Back in the early days, annuals were often good and often mattered.  This one wasn’t, and didn’t.

Don Heck is just the worst.  That drawing of Iron Man looks like it was drawn by me.  Left-handed.  With my eyes closed.  When I was five.

The only redeeming potential here is that it may be the first Evil Avengers, of sorts, by which I mean that the story assembles a bunch of villains, already known from stories featuring solo Avengers, teaming up to fight team vs team: The Mandarin, Swordsman, Living Laser Power Man, Ultimo, Executioner and Enchantress.

Everybody is trying to repeat the success of the Sinister Six.

Also, it seems pretty easy to break into Avengers Mansion. Maybe that’s because of maps like this:

1 thought on “AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (1967)”

  1. “D+”- !! Harsh, harsh, harsh!! This first annual wasn’t all THAT bad! I must believe it! I just bought a fresh copy of it at a comic-book show, less than two weeks ago! It’s in pretty “Marvelous” condition, too, to be fifty-six years old!! Fifty-six years old!! Most people are looking decrepit by fifty-six years of age! I enjoyed this legendary annual’s “cheesecake” poster of the Witch, the Widow, and the Wasp, in the back, which is something that I doubt either Marvel or DC could get away with anymore, in today’s nauseatingly Politically Correct global environment. Your observations in reference to “Dashin'” Donnie Heck’s artwork is also a little harsh, albeit hilarious- “That drawing of Iron Man looked like it was drawn by me. At age five. With my left hand.” You’re a little tough on ol’ Dashin’ Donnie. Remember, just a couple of years later, Dashin’ Donnie would, with a not-inconsiderable amount of assistance from “Titanic” Tom Palmer, fool the world into believing that ‘X-Men’#64 was actually drawn by Nefarious Neal Adams! ( even me- at least for a while! ) If you want to bash anybody at Marvel for lousy artwork, I would refer you to ‘The Invaders’ and 1975 ‘Captain America’ “artist” Frank Robbins! I do so hope the late Mr. Robbins found his niche in life, before he left life, because it damn sure wasn’t drawing funnybooks!! Whoooooooooo!!!!!! When I was a lad, I would quite often go out into the backyard with one of my family’s croquet mallets, and restage this issues’ battle between Thor and Ultimo, with one of our pine trees standing in for Ultimo! Fortunately for the situation, my mother hated our yard’s pine trees, so she had no objection with my beating the piss out of them with “Mjolnir”! I would often recreate this scene right down to Don Blake’s excellent dive-roll to retrieve the stick! ( which I also had an excellent facsimile of ) In hindsight, I am grateful not to have broken my neck during these enactments! I also had a cheap little “kiddie-bow” to use, which I used to reenact the “Hawkeye” sequence, although my parents were wise enough to confiscate the rubber-tipped, suction-cupped arrows, lest I shoot the little brats next door! As a personal note, when my father’s career necessitated that we leave that particular house, and move to a different city, they actually returned to that house a full ten years to the month later, ( April 1975 to April 1985- I spent the entire interceding decade having a recurring dream that we would actually return to that house, in time- and it finally did happen, exactly ten years later- just without me!!! How gauche!!! ) and the FIRST ORDER of BUSINESS was to UPROOT ALL the PINE TREES!!! WOW, she hated those trees!!! What was I supposed to use ‘Mjolnir’ on- actual people-??? Shit!!! Anyway, obviously, I got a massive amount of enjoyment out of the very first ‘Avengers Annual’, and continue to do so, to this very day, as my recent purchase of a fresh copy of it has borne out!! Even though I will have to acknowledge that Thomas and Heck are no Claremont and Byrne, ( or even just a Byrne ) I nevertheless feel that this comic deserves more than a dismal “D+”- I would, charitably, award it a full “B”! I have spoken!


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