Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Marvels” as Want to Read:
Marvels
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Marvels (Marvels Complete #0-4)

by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  18,227 ratings  ·  351 reviews
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.

Witness the birth of this fantastic universe from the inside. See the world's great
...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published January 10th 2007 by Marvel Comics (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Marvels, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Gunnar To the right of the green button that says 'Read', an X should appear when you hover over that space. Click it and the book should be deleted from…moreTo the right of the green button that says 'Read', an X should appear when you hover over that space. Click it and the book should be deleted from your shelves.(less)
Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
43rd out of 2,052 books — 4,595 voters
Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanBatman by Frank Miller
Required Reading Graphic Novels
39th out of 778 books — 1,330 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kemper
Treasure of the Rubbermaids 17: Marvel At Marvel’s Marvelous ‘Marvels’!

The on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths.

I would hate to be a New Yorker in the Marvel universe because it seems like the city is constantly being threatened by s
...more
Dan Schwent
Photographer Phil Sheldon experiences what it's like to live in a world of super heroes, from the rise of the Human Torch in the late thirties all the way to the dawn of the mutants, the first appearance of Galactus, and the death of Gwen Stacy.

When Marvels first hit scene, I was a wee lad of 17. The internet was in its infancy and comic shops were dying by the dozen. As it became easier to come by comics, or "graphic novels" if you're too cool to read comics, I always had a mind to read this bu
...more
Jonathan

In my view Marvels is one of, if not the greatest, comics released by Marvel Comics. I first encountered it as a twelve year old and have read it several times since. And each time I encounter again what it is that makes Marvels a stand out work in the Marvel universe of comics.

The artwork in Marvels is clearly a stand-out feature. Though Alex Ross is better known for his work in the also grand Kingdom Come I personally prefer his artwork here where he first worked his unique stylistic magic. In
...more
Sesana
I've read Marvels more times than I can possibly count. Thousands of other people have written glowing reviews so much better than I ever could. Let me just say that I love this book, I always have. The experience of reading it is always magical for me, completely enthralling. And the art, that makes it all feel so real while I'm reading it... This goes very high on my list of all-time favorite comics.
Nicolo Yu
Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’ Marvels is their love letter to the superheroes of the Golden Age and Silver Age of Marvel Comics. Theirs is a tale that examines the Marvel universe through the eye of an everyman character, Phil Sheldon. Like his fellow unpowered denizens, he and his family have to live through every invasion, super-villain attack and the coming of Galactus fearing that each crisis would bring about the end of their world.

The story brought it acclaim and the theme explored in several
...more
Robert Jazo
When I was a kid, I was a complete Marvel Zombie (i.e., a person who only bought Marvel Comic books and nothing else). I even remember picking up The Killing Joke off of a spinner rack, flipping through it, and putting it back because I just couldn't bring myself to buy a DC book, even though it looked good.

Over the years my tastes have shifted quite a bit. I actually collect very few Marvel comics nowadays. Still, because of my youthful obsession, I am have more nostalgia for Marvel Comics than
...more
Sarah
I love, love, love the combination of Busiek and Ross. I had never bothered with this book before because I'm not usually a Marvel girl, and because I thought that it sounded like it covered the same territory as the excellent Astro City Vol. 1: Life in the Big City, just with known characters. Wrong. It looks at the Marvel characters and the Marvel universe through the lens of one photographer/observer, whose opinions change very realistically over time. The other clever conceit is that it look ...more
Gavin
I'm torn on this one...I really wanted to love it. I do admire all the research that went into this one, the referencing of classic Marvel stories and moments, the art, but...
At the end of the book, I was left with a pretty 'oh that's all?' feeling. The art of Alex Ross is always something to behold, but here, I think it took away from things. I wasn't able to connect to a lot, and the main character is actually kind of un-likable. He ditches his fiancée because of the arrival of Sub-Mariner and
...more
Callie Rose Tyler
I concede, all the hype surrounding this book is well deserved. These stories are re-tellings of historic Marvel events told through the eyes of the average person, specifically a free-lance photographer Phil Sheldon.

The events and timeline are well-researched and the grace with which they are stringed together is seamless. The result is an emotional story with genuine gravitas and impact. Then you add in Alex Ross' amazing artwork and the end product elevates the entire medium.

If you are looki
...more
Mary Catelli
Busiek takes a look at the superhero world of Marvel.

The detailed art reflects the story well. He weaves together stories over decades to show how the world felt to an ordinary human character, a news photographer. He saw the first, with the Submariner and the original Human Torch, and Captain America. Later, he sees the Fantastic Four and the Avengers -- and the X-men. And Galactus. And Spiderman. He spends a lot of time pondering humans' reactions to them. Once he berates some complainers for
...more
Cindy
I really liked the concept for Marvels. Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross did a wonderful job with this collection.

