Marvel: The Avengers Vault Hardcover, your guide to the superhero team

avengers vault marvel

Marvel and Thunder Bay Press have teamed up to create the Marvel: The Avengers Vault Hardcover, a 176-page book that chronicles the Avengers from its first appearance to the Heroic Age where Norman Osborn gets incarcerated and Steve Rogers takes over as the leader of the Avengers, leaving Bucky Barnes to become the new Captain America.

The book features the history of the Avengers in the comic books and also goes into detail with heroes like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk. Along with information on the heroes, it also includes visuals like comic book covers, comic panels, and other artwork. There are ten removable sheets like posters, color guides, concept art and more. (These are neat little extras.)

The book has different chapters, each representing either the Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man or the Hulk.

For the Avengers, you’ll get to learn about how they were created in real life and how the team formed in the comics. Discover their first villain (Loki), the second villain (Space Phantom), Hulk feeling unappreciative, the team discovering Captain America in ice, Vision being created by Ultron, the West Coast Avengers, Civil War and more.

The Captain America section will give you the rundown on his adventures including his origin as a skinny man becoming a super soldier, his partner Bucky Barnes, him being frozen in ice and becoming a man out of time, the many people who portrayed Captain America (William Nasland, Jeffrey Mace, William Burnside, Bucky, Falcon), and more. We also get to learn of his villains including the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Arnim Zola, MODOK (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing), Crossbones, and Batroc the Leaper.

For Thor’s section, we learn about how different he is from his Norse mythology counterpart, why Stan Lee chose Norse mythology instead of other mythologies, Thor being transformed into a lame doctor named Donald Blake, his relationship with his father, Odin, and more. The Warriors Three get a little love here, as we learn about Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, and Volstagg the Vast. You also get to learn that Sif is Heimdall’s little sister. That will make you wonder about their relationship in the movies. (Looks like Marvel Studios did this before Fox with Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm and Sue Storm.) Villains featured are The Absorbing Man, The Destroyer, The Enchantress, The Executioner, Hela, Malekith the Accursed, Surtur, and Ulik the Troll.

Next up is the Iron Man section. His history includes how he’s inspired by Howard Hughes, his origin being tied to Vietnam War, Gulf War and then Afghanistan, and his many armored suits (Space Armor MK1, Stealth Armor, Hydro Armor and more). We also learn of his butler, Edwin Jarvis, the Iron Spider costume he created for Spider-Man, him forming the Illuminati, his alcoholism, when he got expelled from the Avengers for killing someone, and his role in Civil War. The villains covered in this include The Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye (this was before they turned into good guys), and Whiplash.

Lastly is the Hulk section. This one’s a special one, since author Peter A. David has written for the Hulk for 12 years starting back in the ’90s. He talks about how the Hulk’s origin doesn’t hold up, the Hulk originally being gray, and him initially transforming from a man to a monster due to the day becoming night. We learn of the many supporting characters including Rick Jones and Betty Bye and his three kids, Skaar, Hiro-Kala and Lyra. (Yep, he’s been a busy super hero.) His villains get some spotlight including The Leader, The Abomination, Thunderbolt Ross, The U-Foes, and The Maestro.

Some of my gripes would have to be the spine, since it feels very flimsy, and it making a sticky sound whenever you open the book.

I’d definitely recommend this if you’re a fan of The Avengers and want a fast way to learn about their comic book history. It’s now available on Amazon.

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