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Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Venus - volume 1 Hardcover – Aug 31 2011

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Hardcover, Aug 31 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A very strange book indeed Sept. 7 2011
By Jim Davis - Published on
Verified Purchase
Venus is probably the hardest comic book to classify of the books which have been masterworked to date. Comedy, romance, drama, heroics, supernatural thriller - the book had it all but not necessarily in the same issue. This masterwork reproduces the first nine issues and it seems like the book was reinventing itself every issue. Also included are inventory stories from Lana and Marvel Mystery Comics when it seemed like Venus would be cancelled.

I had heard both good and bad about this book and was apprehensive about purchasing it. To my mind the good heavily outweighs the bad. The book has heart; whoever was doing the scripting put a lot of thought into the plots. The book is fairly dense for a comic book taking 20 to 30 minutes to read an entire issue.

A number of artists worked on these stories and covers. Dr. Michael J. Vassallo provides his best guesses in his usual fine introduction. The reproduction is first rate. Whoever was doing the drawing adapted a style suited to the feature. The romantic backup features have realistic art, the Hedy Devine backups cartoonish art, while the main Venus feature is somewhere between those extremes.

A nice feature of the book is that it is title oriented. Not only are the Venus features reproduced but the various backup features as well. A great touch is the reproduction of various commercial advertisements that appeared on the text story pages. It seems that one could purchase a lot of fireworks delivered via the postal service in the late '40s. A wonderful assortment of house ads are also included.

All in all, a quirky, fun title. I'll be getting volume 2 when it comes out. Highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A real Golden Age gem... and a very weird book! March 24 2012
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on
"Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Venus, v.1"
(Marvel Comics, 2011)
This is one of the weirdest and most delightful of Marvel's golden-age comicbook reprints dealing with the 1940s-50s era when Marvel was published under the Atlas imprint. Most of the Atlas titles were standard fare for the era, mostly genre comics such as crime, horror and war stories, as well as the few superhero titles that were left after that fad went bust. The writing in the Golden Age was extremely formulaic and rather blunt: the real attraction was usually the art, which was done by talented pros, many of whom became well-known in the superhero revival of the 'Sixties.

Anyway, the "Venus" comic, which started in the late 1940s, was a real exception to the rule... As seen in this collection, it flipflopped crazily through several genres - horror, crime, science fiction, humor -- though it also had a dual core of both romance and superhero elements. It was a really weird book, trying to appeal to as wide (or as narrow) an audience as possible, with publishers desperate to keep their audience in the face of the anti-comicbook hysteria of the times. It's mostly a romance comic, this full of the melodrama and bizarre sexism that make that genre so much fun. And there's also lots of great art: I really hope Marvel will follow through with Volume Two of this series, which includes some great artwork by the legendary Bill Everett, although this book also has great work by Bob Powell and others.

NOTE TO MARVEL: More straight-up Golden Age romance collections would be great, too! Maybe skip the stiff, talky stuff from the early '50s, and go for some of the more scrupmtious stories by Gene Colan, Vince Coletta, et al, from later in the decade. You publish it, and I will buy it! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
for those who like different comics. and romance orientated ones. April 20 2012
By Michael Dobey - Published on
This is a strange book and it if you don't like romance comics at all, you may not like this one at all. However it's not all romance stories , and most stories are featuring a real goddess! Venus, and we have comedy star 'hedy devine' too. It also has fantasy elements and jumps from comedy girl type of stories ala Hedy and pasty to more serious fare. The next volume features the classic sci fi stories but this one is interesting in many ways. The art is very good too, although I am not a fan of more than one artist doing a story , it somehow works here and the art remains good throughout. Venus in these stories isn't a superhero mostly though. She is a goddess of love though and each issue seems to jump format trying to stay alive. I love old comics so this is a interesting read for me. And the book looks fantastic with the art cleaned up , unlike the sad d.c. archive series of late. The paper is first rate too. The next volume should be even better as it's superheroine slanted far more than this one. I do hope they reprint the blonde phantom and namora soon though.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Venus, Goddess of Love that you are. May 22 2012
By Johnny Heering - Published on
Verified Purchase
This book reprints the first nine issues of Marvel Comics' late 1940s to early 1950s series Venus. In the comic book, the Goddess of Love comes to Earth and becomes editor of Beauty Magazine. The other major characters are Whitney Hammond, owner of Beauty Magazine and love interest of Venus, and Della Mason, Hammond's secretary and rival of Venus. The comic went through a number of format changes during it's run. The comic was a romantic comedy for it's first four issues. With the fifth issue, the comic changed to a drama with the mythological aspects played up more as Venus usually had conflicts with other Gods. There were more format changes to the comic, but those issues aren't in this book, so I won't cover them. Despite what Marvel Comics says nowadays, Venus was NEVER a superhero in her comic book. This is a pretty fun comic book, in it's own way. This is a hardcover book with high quality paper and it's a lot cheaper than buying the original comic books, if you can even find them.
A Surprising Gem April 8 2014
By Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author - Published on
The late 1940s and early 50s marked a decline of the superhero and allowed for the emergence of all sorts of series ranging from crime to western and romance.

This book collects, the first nine issues of one of the most unusual series: Venus. The book also includes Venus stories from Lana #4 and Marvel Mystery Comics #91. The plot of the book is that Venus leaves Mount Olympus due to boredom and a hunger for love. She is almost immediately hired as editor of Beauty Magazine by its publisher Whitney Hammond, who Venus falls madly in love with.

In this collection, Venus from Romantic Comedy to Romantic Fantasy in a way that's charming, and even more so if you can ignore all the inconsistency in story as Venus changes its mind about issues ranging from who exactly runs Mount Olympus to what Venus' powers are on Earth. In the latter fantasy stories, rules are made up for the convenience of the plot.

Still, all can be forgiven because the character of Venus is quite charming and shows good character in her willingness to help others and risk her own happiness to save others including all mankind. The love advice is all true and has classic warnings about the dangers of shallowness, selfishness, and snobbery in its more dramatic back up features. The comedy stories are mostly okay.

The book also has a few notes on the battle with censorship and public concerns about comic books. The response of Atlas/Timely is interesting and a nice historical bit.

Overall, this is a solid read from a period that's often considered a dead zone in comics.