Kurt Busiek has long been one of my favorite writers, and his run on Avengers is a good example of his work. He excels at pulling out the humanity in the characters, hero, villain or supporting cast, and showing them as being real beings with flaws, ambitions, skills, and everything else that makes somebody a complete being. However, while he excels at bringing out the humanity in characters he doesn’t forget that the book is a super hero story, and as such need super heroics. Too many others focus on the humanity and forget the reason for the characters, and turn a perfectly good story into nothing more than a soap opera. Busiek finds the balance between the two, and the result is a rousing story that ropes you in on multiple levels, and before you know it you are emotionally invested in the story.
This volume was certainly no exception. I originally read the first few parts of the story in single issue format, but had been unable to complete the story. Finding this collection was fantastic, and provided me with the means to finally finish the story, and to read more of Busiek’s work. Unfortunately, that prior exposure to the early parts of the story almost caused me to set the volume aside. The story was too familiar, even after all the years since I last read what few parts I had of it, and I was afraid that the entire volume was going to be old news to me. I am glad that I persevered and continued because I quickly found new material and an engaging story. I now find myself eagerly anticipating getting my hands on the next volume, and I am none too patient in my waiting.