I've been a long time fan of the Avengers comic book, but I have never fully understood the name. The Fantastic Four were a quartet, the Defenders defended the Earth against evil and the X-Men owed their name to Professor Xavier. The Avengers, however, weren't truly avenging anything. It's just one of those random thoughts that ran through my head as I read Essential Avengers Volume 6.
This volume covers issues 120-140 of the Avengers comic, along with Giant Size Avengers 1-4, Captain Marvel #33 and Fantastic Four #150. Although the exact lineup would change over this time span, the central members would be the Vision, Scarlet Witch, Mantis, Iron Man and Thor. Among others also participating are Black Panther, Hawkeye, Captain America, Beast, Yellowjacket, Wasp and Swordsman. And since this is the team of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the villains are pretty tough too, including Ultron, Thanos, the Zodiac, Dormammu and Klaw.
The main villain, however, during this set of issues is clearly Kang the Conqueror, who, among other things, has his eyes set on marrying the Mantis who apparently is also something called the Celestial Madonna. Of course, as always, he will fail, but there are a number of marriages in this issue, most notably between the Vision and Scarlet Witch and between Quicksilver and Crystal. This volume will also provide the full origins of both the Mantis and Vision.
As always, the Avengers remain entertaining, and these issues are helped by the presence of many core members - Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Vision and Scarlet Witch - although the other superheroes typically associated with the team - Captain America, Yellowjacket and Wasp - only appear a limited amount. If you are a fan of either the Avengers or mid-70's Marvel, this volume should be read.