Marvels Paperback – Jan 6 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Ten years ago, Marvels was the breakthrough work for both of its creators: a worm's-eye view of the spectacle of Marvel comics history—35 years of glorious superheroes and terrifying super-disasters, told from the perspective of Phil Sheldon, a newspaper photographer who's experienced "the marvels" from ground level. Renowned artist Ross's rich, lush, nearly photorealistic style (he painted all the major characters from photographs of models) made his reputation—and the book—a landmark. The story, too, suggests a sort of grandeur that had largely slipped away from superhero comics by the early '90s, even as it describes the helplessness that normal people might feel in the presence of angel-winged mutants and rapacious gods from outer space. There are plenty of Easter eggs in Marvels for longtime comics buffs, although the book is structured so that new readers won't be lost, either. The level of detail goes much deeper than what's visible on the page, but its creators' command of that unseen background gives the story itself force and resilience. This new edition augments the original with over 200 pages of extras: four drafts of Busiek's original proposal for the series, all of his scripts, a short bonus story, dozens of Ross's sketches and related artwork, and a guide to the many celebrity cameo appearances Ross drew into the original.
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Top Customer Reviews
In "Marvels," Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross took us through the life of photojournalist Phil Sheldon, an old-fashioned newspaperman with printer's ink in his veins and a camera to his eye. Phil, however, lives in a more fantastic universe than you or I, he lives in the Marvel Universe, home of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the X-Men. Through four issues, we watch how Phil and his world grew and changed, how people thought about the superheroes -- the Marvels, as Phil called them -- and how perceptions evolved along the way. It's a beautiful, poignant series about ordinary heroism, hero worship, and the heroic ideal. Ten years later, it's still one of the best comics I've ever read.
If you've already read the comics, though, there is still stuff here for you. This collection includes the four pitches Busiek and Ross went through to get the series made, the complete scripts for all four issues, character sketches, production and promotional artwork, a guide to "Easter Eggs" in the artwork, a section on Ross' technique of painting from photographed models and even the text of all the newspaper articles that only partially appeared throughout the series. It's packed, and that makes the reading all the more fun.
If you've never read "Marvels," you're missing out. If you read it and loved it, this book takes the story one step further. Kudos to Marvel for putting out such a great edition of such an important comic book.
This book bored my eight-year-old son, as the superheroes were such minor characters. But, I found myself caught up in the story; reliving memories of watching the Marvel universe unfold throughout my life. (Boy, do I wish that I had saved those old comic books!) I found the authors' take on things to be quite though provoking. Indeed, he showed how people have always had a love/hate relationship with the Marvels from their inception through the 1970s, in spite of the other changes in their world.
This is a great graphic novel, one with a refreshingly different take. I highly recommend it to you!
What a gift it is to have a written story that rivals the artwork.
I thoroughly enjoyed Marvels. I love the concept of seeing the birth of superheros, in the Marvel Universe, through the eyes of a photo journalist. From it's skaky beginnings with the battles between the original Human Torch and the very angry Sub Mariner up until the very sad tragic death of Gwen Stacy at the hands of the Green Goblin.
Everything else in between those two story plots are just comic genius. An accurate timeline of Marvel events happening at once to every and all characters. While the Hulk was on a rampage in Washington, The Fantastic Four were having a wedding, and the Wasp was having her own clothing line... etc.
Upon reading the series, I kept recalling all these stories I had read as a child. To see them all combined, backed by beautiful artwork was a sheer pleasure.
I highly recommend this graphic novel for old and new fans. Very smartly written. Very beautifully drawn.
Most recent customer reviews
It's a comic book historical documentary that is a comic... if you like marvel comics you haven't read the best it has to offer until you read this! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gio
Marvels is a well illustrated piece of art, but if you haven't read many of the super hero stories (the Marvels) then I don't really recommend this book. Read morePublished on May 28 2004
This book was not worth reading. While it starts out with the 'birth' of the human torch, soon many random superheros and super villains are incorporated within the book. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by Brianna
This book is all right. it had several parts that were amazingly boring. For instance, the publishers had to add every little detail they wanted to try and make this book... Read morePublished on Dec 28 2003
I first read these issues when they came out in 1993, and I was quite impressed with how they worked it out. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2003 by D.W. Smith
This is what got me into comics in the first place. This story is well written and has great art. The story isn't about the superheros directly but about humans looking at the... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2003 by D. Hansen
Best. Artwork. E-V-E-R. This comic, in my opinion blows all other art away, even in other comics Ross has drawn. Read morePublished on March 19 2003 by Amazon Customer
I borrowed this book from my friend. A bunch of people I know had read it and reccomended it to me. I picked it up thinking that it was going to be a book with good art but no real... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2003