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2016 Group Reads > Marvels [GNotM - March '16]

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message 1: by Stabbing (new)

Stabbing I'm looking forward to reading this month's graphic novel, Marvels. The discussion thread is open at your leisure.


message 2: by Tiamatty (new)

Tiamatty | 39 comments Guess I'll just post my review.

Wow. That's really about the most appropriate word for this book: Wow. It is phenomenal. A love letter to Golden and Silver Age Marvel, exploring the power of the heroes through the eyes of the common man. Protagonist Phil Sheldon is a great character in his own right, even aside from his role as the viewer's perspective on superheroes. His struggles are compelling, too.

As amazing as Busiek's writing is here, the story probably wouldn't work without Alex Ross' art. The art is gorgeous. It's stunning. It's photorealistic. Ross makes everything on the page look real, even at its most fantastic.

Marvels is one of the great comics. One of the greatest comics ever. A must-read for anyone who loves the superhero genre, or, really, anyone who loves comics as a storytelling medium. Brilliant work.


message 3: by Stabbing (new)

Stabbing Ok, I'm really late to the game this month but I started reading this last night. The first issue was great. I don't really know what it would be without the art though. It sets the whole mood of the story.

Does anyone know if the events that are in this are actually based on Golden Age stories? If so, do you know what books/issues the original stories ran in?


message 4: by David (new)

David | 17 comments Natalie wrote: "Does anyone know if the events that are in this are actually based on Golden Age stories? If so, do you know what books/issues the original stories ran in? "
Yes, many of the events portrayed in the book are from Golden and Silver age stories, some of the most iconic ones in fact. I'm not well read enough with the material to cite anything specific though.


message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 19 comments There were, I believe, some remarkable instances of serendipity when he was looking for stories and discovering things happening in different parts of the Marvel universe at the same time.


message 6: by Stabbing (new)

Stabbing Cool, I might have to do some digging and see if I can find out more. It just made me think about how a lot of Marvel Comics used to have those great little notes telling you what issue an event happened in that was being referenced.


message 7: by Stephen (last edited Apr 05, 2016 11:43PM) (new)

Stephen Brophy | 59 comments Almost all of the big moments in the book are major "historical" moments from Marvel history, with images from the original books lovingly recreated in Alex Ross' photorealistic style. The whole purpose of the project was to serve as a kind of "You are there" walkthrough of Marvel's key moments through the eyes of an everyday character we could relate to. From the original Human Torch's fight with the Sub-Mariner (the first supehero crossover story, I believe) to Gwen Stacy's tragic death to Reed and Sue's wedding (complete with costumed friends) to the X-Men confronted by an angry, fear-mongering mob, these are all moments that boomer-age readers in particular would remember fondly, while newer readers get a chance to experience them in more "realistic" recontextualized form. Busiek, with no little assist from Ross, does an amazing job of making these scenes so vivid you can't help but think, "Wow, so that's what'd it be like to see THAT happen in real life." I believe the only significant plot thread that's invented wholly for the story is the orphaned mutant child the main character's family takes in.

There's a sequel to this book that covers the Bronze Age of the late 70s and up into the late '80s/early '90s, and while it's worthwhile, it suffers from both less genuinely iconic moments to draw from, and the sad lack of Ross's amazing artwork.


message 8: by Jim, The Ulti-Moderator (new)

Jim (jkmfilms) | 785 comments Mod
This was a great monthly read - I picked it up from the library to re-read it for this month, and forgot how much I enjoyed it.


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