Bargain Comic Reviews

New Reviews of Old Comics

Avengers #71 (Dec., 1969)

Purchase price: $1

No, that’s not a typo I did indeed find Avengers #71 for a single greenback.  I think the long strip of tape down the spine had something to do with the serious drop in value for this particular issue, but I don’t care.  I’m just glad I found this one before someone else snapped it up.  That cover alone is worth a dollar.

Roy Thomas wrote “Endgame!” while Sal Buscema was the artist.  The opening splash page has the black knight running down castle stairs carrying a torch.  Didn’t his mother ever tell him not to run with a lit torch?  After using said torch to light a cauldron the original Black Knight appears to catch readers up on what’s happening.  It all revolves around the heart broken Kang who is trying to Ravonna out of her state between life and death, with Black Panther, Vision and Yellowjacket going back to WWII era France to fight Nazis and the Invaders (yes, the Namor, Captain America, Human Torch Invaders) while the modern era Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Giant Man are held captive.  Kang has a bet with aliens about who will win the pages long fight scene.  Needless to say, the Avengers are none too happy with Kang when Black Knight and Wasp free them, but this doesn’t bother Kang much so another fight scene ensues.  What would a late 60s Marvel comic be without multiple fight scenes taking up most of the comic?  A pretty dull issue, that’s what it would be!  Of course Kang and his fellow wagering aliens are forced to make tracks, and the issue ends with Black Knight being made an official member of the team as reward for his performance, culminating in a hearty “Avengers Assemble” cry to wrap it all up.

With the gracious perspective of hindsight one could argue the story was rather formulaic, but I would counter the argument with a simple “who cares.”   Avengers #71 was a fun read, what more can be said? The Avengers were a little less than six years old at this point, how crazy is that?  This title was in the mid-200s when I actively began collecting comics. Sal Buscema’s art this issue was typical for the time, nothing better, nothing worse.  For me the big thrill was finding this issue for cheap and feeling like I won the lottery when I sat down to read it.


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