Marvels shows some of the biggest events in the Marvel Universe (view spoiler) through the perspective of a common man, photographer Phil Sheldon.

Having the story narrated by Sheldon allows us as readers to experience the Marvel Universe as
...more
Belen

Hace dos semanas una amiga me recomendó este cómic y estoy muy contenta de que lo haya hecho, porque ahora es uno de mis favoritos. El arte es impresionante, rico en detalles y meticuloso en su ejecución. La historia es de la misma calidad; no sólo me sentí sumergida instantáneamente en este Universo, sino que también me permitió contemplar su realidad desde un lugar muy distinto: no ya desde el arco narrativo de los personajes que tanto quiero, sino de los seres humanos comunes, quienes sólo pu

...more
Micheala
I am really glad that my boyfriend has gotten me started on reading comic books.
I have pretty much always read manga, and I've always loved super-heroes; but for some reason I never thought to read comics.

It is a bit hard to know where to start in the big world of Marvel. I have to admit, one of the reasons I didn't start reading comics sooner may have been that I was intimidated by how much there was and having no clue where to begin.

I think that Marvels is a great starter comic book because
...more
Harold
A real treat for fans of classic Marvel comics. This beautifully illustrated graphic novel follows a number of familiar story-lines from the Golden and Silver ages - starting with the creation of the original Human Torch in 1939 and concluding with the death of Gwen Stacy in 1973. But instead of just being a greatest hits compilation, "Marvels" presents these events through the fresh perspective of humble news photographer Phil Sheldon. The realistic, painted artwork and the street-level approac ...more
Chris
I liked Marvels exploration of what the normal folks deal with when superheroes show up to take on the bad guys. There's a whole side of those epic battles that often goes overlooked in most comics - the collateral damage. People get injured or killed, property gets destroyed, and there's just a general sense of fear and powerlessness that's to be expected when things are beyond the average person's control. Marvels captures this well and balances it with the see-saw of awe and reverence for her ...more
Carlos Eguren
La fuerza de Marvels radica en su poder desmitificador. No nos narra las hazañas de los superhéroes, que quedan en otro plano, sino de los secundarios habituales de este tipo de cómics. E irónicamente, no tiene un desenlace precisamente feliz. ¿Cómo no aplaudirlo?

Uno de los aportes más interesantes de la adaptación cinematográfica de Watchmen (Zack Snyder, 2009) es la introducción, con la música de Bob Dylan, donde se cuenta cómo los vigilantes enmascarados cambiaron el universo. Muchos siempre
...more
Nicholas
If I could have lunch with one author it would have to be Kurt Busiek. Busiek + Ross = Amazingness. Although, reading Marvels kind of got me wondering: is the feeble human living in the world of superhumans schtick the only thing Ross does? Not that I'm complaining, because he does an amazing, amazing job with it, but everything from Astro City, to Superman: Secret Identity, to Marvels shares that common theme. Other commonalities include a full discussion and exploration of human beings' "littl ...more
Amal El-Mohtar
I'm trying to be less stingy with my 5 stars, in order to go by "it was amazing" regardless of how less or more amazing it was than another thing to which I gave a positive review. There just aren't enough star-fractions for the latter system.

So this was amazing. The fully painted art style took some getting used to, but quickly began seeping into my reception of the story after the initial "wait this doesn't look like a comic" reaction. The premise is brilliant: if you've ever watched a superhe
...more
Sophie
The heroes of the Marvel universe seen through the eyes of a photo journalist. I like the perspective here, because it means the focus is on the oh-so-fickle normal people of that universe, and while one may not share their opinion, this makes it easier to at least get their point. There are snapshots of the big events in Marvel history (not all of which I recognized, of course, but I understood enough). Alex Ross' art works really, really well here, probably better than in any other long storie ...more
De
I try to re-read this at least once a year. Between the vivid paintings of Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek's compelling story of life for a relatively normal person in the midst of the Marvel Universe, it's difficult not to like. This is the first book I give to anyone expressing even the slightest interest in superheroes.
Matt Anderson
I can't say enough good things about this book. Awesome story by Kurt Busiek. Fantastic photo-realistic artwork by Alex Ross. It is a love letter to the early days of the Marvel Universe, starting in the 1940's, and bringing us through the 1960's.

This story is told from the perspective of a non-powered everyman. It is one of the only times I can remember an extended event be told completely from the side of someone watching the superhero action and reacting to it. He never becomes part of the s
...more
Mariano Lastiri
Tengo un pequeño problema con Marvels. Un problema que no debería resultar difícil de entender, pero que posiblemente pocos hayan tomado en cuenta.
No me malentiendan. La idea de la novela grafica es maravillosa
"Hacer una suerte de paneo cronológico del universo clásico de Marvel de Kirby y Lee desde el punto de vista de un periodista y la gente común. El guión se escribe solo"

Bueno, no es tan sencillo. El trabajo de Busiek en lo que refiere al terreno de la investigación de esos años es de apla
...more
Jacob
It must suck in New York. Having only been there once when I was ten all I have to base on what Manhattan is like comes from movies and books. Crime films never paint a good picture for it, but Manhattan (the Woody Allen film) makes it look like the most gorgeous place on earth. Meanwhile Marvels attempts to tell you that life in the big apple is not always the best. For there is always some one in a costume and superpowers fighting someone else in the infinite battle of good vs evil.

