Since its original publication in 1991, "The Korvac Saga" has seen a few reprints over the years, including a hardback version. However, this new trade paperback is probably the best collection yet. The reason for that is that it contains what the first collections didn't, the "Thor" annual that sets up the story as Thor travels to the future and aids the Guardians of the Galaxy in battle against the evil cyborg Korvac. While it had been mentioned in the main story, seeing this unfold in full is great as it helps frame things better and appreciate the tale more.
George Perez wasn't quite the master artist he'd become then but his skills aid with this massive jam of heroes. It's funny to have the Beast dismissed as a dumb monkey by the Guardians before fighting back against Charlie-27 ("I refuse to dangle here and be insulted by an extra-terrestial fascimalie of Hoss Cartwright!") The story then introduces constant Marvel Universe thorn Henry Gyrich, a government agent who feels the Avengers arent' worthy of their security clearance and revokes it. This causes dissension with Captain America and Iron Man actually coming to blows. Then we get the arrival of Ultron with the first appearance of Jocasta before Avengers start vanishing into thin air. This leads to the meat of the story as the team (which includes various reserves like Hercules and Black Widow) join together to face Korvac, now the godlike Michael in one of the most brutal fights in Marvel history.
The story is fantastic, capturing each Avenger perfectly with Hawkeye getting one of his shining moments facing a being that's already defeated Iron Man and Thor. At the same time we see the recently revived Wonder Man fearing he'll freeze up in the face of dying again, a great character bit. It's fun seeing the classic angle of Iron Man hiding to everyone how he's really Tony Stark when they bad-mouth his "boss." There's some humor too as, without clearance to fly, the Avengers have to comandeer a city bus to get to the big battle. The story also shows how connected the Marvel Universe is with Thor and Beast having to leave for adventures in other comics. Best of all is the ending which shows that the Avengers may not have been all in the right after all trying to stop a man trying to save the universe.
Thankfully, this collection includes the four-page epilouge specially created for the first trade paperback. It also has the terrific covers Perez did for that 1991 collection, one a great action shot of the entire gang of heroes facing Korvac, the other a powerful group shot of them assembled. They're so good, you wish Marvel would go back to using original covers for these collections again. From start to finish, a story every Avengers fan should have on thier shelf and this is the best and most complete version of it yet.