What I Remember:
Next to nothing. This book is from the third Avengers series. This book would be very late in my childhood collection, since it’s cover-dated for March 2001 and I would have been a senior in high school. I probably picked it up because Kurt Busiek was the writer and I always enjoyed his books.
Avengers #38 (3rd Series) “Above and Beyond”
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Colorist: Tom Smith
Lettering: Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne, Richard Starkings & John Gaushell
Assistant Editor: Marc Sumerak
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Editor In Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publication Date: March 2001
Cover Price: $1.99
Re-Collection Price: Original Copy
The story begins in Kalkhimithia, Greece, where a man hovers above the city, holding a vial. He cracks the vial and the wind spreads a mysterious green substance across the town.
Cut to the Florida Everglades where a team of Avengers, Warbird (Carol Danvers), Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Quicksilver and Triathlon, is raiding a school run by the Taskmaster. Taskmaster quickly bails and the camp is shut down.
At Avengers Mansion we learn that Captain America, Vision, Wasp and Hank Pym have set up a Status Board monitoring many of the team’s common enemies. The team is trying become a more proactive unit rather than a reactive one.
They also check in on Black Knight in Slorenia on a quest to retrieve his sword and Jack of Hearts on a mission in the Savage Land.
We then cut back to Greece where we learn that the inhabitants are becoming irritable and violent.
Wasp and Cap travel to the mansion to check out the rebuilding process. We also learn that Iron Man is working on a warning system to let the team know about interdemensional issues.
It's revealed that Hank Pym is actually an imposter and the real Hank is being kept in a tank.
Meanwhile, the violence is getting worse in Kalkhimithia as the Avengers continue their plans to reorganize and stay ahead of threats.
An alarm sounds in the mansion and the issues in Greece has reached critical mass. It has turned into to a town of Hulks!
...To Be Continued.
Continued After Ad:
This book is a set-up story. Nothing much happens, which is not the worst thing in the world. I have a Spider-Man book in my collection where he just swings around the city with Mary Jane in the aftermath of the Clone Saga that’s one of my favorite books ever.
This book is literally the team trying reorganize to get ahead of the giant monster battles only to find despite all of their prep work and neutralizing threats before they peak, an unforeseen disaster strikes that all of their systems missed until it was too late. That being said, not a lot of any consequence happens, this is obviously act one of a larger story.
I was a bit confused as to why we never saw the inhabitants of the town prior to seeing them as Hulks. I know they wanted to save the big reveal for the end of the book but we could have seen the residents fighting before the final change instead of reading about it and seeing only rooftops.
The art leaves a lot to be desired. This is probably the result of growing pains when it comes to computerized coloring which would have been in its infancy in 2001. The books is also printed on newsprint which was probably a cost-cutting measure, since Marvel was emerging from bankruptcy at the time, which might have something to do with the modern coloring looking a little off.
All-in-all, there’s probably a reason I remember nothing about this book, it’s utterly forgettable.
We check out DC’s one-shot retelling of the Sci-Fi classic, Total Recall by Elliot S. Maggin and Tom Lyle, adapting the film by Paul Verhoeven, which is itself is based on a story by Philip K. Dick! See you next week!