I have neve
...more
Emily Green
In Kurt Busiek’s Marvels, a photojournalist not only witnesses, but captures the development of superheroes on earth. He watches as humans oscillate between fear of the super humans and gratitude for their ability to protect them. He watches as the world all around changes in response to World War II and the superheroes who join the fight.

As time progresses, he finds himself not only living vicariously through the superheroes, but also finding his own adventures in tracking them, all while atte
...more
Xavier Guillaume
Oct 16, 2014 Xavier Guillaume rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any and all comic book fans
If there is a quintessential volume of comic book creation that belongs on the shelf of any diehard comic book fan, or even a person new to comic books, it would have to be Marvels.

You probably read from the description that this series was acclaimed by Stan Lee, it won numerous awards, and it transformed the art of comic book storytelling by changing the narration from instead of being about the hero, but being about the average person's perspective on the heroes, distilled in the ordinary phot
...more
Deepak Mehta
Here's a series that comes once in a decade.

Marvels is an out-of-the-ordinary idea, perfectly thought through and planned and brilliantly executed with a wonderful storyline and Alex Ross' exquisite, hyper-realistic artwork.

[image error]

description

The gist of the story is that it is told not from the perspective of the superheroes, but from that of a spectator, an ordinary human being/photographer named Phil Sheldon who witnesses the birth of the first superheroes - from the Human Torch and Namor the subma
...more
E.W. Storch
I had the original four issues of this limited series when they were first released. Recently, I was talking to my wife about them and that prompted a search on my part for digital copies (my old comic collection long gone). Lucky for me, Marvel had a digital copy of all four issues and I read it as soon as the download finished.

"Marvels" tells the tale of the history of the Marvel comic book universe from 1939, when Namor and the original automaton Human Torch first appeared, to the death of Gw
...more
Steven Laverty
Honestly one of the best graphic novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It's been on my to-read list for a long time and, even with this long-festering anticipation, Marvels still managed to exceed my every expectation.

It charts Marvel Comics' most iconic moments from the 1930s onwards (such as the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four, the widespread fear of the X-Men and mutant kind prompting the development of the Sentinels and the tragic death of Gwen Stacy. H
...more
Ben
This is a great concept for a graphic novel - a photographer experiencing the rise of the Marvel universe in New York City - but although it is beautifully drawn and ambitious narratively, felt a little dated and naive to me reading in 2014. It's clever how the superheroes develop as characters through photographs and glimpses shooting across the sky. The protagonist's family doesn't develop to be anything more than a symbol of the consequences of impending doom, as the story stumbles between re ...more
Kristen
The writing wasn't all that great, but the real marvel (har-har, see what I did there?) is the artwork of Alex Ross, which is stunningly beautiful, meticulous, and life-like. The story is about a photojournalist capturing the deeds of America's superheroes and his increasing disillusionment with the human race—to which I'm thinking, "Right on, Mr. Sheldon!" People are pretty awful and ungrateful for the most part: "Wow, gee whiz, will ya look?! We're being saved by heroes! Look at the skill! We ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: split series 2 16 Mar 12, 2015 01:06AM  
Mrs. Eriksson's S...: Marvels 4 6 Jul 29, 2014 09:09AM  
  • Daredevil Legends, Vol. 2: Born Again
  • Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 2: Dangerous
  • X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
  • The Ultimates
  • Kingdom Come
  • Secret War
  • Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt
  • Earth X
  • The Starman Omnibus, Vol. 1
  • The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk
  • Spider-Man: Blue
  • Captain America Omnibus, Vol. 1
  • DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 2
  • Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson, Vol. 1
  • Top 10, Vol. 2
  • Daredevil, Vol. 1: Guardian Devil
7338
Kurt Busiek is an American comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on Avengers.

Busiek did not read comics as a youngster, as his parents disapproved of them. He began to read them regularly around the age of 14, when he picked up a copy of Daredevil #120. This was the first part of a continuity-heavy four-part story arc;
...more
More about Kurt Busiek...

Other Books in the Series

Marvels (3 books)
  • Marvels: Eye of the Camera
  • Marvels
Astro City, Vol. 1: Life in the Big City Superman: Secret Identity Astro City, Vol. 2: Confession JLA/Avengers Conan, Vol. 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories

Share This Book