Avengers Kree/Skrull War TP NM Neal Adams Roy Thomas Captain Mar-Vell


SKU: 15134 Category:


Avengers: Kree/Skrull War Paperback (new printing)
by Roy Thomas (Author), Sal Buscema (Illustrator), Neal Adams (Illustrator), John Byrne (Illustrator)

A conflict of star-spanning proportions – with Earth caught in the crossfi re! Those eternal intergalactic enemies, the merciless Kree and the shape-changing Skrulls, have gone to war – and our planet is situated on the front lines! Can Earth’s Mightiest Heroes bring about an end to the fi ghting before humanity becomes a casualty of war? And what good are even a dozen super-powered champions against the vast military machines of two of the great empires of the cosmos? The key to victory lies with the expatriate Kree Captain Mar-Vell – and his human host, honorary Avenger Rick Jones! Featuring the trendsetting artwork of Neal Adams, the Kree/Skrull War is universally acknowledged as one of the fi nest and most important sagas in the Marvel canon. Guest-starring the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more!


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Marvel

This volume, which is a lovely reprinting (from the size of the pages to the great colors, this is probably the best ever printed) has two distinct story arcs, both written by the great “Rascally” Roy Thomas. The first part, which is drawn by “Our Pal” Sal Buscema (as you can tell, I miss the Marvel nicknames) involves a search for Captain Marvel and an epic fight with the Ronan the Accuser. The art is solid enough, though, the inking in some issues lets Sal down a bit. Also, you’ll find yourself having to get used to all of Roy’s little writing quirks (for instance, he constantly tries to work in now-dated “hip” ’70’s lingo into his dialogue and many of his heroes and villains often speak with rather indistinct voices), but he still manages to pull off a good solid read, typical of the kinds of comics Marvel was putting out in this era.

However, while it is nice to have the first part of the saga included in this volume (some other reprints did not include it even though parts of it had a direct effect on the plot and left it up to the exposition/recaps to get readers who had not acquired the original comics up to speed), it is the second part of this saga, wherein the art chores were (mostly) handled by the great art team of penciler, Neal Adams and inker, Tom Palmer, that makes this Kree/Skrull War so memorable to old-time readers like myself. The story itself found Earth becoming a beachhead in an interstellar war between two of Marvel’s more well-known alien races and saw our heroes take the action to the aliens’ home worlds and Neal handling of these elements were a wonder to behold.

As a writer, Roy made no attempt to hide his influences and, if you were a nerd like me, you’ll easily recognize the many homages (for instance, “This Island Earth”) he managed to work into this story. The most memorable homage, and for me, one of those moments that I would love to hand down to a new generation of superhero comic book fans involved the original Ant-Man as he takes a “fantastic voyage” into the comatose body of the android, the Vision. It was a multi-page artistic (de)tour de force by Neal that is as amazing now as it was then and, since it was from his first issue as the main artist, it really got things started with a very big bang and set the bar for what was to come.

The art, especially in Neal’s arc, is so good, you’ll go along for the ride readily.

“The Avengers: Kree/Skrull War” is a Marvel book collecting a galaxy spanning story originally published in issues 89-97 of the first Avengers comic series in 1971-1972. Written by Roy Thomas, and illustrated by artists, Sal Buscema, George Roussos, Neal Adams, John Buscema, and Tom Palmer, the Kree/Skrull War was the longest continuing adventure of this Marvel super team up until that time. It is a tale steeped in Marvel Comics history, an epic that ranged from Cape Kennedy in Florida and the snowy wastelands of Alaska, to an otherworldly dimension called the Negative Zone and the far reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy. This story tells of the Avengers’ encounter with Captain Marvel, an exiled alien of the Kree Empire, who, along with his human friend Rick Jones, embroils “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” in an adventure that threatens the existence of all life on our planet; and places them in the middle of a centuries-old cosmic conflict between the humanoid Kree and the shape-changing Skrulls that could bring cataclysm to the stars.

As a longtime comics buyer, I can remember purchasing these comics as a boy when they first came out almost 40 years ago, and even after all this time, the Kree/Skrull War remains a great, page-turning adventure. The story is actually 2 connecting tales: the first, written by Mr. Thomas and drawn by Sal Buscema, ran in issues 89-92, and detailed the Avengers in a frantic search for Captain Marvel and their later combined effort to defeat the destructive plans of the Kree leader Ronan the Accuser. The second and longer story, the Kree/Skrull War proper, truly began in Avengers issue #93, a special 52 paged comic that showcased the immense comic art talent of Neal Adams. Mr. Adams was quickly becoming one of my favorite comic artists in those days of my youth, thanks to his interpretation of Batman, and the work he would do on this Avengers adventure only helped solidify my high regard for him. He offered Avengers comic readers a striking prelude of the great art to come with the cover to issue #92, which is reproduced and recolored as the dusk jacket cover to this hardcover collection. Sadly, Mr. Adams’ cover contrasted with what I feel is the weakest artistic chapter in the 9 part epic, as inker George Roussos did a poor job embellishing the fine pencil storytelling of Sal Buscema. Still, classic comic art was soon to follow, and Mr. Adams’ work would be a major factor in making this story a classic.

Another gifted artist to contribute to the Kree/Skrull War was John Buscema. The older brother of Sal Buscema, the elder Buscema had already done excellent work on many past issues of the Avengers comic, and along with Roy Thomas, was instrumental in carrying on the Marvel creative legacy of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby into the decade of the 1970’s and beyond. Mr. Buscema penciled a chapter of the overall story in issue #94 (“1971: A Space Odyssey”), the cover to issue #95, and drew the concluding chapter to the stellar story in issue #97. I recall being very disappointed when this comic was first published, regretting that Neal Adams didn’t finish the adventure with his amazing artistry, but in the decades that followed, my feelings have mellowed, and I’ve come to respect and appreciate the elegant style of Mr. Buscema. The master comic artist died in 2002.

The great visual connecting link to the Kree/Skrull War is the inking of Tom Palmer. Mr. Palmer provided the final pen and brush rendered art to the shared talents of Mr. Adams and Mr. Buscema to unite the distinctive visions of these comic creators in a cosmic completed work.

Of course, the one singular vision of this epic story is that of writer Roy Thomas. It is his imagination that formed the foundation that helped build the Kree/Skrull War. Reading his story 40 years later, one can’t help but be struck by the melodramatic writing style of that time and the sometimes over-the top dialogue. But the story-telling power cannot be denied, and Mr. Thomas, while confessing in the book’s introduction he had no “master plan,” did have the gift of writing a classic comic page-turner. He was even able to incorporate his personal love for Golden Age comic characters into the story. Contemporary readers are very fortunate to be able to read this ultimate Avengers adventure within the covers of this one volume instead of having to wait for the next issue of the comic to come out over a 9 month period like my fellow Avengers fans and I had to do all those many years ago!!

Collects Avengers 89-97. Near mint, 1st print.