Review: The Avengers Annual #10

Avengers Annual #10 cover
Cover by Al Milgrom

The Avengers Annual #10
Published and © by Marvel, 1981

Title: “By Friends – Betrayed!”
Synopsis: The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants goes on the attack, first targeting Ms. Marvel, then the entire Avengers team.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Michael Golden
Inker: Armando Gil

Review: As Bronze Age classics go, Avengers Annual #10 has it all: The introduction of an important new character (Rogue); the return and repositioning of another (Ms. Marvel); great guest stars (Spider-Woman, and a brief appearance by the X-Men); and powerful teams of heroes (The Avengers, of course) and villains (the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) going toe-to-toe in an extended, well-choreographed battle. More importantly, it’s got A-game work from two of the era’s top creative talents: Chris Claremont’s script is thick with strong characterization and his signature soap-opera drama, all captured brilliantly by penciler/colorist Michael Golden. An outstanding superhero comic.

Grade: A+

Second opinion: ““Puts the current regular issues to shame.” – Frank Plowright, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … “A very public rejection of the events of an earlier comic, Avengers #200.” – Melanie Scott and Stephen “Win” Wiacek, “Marvel Greatest Comics: 100 Comics That Built a Universe” … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: In the days before Previews and advanced solicitations on the Web, this one took a lot of young fans by surprise. Just imagine walking into a mom-and-pop grocery and finding this one on the spinner rack.
Not-so-cool factor: The Al Milgrom cover. It’s not horrible, but, come on, Michael Golden was one of the best cover artists of his generation.

Notable: First appearance of Rogue. … The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide also lists this as the first appearance of Madelyne Pryor, though this is disputed by some fans.

Character quotable: “I’m Maddy Pryor. I been sick. But I’m better now.” – A little girl in the background of a hospital scene, setting off years of fan debate about whether she’s that Madelyne Pryor

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on June 16, 2009.

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