I've been waiting a while for something like this. I already own the first three AVENGERS ASSEMBLE hardcovers, which collect the full Busiek/Pérez run, but they are a product of their time -- the early 2000s -- and feature some pretty horrid reproduction in a few places, as well as covers without any trade dress, logos, blurbs, etc. They're nice books, but not as nice as they could be. So, when this book appeared in the Hachette Book Group's catalog last week, I was thrilled. I would sell my AVENGERS ASSEMBLE books and grab this. Surely it would collect all the same material as those three volumes, right? AVENGERS (vol. 3) issues 1 - 34, plus the associated annuals and such, would be the perfect size for an Omnibus!
Not so, apparently. Behold the (currently unconfirmed) solicit:
Fan-favorite creators Kurt Busiek and George Pérez craft a new era for Earth's Mightiest Heroes! The Avengers have always defended humanity against the forces of evil. When duty calls, these legendary champions answer, fighting valiantly until justice prevails. But as the Avengers reform in the wake of a life-changing event, they must face an array of foes like no other: Morgan Le Fay, the Squadron Supreme, the Kree, the Legion of the Unliving, the Thunderbolts, the Wrecking Crew...not to mention facing Kang and Immortus in the Destiny War! But when the merciless Ultron attacks, wiping out an entire nation in his hatred for mankind, the Avengers must live up to their name...if they can!
COLLECTING: AVENGERS (1998) 1-23, 0, 1 ROUGH CUT; IRON MAN (1998) 7; CAPTAIN AMERICA (1998) 8; QUICKSILVER 10; AVENGERS ANNUAL '98, '99; AVENGERS FOREVER 1-12
First, the good -- This volume includes the full set of chapters of the "Live Kree or Die" crossover, which were inexplicably omitted from the old AVENGERS ASSEMBLE books. So bonus points for that, at least. But what the heck is AVENGERS FOREVER doing in here? It's a story barely related to the ongoing Busiek/Pérez saga! It's written by Busiek, but it's really a self-contained mini-series designed to clean up a bunch of dangling continuity problems accumulated over the decades. I barely recall so much as a passing mention of the series' events in the ongoing AVENGERS volume 3.
DEADPOOL AND CABLE OMNIBUS which collects fifty-plus issues of roughly the same page count as these AVENGERS issues, for Pete's sake!
Even if Marvel had included the full "Eighth Day" crossover storyline, which would require issues of THOR, IRON MAN, and SPIDER-MAN, I feel like there still could've been room for all of it in this one book. Then we could've seen an AVENGERS BY BUSIEK AND PÉREZ COMPANION OMNIBUS to include AVENGERS FOREVER, AVENGERS INFINITY, and other such peripheral limited series.
Don't mind me, though. I'm grousing, but I'm still likely to order this, if only to get better reproduction and a more complete experience than what's provided by my old AVENGERS ASSEMBLE books. But I'll have to think long and hard about it before I do. Part of the problem is that I don't want anything beyond Pérez's issues in Omnibus format, but a volume 2 would almost certainly carry us into the "Kang War" era, which I already own, and am perfectly satisfied with, in trade paperback. What it comes down to is that if this volume had simply included the full Pérez run and left it at that, it would've been a day one insta-buy for me. I can't imagine I'm alone in my thinking on this subject.
As noted above, the solicit reprinted here is currently unconfirmed, and until an official solicit is released by Marvel, it should be considered subject to change -- though these things very rarely change when they reach the "Amazon Ghost Listing" point.
Edit: As of 9/16/14, the solicit is now official.