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More of the same heading into the Comics Code eraMay 9 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This is another entry in Marvel's Atlas Era Masterworks series. This is the 4th volume in the long running Strange Tales book. This volume has two important distinctions from the previous three. First, only 9 issues are included instead of the usual 10. This is no doubt due to a desire to keep the remaining books at a consistent length. Second, the Comics Code comes into effect about halfway through this book.
Although, Dr. Michael Vassallo, in his usual wonderful and detailed introduction, makes a big deal of this, to me there is very little difference in story quality. Like previous volumes, about 50% of the scripts have no redeeming merits, about 35% have a germ of a good idea, and about 15% seem to be decently executed.
The art is a different matter, of course. Some really fine craftsman worked on the stories in this volume, some well known, some not so much. One of the great things to come out of the Atlas Era Masterworks are the rediscovery of so many artists that worked for comics only in this era and that have been hitherto forgotten or underappreciated. Why can't DC give us collections from this era?
Reproduction, as always, is absolutely first rate. The writing is just too lame to give this book a full five stars. If you plan to read it instead of just look at it I can only recommend it in small doses. Visually, it's fantastic.