Thank you to Titan Books for sending a copy of Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – The Avengers: The Art of the Movie in exchange for an honest review.

These days, it seems hard to imagine a world before 2012’s The Avengers. But in Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – The Avengers: The Art of the Movie, you’re invited to travel back to the days when The Avengers were still coming together.

The Avengers: The Art of the Movie was written by Jason Surrell with book design by Jeff Powell. It includes an introduction by Ryan Meinerding and Charlie Wen, and the dust jacket art is by Adi Granov. Meanwhile, The Avengers was directed by Joss Whedon.

Revisiting the Art of The Infinity Saga

The cover of Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – The Avengers: The Art of the Movie featuring concept art of Hawkeye, Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk assembling in New York City.

Previously on the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Art books detailing the road from concept to film were released concurrently with each of the 24 movies in Marvel Studios’ Infinity Saga. Now, all 24 books are being republished in chronological order. But note that they’ve been branded as part of the Infinity Saga and formatted to all be of uniform size and design.

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Currently, the MCU’s Phase Four is drawing to a close. So now is the perfect time to revisit the first three phases of the superhero cinematic universe that changed Hollywood. But if you already picked up The Avengers: The Art of the Movie when it was first released in 2012, you may not need to pick up this volume. That is, unless you’re especially concerned about the uniformity of your MCU art books (hey, we’re not here to judge).

Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – The Avengers: The Art of the Movie

Of all the MCU movies, The Avengers might be the most inextricable from the Infinity Saga. This is because it set a precedent for shared universe crossover that would permeate not just the MCU to this day but onscreen superhero entertainment and even genre storytelling in general. Part of how this comes through in The Avengers: The Art of the Movie is how the title highlights how the concept work done for the team-up movie wasn’t just for The Avengers but for the MCU as a whole.

Just one example is the working designs for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Quinjets and Helicarriers. These vehicles not only play an important role in The Avengers, but they appear in many other MCU movies and shows, too. Plus, countless toys have been based on both. And there’s even a life-size Quinjet at Disneyland. It’s fascinating to return to the foundations of this and so many other MCU mainstays and remember a time before we realized they would become such lasting franchise elements.

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One highlight from The Avengers: The Art of the Movie comes very early on. First, there is a multi-page prologue. This recounts the release of the MCU movies that led up to The Avengers. Next is a fold-out timeline that establishes an official chronology of the universe up to that point.

Especially amusing to this reviewer is the decision to base the measure of this extensive timeline around Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) declaring himself to be Iron Man at the conclusion of Iron Man. It’s a good thing Stark can’t see this timeline because this fact would surely make his ego even more insufferable than it already has proven to be.

Hindsight

My biggest critique of The Avengers: The Art of the Movie concerns hindsight. This is essentially a reprint of the 2012 book. For this reason, there can be no section in the back detailing how The Avengers influenced the next 20 movies in the MCU timeline. Other books cover some of this topic, like The Story of Marvel Studios. But revisiting the art of The Avengers, in particular, screams out for this type of commentary.

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However, there are other considerations regarding hindsight, too. For example, consider the tribulations of Whedon in more recent years. It seems unlikely that the extensive quotations from the director found in this book would be included in a variant of The Avengers: The Art of the Movie written in 2024. Whether for better or worse, this art book is a time capsule of the movie as it existed back in 2012. However, how you feel about this will vary from reader to reader.

Available in July 2024

Regarding the book’s quality, The Avengers: The Art of the Movie matches Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – Captain America: The First Avenger: The Art of the Movie pretty much exactly. (Thanks, uniform book design!) The Avengers: The Art of the Movie is a sturdy, good-sized hardcover. It features quality paper with clearly reproduced art.

It boasts a neat relationship between its dustjacket art and cover. The dust jacket shows concept art for the movie’s iconic Avengers assembly. Meanwhile, the cover underneath features a composite photograph of a similar scene featuring the actors portraying their respective characters.

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This edition of The Avengers: The Art of the Movie will debut this summer. Will you pick up a copy when it arrives? Be sure to let Geek Girl Authority know in the comment section.

Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga – The Avengers: The Art of the Movie will be available beginning July 30, 2024, at a local bookstore and/or public library near you.

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