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The Marvels Project

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  669 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Who is the mysterious old man who lies on his deathbed in a hospital in 1939, and how does his passing mark the beginning of the first heroic age of the Marvel Universe - and signal the rise of the superhumans?
Paperback, Trade, 148 pages
Published June 30th 2011 by Panini Comics (first published August 11th 2010)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  669 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix
Ed Brubaker, the best interpreter of Captain America, gives the Marvel Golden Age of comics a spiffy new makeover.

Right now, Goodreader, you are probably saying to yourself, Jeff, if it was the Golden Age of comics, why the heck would it need a makeover? I’d tell you to PM Anne, who grew up reading this stuff, but she’s still sore about my endless critiques of her barbeque skills and that would probably get you nowhere. So:

Comics have come a long way since Castor Oil references. And pickles
David Schaafsma
Thanks to whoever suggested I read this, but as an Ed Brubaker guy I was bound to get to it eventually. This one is ambitious, drawn lovingly by Steve Epting, colored by Dave Stewart, and gives a nostalgic, retro and human feel to the Golden Age of comics. We get the origins of a band of not Thor or Hulk type superheroes, mostly regular guys, with an ala-Brubaker-Epting noir/Gotham Central vibe to it, maybe making the idea of superhero comics accessible to a wider audience. Why was it there was ...more
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fantastic. This can be read as a sort of companion to the equally fantastic Marvels. Except that this book is set almost entirely just before and during World War II, and that it's entirely the perspective of a superhero instead of an outsider. But it has much the same feel, that it's a memoir of truly extraordinary times by someone very close at hand. There is a fair bit going on, and a lot of basically forgotten Golden Age characters. I think it actually helped me that I've read Marvels more ...more
Jesse A
A very good story. Probably best read companioned with Marvels by Kurt Busiek.
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the late 1930s leading up to the most devastating of conflicts in mankind's history, World War 2, and a young doctor meets a dying old man called Matt Hawkins who tells him of a coming age - of marvels and heroes. From there the doctor realises that one person can make a difference in a world of hate and stands up for himself and others by wearing a mask and policing the streets at night as: the Angel.

Soon, scientists will create a man who bursts into flames when exposed to oxygen but
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brubaker and Epting go back to the Golden Age as they retell and reshape the birth of Marvel. This really is one of my favourites .

The duo have covered early Marvel before via flashbacks in their Captain America run, but here Captain America is only one part of The Marvels Project. It's set before America enters the second world war. So it's during that time when the world is at unease.

Unlike Marvels, this is considered the 'in continuity' origin for Marvel. Brubaker keeps some of the existing
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Marvels a while back and really loved it, but this was much better, in my opinion. Both stories run parallel to each other, but they are told from different points of view. The Marvels Project just has more of a story to it.
I also loved the way the book was drawn. Beautiful! (Can you call a comic book beautiful?) Everything was glossy and larger than life, but it still had that Golden Age feel to it.
I do want to mention one thing. John Steele. It nearly drove me crazy trying to figure
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brubaker & Epting continue a beautiful collaboration in the Steve Rogers sub-universe (or maybe Steve Rogers meta-universe?). This is almost Marvels-, Powers-, 1985- or Gotham Central-esque: a lot less superhuman capes, a lot more wide-eyed wonder from the normals point of view. Not that it's any less epic or enjoyable - on the contrary, with these two fleshing out the stories they don't seem so much "quaint" as poetic.

I really enjoy them mining this rich, faded historical backdrop of the
kim hannah
3 stars

I enjoyed reading other Ed Brubaker comics! They're always packed with action and had a good plot line. This was good too but I just found that there were too many characters and so many different things happening at once at different places that I got confused. Nevertheless, a great and exciting read!
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ed Brubaker clearly loves Marvel's Golden Age (AKA Timely Comics) and World War II era superheroics. He injects his Captain America and Winter Soldier storylines with the feeling of these time periods, referencing and drawing from them very artfully, bringing those modern stories to life in a totally new way. With the Marvels Project, he finally gets a chance to just let loose in that time period, and I've gotta say, he does a great job.

Narrated by The Angel, a Batman-like superhero with no
I re-read this last night, and by the next morning, I'd forgotten most of the story... or maybe it was more of a "was there actually a story in this?" kinda feeling.

That's just it... there isn't much of a story, just a few snippets here and there to tie in some of Marvel's Golden Age characters.

It mostly centers around the Golden Age Angel, which was an obvious rip-off of the Batman. Once in a while you get a bit about the Human Torch, or the Submarinner or Captain America... and if you pay
John Wiswell
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
There have been many retro stories since Alex Ross's Marvels, but The Marvels Project feels distinctly like a response to it. It's not just because of the name or time period - though The Marvels Project does retread some of the key historical events of Marvels. Marvels was primarily narrated from the perspective of a reporter whose career spanned the dawn of superheroes; this book is primarily narrated by an investigator in the same dawn. Where books like Marvels and New Frontier were keenly ...more
R. Morris
I wanted to like this more than I did (Brubaker & Epting = so good!), but it just seemed to be missing a big plot twist or something. Or maybe I just missed it entirely? The John Steele character distracted me too, as he almost seemed to be heading in a "oh, he's really THAT GUY?!" direction, but he just ended up being "so, WHO was he?" instead.
Love the old 1930's/1940's New York setting. Steve Epting is an understated master.
I think it's time I read this again.
EDIT: After reading it a
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This eight-issue miniseries by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting reimagines the early days of Captain America, Bucky, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Nick Fury, the Angel, the Human Torch, Toro, the Red Skull, and many other World War II-era characters from Timely Comics (which would later become Marvel Comics), and tells the story of how the Nazi-fighting super-team the Invaders were formed. It begins in the late '30s and ends on December 7, 1941.

