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!