Boom! Studios present The Avengers, written by Grant Morrison.
Yes you read that correctly. What? Marvel is letting another company produce an Avengers Comic? How can that be?
Well it’s not those Avengers.
These Avengers are John Steed and Mrs. Emma Peel, based on the 1960s British television which was extremely popular both in the UK and the US. The spy show debuted in 1961, a full 2 years before Marvel’s super-hero team. (There was an obligatory big budget version made by Hollywood in 1998 starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman that was one of the worst review movies of that year.)
This miniseries is actually a reprint. The story originally appeared as a 3 part series by Eclipse Books in 1990. Here, Boom! has reformatted Morrison and Ian Gibson’s story into a 6 issue story. If you’re a fan of the original TV series (especially the 5th series on) and you didn’t catch this book the first time, then you’ll enjoy it. It does a great job of recapturing the feel of the show. Even if you never heard of the show, you might want to check out this book, especially if you are a fan of the early Bond films, British TV like Doctor Who or The Prisoner, or sexy women who kick butt in catsuits.
The story takes place after the end of the original series (and disregards the 70’s “New Avengers”). Steed is still working with Mrs. Peel’s replacement, Tara King, but while King is on a mission on her own she disappears, and Steed calls upon Mrs. Peel to help find her, and to solve the case of “The Golden Game.”
The early 90’s was a very prolific time for Morrison, with name-making runs on DC”s Animal Man and Doom Patrol. Comparatively, this series is lighter, but still has some of Morrison’s trademark surrealism. Ian Gibson’s art looks fantastic here. His style complements Morrison’s storytelling, detailed but light, and the tone of the original TV series, sexy without being exploitative. Mostly remembered for his work on Judge Dredd and Robo-Hunter in UK sci-fi anthology series 2000 AD. He was also the artist Alan Moore’s “The Ballad of Halo Jones” which also appeared in 2000 AD, Gibson has had a long and varied career both in the UK and the US (Working on such titles as Green Lantern Corps, Mister Miracle and Dark Horse’s Star Wars books such as Droids and Boba Fett – Enemy of the Empire.)
I do find it interesting that there is no indication anywhere that this series is a reprint, or where it originally appeared. There are Original Series Editor and Designer credits on the title page, but no mention of Eclipse, or an “originally appeared in” credit or copyright. It is a little sneaky, making this seem like a new work of Morrison’s.
If you are into classic Brit TV, Spy comics, or Grant Morrison this might be a fun series for you to pick up (assuming you don’t want try to track down the original books in the back issue been at your local comicshop, or on eBay.
If you are not familiar with the Avengers, check out the show’s opening credits from its 5th season (the first made in color) below.