On the one hand, this is basically just a
Aaron Wiener
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marvel-comics
Very, very, very groovy!!!

Such a cool retelling and reimagining of the Golden Age of Marvel comics!! I really loved this.

Let’s be honest... as influential and great as the golden age was... those panels, dated dialogue, vaudeville-esque exposition and garish colors make them a slog for modern readers such as myself. Now, full disclosure... I’ve done it before. I’ve read old shit that I struggled through in the name of being well rounded and “cultured,” but it wasn’t fun. This takes those
Alicia Riley
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent work by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting! It's clear in this book the love and enjoyment they had with the characters with Easter Eggs like old characters making special appearance that people new readers might not know about, Jim's badge number, Invader gang Steve, Jim, Namor his old grumpy self, Buck and Toro and paper clips in back of the story. Very enjoyable! I wish Ed was back on Captain America/Steve Rogers.
Rich Meyer
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was an excellent early Marvel story, set in the golden age of heroes. This will probably be the last new material using the older heroes for quite some time, since Marvel thinks readers' sensibilities have changed (and they have; we kind of prefer decent stories nowadays, not 90% of the crap they put out so it can be licensed into movies and toys).

This takes place before and during the first issue of the legendary original Marvels series, with the advent of super-heroes and masked mystery
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Yes, I've been working on running through Ed Brubaker's time at Marvel Comics (excluding Daredevil). Here Brubaker makes very good use of Marvel continuity and history. When one evaluates the entire catalog of characters available to the company (pre-Disney ownership this included almost the entire Timely Comics line of the 1940s) it makes a good deal of sense to center a story around lesser known characters. That permits the creative team more leeway in character development and what one one ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I've never made it all the way through this before, but it really is quite good. The pulpy writing from brubaker is fantastic. It's similar to his Criminal style. The art is great, with moody yet saturated colors. I know just enough marvel history (or prehistory rather) to tell that these stories are dancing around golden age continuity, connecting dots and retconning motivations and connections. The narrator being a golden era masked hero is reminiscent of watchmen, of course, but that's where ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By far one of the BEST Marvel mini series of all time in my opinion. Set in the 1930s & 40s, this book (told over 8 parts) tells (or retells depending on your POV) how the Marvel superhero universe came to be. There's a slit bit of retconning here and there but it works. What we have is an extended version of book 1 of the 1994 Marvels by Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross told from a heroes point of view and again, it just works!
Very much worth a read before the new "Legacy" books tear up Marvel
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can say that this was quite an interesting read for the origins of Marvel's superhero age. I liked how Brubaker used history to combine with the fantastic concept of superhero-ism. What started as tall-tales from a dying old man inspired others to become more than what they currently are. The only question was, how did Matt Hawkins get transported back in time to the great depression era? I liked the mystery behind it all, it's like coming in full circle and the events feels like a great loop ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Trying to get into the Invaders team and was told this is a good starting point. It retells the origin of Marvel's Golden Age WWII-era superheroes - like Captain America, Namor, & the original Human Torch - and the dawning of the first "superhero age" in the Marvel 616 continuity. Story was nicely told and the art is... fine but really not my taste (heavy black inking looks bad when paired with realistic painterly coloring IMO). Not something I'd go back and revisit, but it served its ...more
Michael Craft
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb Writing!

I love stories set in the 1940’s of the dawn of superheroes. The writer did a great job of incorporating a multitude of major and minor heroes of that time and gave us an overview of what was happening in the world. The artist was perfect for this time period. I would love to see more stories too highlight and update the heroes of this time—much like what The Invaders did.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I thought that the art in this book was incredible. The story itself was a little complicated (it jumped around a lot) and it took longer than I originally thought it would to read, but it was interesting and fun.
El Neo
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story of Marvel's past.
Murray Moore
The marvels project: the birth of the super heroes is a fun book.
*3.5 Stars* for the WWII era happenings and the art representing that so well.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ed Brubaker weaves perfect tale of mystery & action of the emerging Marvel heroes set in WW2. Enjoyed that most were lesser known characters (apart from Cap, Bucky & Red Skull)
Jamie Connolly
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This was pretty good. It’s the same setting as “marvels” and similar in a lot of ways. Good read. 4 stars
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-history, comics
Reviews of this book that complained about perceived similarities to Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come are way off track. This series is about the origin of the WWII superhero team The Invaders, formed in 1941 to combat the Nazi's in WWII and consisting of Captain America, the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and others. There is the inclusion of a old and dying Two-Gun Kid at the beginning of the book, who has knowledge of the future of the Marvel universe, the the Two-Gun Kid's knowledge ...more
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Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Uncanny X-Men. In more recent years, he has focused solely on creator-owned titles