Do you know little kids who’ve just seen The Avengers, and they want to know more, more, more?! Well, lucky for those true believers there is Captain America Joins the Mighty Avengers, a picture book-type retelling of just how Captain America joined with Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk to form the superhero dream team. Together they fight against the evil in the world to keep the planet safe for all its inhabitants! Avengers Assemble!

It hasn’t been an easy journey for Steve Rogers. After fighting alongside Namor, prince of the undersea kingdom, Atlantis, for years, Steve suddenly disappeared into the ocean after trying to stop a renegade plane. America’s greatest warrior was missing, and The Avengers didn’t know if he’d ever come back. They decided to soldier on, but they would never stop looking for their friend, Captain America. And, now, The Mighty Avengers have got a problem, a big problem, and his name is Hulk. Hulk disappeared, too, but he has suddenly returned, and is fighting alongside…Namor? The Avengers are definitely confused – why are their “friends” fighting against them? And, where is Captain America when they really need him?

Kids of all ages will definitely love this origin tale of Captain America and his friends and foes. The content is perfect for children who are reading above the level of basic early readers, but are not quite ready for chapter books. And, since it’s a picture book format, it’s perfect for reading aloud, as well. The artwork is closer to standard picture book fare as opposed to comic book style drawings, with panels and text bubbles. Younger fans of comics might be disappointed in this aspect, but it will make the book more accessible to those who are not quite into comics yet. Additionally, the text mirrors the action on the page quite well; illustrations fit perfectly with how they are being described in words. The coloring is bright and vivid and will draw in the most reluctant reader or listener.

As with all superhero books where heroes are trying to keep the peace, there is some violence. However, the violence is pretty tame, mostly just implied punching and a lot of grimaces – mainly from the Hulk! One thing to keep in mind: The Avengers as portrayed in this book, is a group comprised of Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and Wasp, Hulk and Captain America, making this more of an introduction to the comics than to the movie, in that this origin story is almost identical to those early Avengers stories. The characters in this book are basically the original group, not the Avengers that are currently fighting crime in the most recent run of comics or those portrayed in the movie. This picture book series, which also includes books on other members of the Avengers, such as Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk, will be a welcome addition to libraries where there is a demand for basic superhero books geared towards younger readers. For those kids too young for the Marvel Adventures series, this book is a great way to introduce younger readers to the Marvel Universe.

Captain America Joins the Mighty Avengers
by Rich Thomas
Art by Pat Olliffe
ISBN: 9781423160328
Marvel, 2012

  • Traci

    | She/Her

    Traci has been a graphic novel selector and collections coordinator for kids and teens in libraries in Arizona and Oregon since 2005. She served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, and served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens blogging team. She previously coordinated the Oregon Young Adult Network’s Graphic Rave list, OYAN’s yearly list of the best graphic reads for teens. Traci is a member of ALA, YALSA, and GNCRT. And, she achieved her greatest dream ever by serving as a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards.

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