Check Out An Exclusive Excerpt From Titan's MARVEL'S AVENGERS: THE FIRST 60 YEARS

Check Out An Exclusive Excerpt From Titan's MARVEL'S AVENGERS: THE FIRST 60 YEARS

Titan will release Marvel's Avengers: The First 60 Years next month and we're excited to share a sneak peek inside the epic new book which takes a deep dive into the history of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

By JoshWilding - Jun 19, 2024 09:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Avengers

Next month, Titan will publish a celebration of Earth's Mightiest Heroes with Marvel's Avengers: The First 60 Years

The deluxe book explores the comic book history of the Marvel's premiere superhero team, looking in-depth at their greatest battles, deadliest enemies, and their unlikeliest allies. Lavishly illustrated with stunning art, this tribute to the much-loved comic book also includes profiles of the talented creators behind the team’s ongoing adventures.

The volume also charts six decades of adventurous, romantic data, with personal stories and conflict-laden relationships that have intrigued Marvel fans from the beginning.

Today, we're delighted to share an exclusive excerpt from the book that focuses on the debut of Marvel Comics' Celestial Madonna. This was a huge moment for the team and one which revolved around MCU icons like Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, and Mantis. 

The preview below also reveals new insights into Swordsman's clash with The Avengers and the Cat's debut, a character better known as Hellcat.

We were also lucky enough to check out a copy of the book early and trust us when we say it's a must-read; as well as featuring insightful analyses of many classic stories, it's packed with gorgeous artwork and is suitable for new and old fans alike.

Marvel's Avengers: The First 60 Years will be available starting July 2. You can find out more here.

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"I wanted someone to shake up the Avengers, so I came up with a femme fatale (Mantis), but right after I did, I also came up with the Avengers-Defenders Clash, and I needed to use my femme as a solid team player, not a disrupter." – Steve Engelart

Enter the Swordsman, the repentant ex-villain who had exploded the bomb outside the Avengers’ base in issue #19, and his wife, the mysterious Vietnamese woman called Mantis. After their epic battle with the Defenders in The Avengers #119 (January 1974) the Avengers went off to discover the origins of Mantis, a Vietnamese woman, the daughter of a German soldier who had become the mysterious Libra, a member of the Zodiac organization. After the return from Southeast Asia, tension grew at the base: Mantis’s obvious attraction to the Vision was making the Swordsman and Wanda jealous.

The situation escalated. Captain America, deep in personal crisis due to the President’s betrayal, temporarily abandoned his identity, becoming Nomad. He left the group, as did Black Panther, and things didn’t let up at Quicksilver and Crystal’s wedding in issue #128, because Ultron reappeared. The return of Kang, another historic villain, marked the start of the saga “The Celestial Madonna”: the man from the future was on Earth, looking for the woman who would make him the father of a child destined to conquer the world. He knew that she was one of the Avengers, and, suspecting either Wanda or Mantis, kidnapped the heroes and brought them to an Egyptian pyramid.

Two more incarnations of Kang, from other eras entered the picture. One was the pharaoh Rama-Tut, determined to stop his future alter ego. The other was Immortus, a guardian of time who offered to help the Conqueror. Sacrificing his life for the Avengers, the Swordsman died in Mantis’s arms, and she realized she was the Celestial Madonna. Obsessed with his crazy dream, Kang brought back figures from the past to destroy the Avengers. These included Wonder Man and the original Human Torch – the android created by Professor Horton, and the very first Marvel super hero, when the publisher was still Timely (Marvel Comics #1, 1939). It was a shock: the Vision found out that, though his brainwaves were Wonder Man’s, his synthetic body was actually the body of the Torch, who was right in front of him, in a classic Marvel time paradox.

The shocking finale was packed with religious symbolism. Libra and a ghostly being who looked like the Swordsman (really a figure made of living energy and one of the Cotati, another alien race like the Kree and the Skrulls) revealed to Mantis that everything was part of a great plan, to see whether she was worthy of becoming the Celestial Madonna and creating the perfect being. For once there was a happy ending, despite Kang’s efforts: Immortus officiated the wedding of Wanda and the Vision, and of Mantis and the Cotati-Swordsman, who were now two beings made of pure energy, in Giant Size Avengers #4 (June 1975).

In this second phase of his run, Steve Englehart turned the Avengers lineup upside down. He introduced the Beast, a.k.a. Hank McCoy, a former member of the X-Men who had become an animalistic, hairy creature due to a genetic mutation, in The Avengers #137 (July 1975). Also making an entrance was the icy Moondragon, a candidate for the Celestial Madonna if Mantis was not up to the task, and Yellowjacket, saved from death by the Vision: the synthezoid used the power of intangibility and entered his comrade’s body to inject him with a cure in #140, a touching one entitled "A Journey to the Center of the Ant." The political saga "The Serpent Crown" (issues #141-144 and #147-149) saw the Avengers travel to the time of the Far West, introduced a new super hero, the Cat, and marked the debut of the artist George Pérez who would soon go down in Avengers history.    

As of The Avengers #151 (September 1976) Gerry Conway took over from Englehart for a transition phase during which the group’s lineup was revised yet again, in a dramatic reunion where the heroes’ all-too human personalities emerged. Now the Beast, Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and the Wasp made up the group, while Thor, Moondragon, Hawkeye, and Yellowjacket were on-call members.

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SuperiorHeckler
SuperiorHeckler - 6/19/2024, 9:10 AM
I love these retrospective art-books! Sitting on the patio with a cup of Joe and a genre book from TITAN or TASCHEN is a slice of heaven! 🤓
ObserverIO
ObserverIO - 6/19/2024, 10:17 AM
@SuperiorHeckler - Those TASCHEN books are sexy AF.
HermanM
HermanM - 6/19/2024, 9:12 AM
Awesome
harryba11zack
harryba11zack - 6/19/2024, 9:17 AM
no word on "literally me" playing Ghost Rider?
Origame
Origame - 6/19/2024, 10:33 AM
@harryba11zack - ah congrats man. I always knew you'd play a lunatic driving through town with your head set on fire.
rychlec
rychlec - 6/19/2024, 10:15 AM
C'mon MCU... let's get somebody into that Hellcat costume.
ObserverIO
ObserverIO - 6/19/2024, 10:18 AM
@rychlec - Jessica Jones Season 3's got you covered.
User Comment Image
mountainman
mountainman - 6/19/2024, 12:53 PM
@ObserverIO - Looks just like it!
h8red
h8red - 6/19/2024, 1:11 PM
Nice cover Avengers issue number 100, and that beautiful splash page from my man George Pérez.
h8red
h8red - 6/19/2024, 1:31 PM
@h8red - also can’t forget that cover art by the great Barry Windsor Smith. His early works were rough, but he developed into an incredible artist.
Radders
Radders - 6/21/2024, 9:13 AM
@h8red - Perez was drawing the avengers when I first started reading it such incredible talent!

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