The Avengers #1
Marvel Comics (September, 1963)“The Coming Of The Avengers!” WRITER: Stan Lee PENCILER: Jack Kirby INKER: Dick Ayers LETTERER: S. Rosen colorist and editor uncredited
Ever seeking revenge on Thor, the trickster god Loki uses the Hulk to drawn out his half-brother but his plan also draws Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp into the mix. While Loki does draw Thor to his prison on the Isle Of Silence the battle doesn’t go the way he hoped and Thor brings him back to “Midgard” in time to get between the other heroes’ battle with the Hulk. Loki breaks free and attacks all the heroes but they are able to capture him and decide to form a super-team Wasp dubs the Avengers!
What they got right: The Fantastic Four are always said to have been created in response to DC’s “Justice League Of America”, but this gets the concept right, already established heroes joining together to fight threats too big for one hero alone. For it’s time the story is well told and drawn, which isn’t a surprise with Lee, Kirby, and Ayers involved.
What they got wrong: I don’t know who the bigger misogynist is, Pym or Lee. Wasp is all ga-ga over Thor and Pym gets mad that she has to “powder her nose” before every mission. I don’t think Hank realizes that’s the polite way of saying Janet has to go to the bathroom first, which outside of emergencies is actually a smart idea.
Recommendation: I picked up this reprint in a collection of the old Marvel Super Heroes cartoons on VHS, with Iron Man (the reason I chose this set), Captain America, and the Hulk. Of course I’m going to recommend this or the many other reprints because it’s the first issue but it’s also a good one worth picking up anyway.