This review of the Marvel: The Avengers Vault by Peter A. David is of the spoiler-free variety. Check out the entire The Novel Post column for all our reviews on game tie-ins or shared intellectual properties.
If you’ve been following our Twitch channel – you should be! – you’re well aware that I’m a big fan of the Marvel universe. Yes, yes, I’ve openly admitted that Batman is my favorite man in tights, but for an overall universe, general writing and the pushing of boundaries I fancy myself the collection that Marvel has put together over the years. But there’s something else I’ve also admitted about comics, I’m not a hardcore reader. I wait to consume the medium in packages. This allows me to save money and let the more hardcore fans weigh in on what’s out there. Kinda like what I hope to do for the video game community with my writing. That being said I make a concerted effort to keep my finger on the pulse of comics. It doesn’t matter if it’s Marvel, DC, IDW or Dark Horse, I attempt to consume the best. Certainly the massive annual summer story arcs.
These universes are repeatedly entering the mainstream and none has been more in your face than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The original Avengers was fantastic. A few weeks ago Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped. Ahead of that I had Marvel: The Avengers Vault and thought “this’ll be a good intro to the deeper storylines of the core Avengers.” Boy, was that a massive understatement. Almost as massive of this 150+ page tome of knowledge.
You’ve been repeatedly told not to judge a book by its cover, but there’s no way to avoid judging Marvel: The Avengers Vault by its size. I’m not referring to the aforementioned 150+ page tally. It’s that these pages are massive. Well larger than new-age millennials have ever seen printed outside a specialized shop. The thing is these breaches of paper usage – hopefully recycled! – are required for the comic presentation. The compendium relates to the reader by presenting comics in their truest form complete with authentic inserts for each of the major Avengers mainstays.
The collection is broken up into a handful of distinct chapters. The first describes the group in general. This description, and all to follow, go from the origin to current day storylines. Readers are given a rundown of how the group came together, then, essentially, immediately broke up, if not strongly morphed. How members came and went. What kept the team together. What internal struggles kept them constantly crumbling. And what threats continued to drive a wedge between these heroes.
The rather tongue in cheek synopsis of these characters truly covers the gauntlet of the Avengers. From the near-immediate cancellation of The Hulk to his repeated fights with the founding members author Peter A. David uses his extensive comic authoring experience and knowledge to articulate each member. The chapters contain a thorough introduction to the four heroes their ideologies, allegiances and common enemies. Four is a bit lacking, especially given the seven on the cover and dozens articulated in the tome’s appendix.
Marvel: The Avengers Vault is not a literal undertaking. It’s a synopsis on what’s happened in the Avengers universe. Where these select few heroes are today and where, perhaps, they may be going. Don’t mistake the meaning of that opening sentence. Marvel: The Avengers Vault is the quintessential crash course to the history of The Avengers and an excellent precursor or recap to the attached films.
You can purchase a hardcover edition of Marvel: The Avengers Vault for about $25. If that’s not enough of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for you then head on over to the great dungeon crawler Marvel Heroes. One which we’ve covered extensively for Instance Gratification.
Check out the entire The Novel Post column for all our reviews on game tie-ins or shared intellectual properties.