But — and say
Amen to it — there’s no need to budget jillions when your production’s four-color. Simple as that. It just doesn’t cost a bundle to transport cast and crew around the globe and into far-off galaxies when you can cover the distance with the turn of a page. So the only limits are those of the unfettered imagination, and of such artistic license are great things born — like the Kree-Skrull War of 1971-72 re-presented here and well-deserving of the reprint honors. For this grand space opera, this sprawling, cracking-good multi-part yarn — whose theme is nothing less than “two galaxies battlin’ it out for the Earth” (to quote spade-callin’ Rick Jones, a key participant therein) — this is comics at its most epic. This is the source. Go on, look at these pages. Artists Neal Adams, John Buscema and Tom Palmer at the top of their form, eh? Joined by Roy Thomas whose highly acclaimed eight-year stint on The Avengers reaches its peak right here. The original version of this sage took the public by storm, and now a decade later it’s become myth and legend (as well as a tongue-twister of infinite subtlety. I wish I had a silver dollar for every time I’ve called it the “Skree-Krull War”).

Okay, I’ve had my say. Here’s Avengers #89-97, the Kree-Skrull War — an epic so
grand, only the comics could bring it to you!
It's been interesting looking back to a period that was something like four or five years before I started reading Marvel.
I can't believe that no one brought up that when Hawkeye returned from space to New York, he came back wearing one of the WORST costumes ever! It looked something out of a gay western! It was so bad that it was never brought back ever. And every hero's costume shows up at some point. It only lasted from #98 to #109, marring the Avengers' 100th issue!

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