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Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Tales of Suspense - Volume 2 [Hardcover]

Marvel Comics


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing nostalgia, yet instructive stories for the young Dec 13 2008
By Socrates2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a generic review for all the Masterworks _Tales to Astonish_ and _Tales of Suspense_ 1 & 2.
Some of us entered elementary school in the mid-50's and came of age then. In the late 50's and early 60's, between the movies "Forbidden Planet," "The Blob," "I Married a Monster from Outer Space," _and_ TV's "Star Trek," there existed an entertainment gap for early Sci-fi buffs. We were transitioning away from Dick & Jane and were way too green and inexperienced to be captivated by the vocabulary dense Wells, Verne, Cyril Kornbluth, Pohl, et al., so the thirst for speculative and science fiction and monsters was quenched by these easier to read comics.
We would read them and trade them and read them again. TV drama was geared for adults, so the nerdier kiddies settled for Atlas and Marvel to feed our need to probe into the dark, scarier side of life.
We enjoyed the ironic "O'Henry endings" before we had even heard of O'Henry. We thrilled to read about the encounters between ordinary humans and monsters from swamps, space, time, dimensions, etc. And the encounters left us all sadder but wiser. These stories introduced 9 to 12 year olds to certain darker aspects of the human condition: racism, greed, revenge, pride, envy, lust for power, etc.
Some of those stories, the conflicts, and their resolutions haunted me for decades. Powerful stuff for a pre-pubescent.
These collections are truly a nostalgia trip. The stories take me back to a pre-Twilight Zone, Cold War era where things were not always what they seemed. Read them and pass them along to your favorite 10 year-old relative. S/He will not only get a kick out of them, you just might see him/her grow up to be a wonderful and imaginative adult.
For the younger set this is a five star book, for me, today, it's three and half, so I split the difference.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvel's best monster comics June 18 2013
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Tales Of Suspense, Volume 2"
(Marvel Comics, 2008)

For many years there's been a tendency to look at the pre-Fantastic Four Marvel/Atlas monster mags as lesser works, orphans of the comics industry that were not as gnarly as the pre-Code comics and not as super as the superhero stories. But don't fool yourself: these Kennedy-era comics were a blast, and they were very much on an equal footing with the better-known superhero titles that immediately followed them.

Of course there's the artwork, mainly anchored by the twin talents of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, whose bold, dynamic styles burst out of every page they drew, full of pure, unbridled vitality and vibrant originality. Next up were Don Heck and Paul Reinman, veterans of the late '50s Atlas genre books, along with several other artists on a story or two here and there. Ditko's work is solid and evocative, though Kirby is the one given full reign in the Tales Of Suspense title -- his stories lead each issue, and starting in issue #14 (cover-dated February, 1961) he began to experiment with long-form stories which were closer in length to the full-issue superhero adventures that began a few months later. There are also early experiments with issue-to-issue continuity, with two episodes featuring the golem-like Colossus, and the saga of the alien conqueror Goom, followed by his bratty son, Googam.

Because most of the stories are short-form, five- or six-page genre tales, it's often considered obligatory to praise the artwork and pooh-pooh the writing in these books. I respectfully have to disagree: if you grew up grooving out on the early Spider-Man, Hulk and FF adventures, these stories are every bit as spectacular, fun and imaginative. It's Stan the Man in 1960-61: crazy, silly ideas and tons of hyperbolic, exclamatory dialogue. These stories have a very familiar feel. Also, there are a lot of the same sort of ideas getting hashed out, with a number of super-powered beings running wild between the pages - Goom in particular has powers such as levitation, telekinesis and time travel, while both Elektro and Metallo are clear precursors to the armor-clad Iron Man. It's all there. Reading these great goofy oldies feels like finding a stash of long-lost Marvel classics, which of course is exactly what it is. This era, which would be capped in the November, 1961 debut of the Fantastic Four, is much different than the sometimes-stiff, imitative Atlas horror titles of the early '50s -- it's not just about the artwork here, it's about the whole explosive creative gestalt of the 'Sixties Marvel Bullpen. Great stuff, highly recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for comic book and graphic novel lovers May 18 2014
By Mayme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for my husband. He is an avid comic book reader and collector and was very happy with it.

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