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Marvels [Paperback]

Kurt Busiek , Alex Ross
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.99
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Book Description

Jan. 6 2010 Marvels
Welcome to New York. Here, burning figures roam the streets, men in brightly colored costumes scale the glass and concrete walls, and creatures from space threaten to devour our world. This is the Marvel Universe, where the ordinary and fantastic interact daily. This is the world of MARVELS. Collecting MARVELS #0-4.

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Marvels + Kingdom Come {New Edition} + Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
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Product Description

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marvel fans ought to love it... Dec 18 2002
Format:Paperback
This is deserving of most the praise it's been given, but it's not the most ground-breaking or amazing comic you'll read, as some have made it out to be. Marvels opens with a quite great retelling of the Human Torch's origin. It was so dark and well done that it almost mislead me to believe that the rest of the book would utilize this kind of narrative. Not so. Marvels is seen through the pupils of a photojournalist, Phil Sheldon. It starts at the height of WWII and ends around the 50-60s (? note i'm not sure) era. Superheroes exist and are given a negative, then positive, then negative, then positive/negative reception throughout the course of the book. The plot serves to give readers on idea of what it was like for regular people to see superhumans fighting evildoers in the skies above them. It also manages to tie in several classic Marvel events, and is quite accurate at that, following the timeline to an exact extent. However, whether or not this was intentional, Busiek leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For instance, the mutants have prominent role in books 2-3, but seem to just be forgotten about in 4, with no explanation as to what happened to them. There are also more than a few wasted opportunities in the introduction of some of the minor characters, because those too are forgotten about in the end. I cannot say I found myself too fond of the duo's modern rendition of Gwen's death either. It seemed to come across as four quick pages (not a lot) detailing Phil's meeting with Gwen, then jumped straight across to four or so pages of the faithful action sequence with Spiderman. And here all of a sudden Phil is sad. Read more ›
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Format:Hardcover
It's hard for me to justify the expense of a hardcover graphic novel, especially if it's a collection of individual issues I already have, but when I heard about the Marvels 10th Anniversary edition I knew I would have to get it. Not only is Marvels one of my favorite comics of all time, but the extras packed into this book really show how collected editions are starting to become the DVD equivalent for comic books.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!! Excellent!!! Excellent!!! Feb. 11 2004
By XKAL
Format:Paperback
First off, let me say that I absolutely love the art work in the comic series. AMAZING!!!
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.
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Format:Paperback
First and formost, I am not a very big Marvel fan. I picked this up after reading "Kingdom Come" and thoroughly enjoying Alex Ross' art. The art here was just as good as it was in Kingdom Come but the story was totally different. As a matter of fact, this was different that any comics stories I've read. Nearly all stories put the superheroes in the driver's seat, with the stories being from their point of view and narration. This was the exact opposite. This story, much to its credit is told from the point of view of a photojounalist, Phil Sheldon. He chroicles the entire birth of the Marvel Universe, from the birth of the Human Torch in the 1940's to the death of Gwen Stacy in the more recent chain of events. He tells a story of awe, appreciation, respect and fear regarding the Marvels (as he likes to call these superheroes). He reflects the emotions of how humans would truly react whether this phenomenon had really occurred. The end product being a masterpiece and one of the best comic stories....no, one of the best stories ever written. As I mentioned in the beginning, the art is flawless and truly a feast for the eyes. The details that Ross places on every panel he paints is truly uncanny and cements his status as on the best artists in the medium. Much applause and crdit should go to the author, Kurt Busiek who does the seemingly impossible task of tying together all the events on the Marvel Universe in a very coherent manner (from the sighting of the X-MEN to the senate hearing for Tony Stark, the disbanding of The Avengers to the death of Captain Stacy). This shows that he had put in a lot of work on this painstaking research and story. All of these factors puts MARVELS on the list with other comic masterpieces such as The Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, etc. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright for avid Marvel readers but not for the average Joe.
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 more
Published on May 28 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Plotless with little characterization
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 more
Published on May 19 2004 by Brianna
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is OK.
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 more
Published on Dec 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A Live Action Book on the Marvel Universe.
I first read these issues when they came out in 1993, and I was quite impressed with how they worked it out. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2003 by D.W. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
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 more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by D. Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that made Alex Ross famous
Best. Artwork. E-V-E-R. This comic, in my opinion blows all other art away, even in other comics Ross has drawn. Read more
Published on March 19 2003 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This is truly a Marvel
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 more
Published on Feb. 25 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A great graphic novel!
This fascinating graphic novel is a history of the Marvel universe, seen through the eyes of "common people", and more particularly, Phil Sheldon, press photographer. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2002 by Kurt A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story...Great Artwork...
Alex Ross has to be one of the best illustrators in the Comic industry today. He takes characters that are often "Larger than Life" and makes them real and human. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2002 by B. B Noel
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