Marvels

Marvels

by Kurt Busiek

Hardcover

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Overview

Within the Marvel Universe, heroes such as Spider-Man swing from rooftop to rooftop, while the Avengers soar high in the skies. These figures, blessed with fantastic superhuman abilities, stand ready to battle the villains who threaten their world. Yet living in the shadow of these extraordinary icons are ordinary men and women, who view the "Marvels" with a mixture of fear, disbelief, envy and admiration. Among them is Phil Sheldon, a New York City photojournalist who has dedicated his career to covering the exploits of the Marvels and their effect on humankind. A richly painted historical overview of the entire Marvel Universe, Marvels spans from the first appearance of the Human Torch in 1939 to the fearsome coming of the world-devouring Galactus, culminating in the shocking death of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man's first love. While these stories may be familiar to Marvel fans, never before have they been told in this manner -- not from the hero's perspective, but through the eyes of the ordinary man named Phil Sheldon.

In 1993, Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross's realistic portrayal of the Marvel Universe in Marvels quickly became one of the biggest comic-book hits of the decade. Garnering overwhelming praise from critics, fans and fellow professionals, the series won the industry's highest honors with three Eisner Awards in 1994. In this landmark 10th Anniversary Edition, Marvels is presented in a lavish new hardcover format, collecting all four issues of the series -- plus the Human Torch short story from Marvels #0, production notes, Ross's sketchbook, behind-the-scenes stories of the making of Marvels, and Ross and Busiek's original proposals, tracing the development of the series. A self-professed "overnight sensation ten years in the making," Kurt Busiek has been a professional comic-book writer since selling a sample script for Green Lantern to DC Comics in 1982. Following the success of Marvels in 1993, Busiek continued his partnership with Alex Ross on Astro City, a critically acclaimed series dubbed "the best comic book being published today -- period" by Wizard Magazine. A longtime fan favorite, Busiek has been the recipient of the prestigious Eisner and Harvey Awards, garnering multiple nominations for both best writer and best short story. In addition to his newest hit series, Arrowsmith, he is working on JLA/Avengers with artist George Perez.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785100614
Publisher: Marvel
Publication date: 12/01/1994
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.88(w) x 10.42(h) x 0.69(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction4
Marvels Book Zero6
Marvel Age #130 Cover19
Marvels Book 1A Time of Marvels20
Marvels Book 2Monsters Among Us66
Marvels Book 3Judgment Day112
Marvels Book 4The Day She Died158
Marvels--The Proposals205
Marvels--The Scripts229
Commentary260
Commentary294
Commentary321
Understanding Marvels358
Sources359
Marvels--The Articles360
Marvels TPB Cover, 2nd Printing373
Marvels HC Cover374
Marvels TPB Cover376
Classic Covers378
Marvels--The Artistic Process386
Marvels--Behind the Scenes394
Acknowledgements400

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Marvels 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was exactly what I was lookng for! The way it is written and illustrated really gives you a sense of reality in an unrealistic world. The drama of the birth of The Human Torch, The epic battles of the Sub Mariner, Human Torch, and Captain America against the evil nazi party in world war II, the earth saving conquest of the Fantastic Four against Galactus and Silver Surfer, and the heartbreak of the most beloved character Spiderman, when the evil Green Goblin sends his first love, Gwen Stacey plummeting from above the tall buildings of a crime ridden city to her untimely death. Oh that goblin.. Silly goblin, tricks are for kids! All of that told through the eyes of a newpaper reporter. A human prospective on inhuman events. Wow, this book makes my stomach bubble uncontrollably!!! Read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tsyroc1 More than 1 year ago
This is the Nook collected version of the book that really kicked off Alex Ross' career. It's easy to see why with the artwork. That being said the way this book shows various milestones in the history of the Marvel Universe is sure to be fun for any long term fan. The main character is a photographer in New York City who gets his start just prior to WWII when the first modern "Marvels" or super beings first start appearing. It continues from there through WWII and up to include important bit from the beginnings of Marvel. Including the FF, Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men and more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was very cool, the illustrations were great.
ander23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a Marvel nerd :) This is what you want people to understand when you tell them that you love a comic book character, and them understanding why that makes sense. This is the book that ends the argument that is comics versus art, nerdom versus reality, and mythology versus understanding. This is a story that bridges all the misconceptions of genre fiction and brings it into just fiction: this is a story, without pre-concieved notion of story, and you follow it thusly. 5 stars.
GingerbreadMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you¿ve followed my LT:ing, you know that I love what Kurt Busiek does to super hero comics. In his Astro City series, he¿s constantly exploring what it¿s like, not primarily for the guys in costumes battling it out on the roof tops, but for the mom with two kids standing on the street seeing it happen. His work is the best example I¿ve seen of whet it might actually *be like* to live in a world where super heroes, alien invasions and secret identities really exist. This is, I guess, the book that started it. In it, we follow a news photographer through the 20th century in the Marvel universe. From the emerging of the first beings with super powers, creatures like the Sub-Mariner, over the creation of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, up until the Silver age with heroes like X-men and Spiderman. Through the eyes of Phil Sheldon, we get a feel for what is going on in the city around the men and women in spandex. The initial feeling of inferiority. The insecurity those early beings created by not being heroes or villains, but acting on their own Moral code. The pride of the hero powered war machine in WW2. The brewing disgruntlement with the heroes¿ refusal to play by the rules. The hatred against mutants. And the taking of the heroes for granted.Really, what firstly deserves mention here is Alex Ross¿ artwork. I¿ve seen his fabulous covers for the Astro City series, but this is the first time I see him do a full book. The result is stellar, best I¿ve seen in the realistic genre. Most of these faces, even the ones just appearing in a panel or two, are people you¿d recognize in the street. And the angles, the colors¿.Busiek has done a massive work here too, following the Marvel universe from the birth of The Human Torch to the death of Gwen Stacy and peppering the story line with both major events and tons of little winks. I¿m not well read in Marvel enough to get it all, but still feel the cleverness of letting a teenage Nick Fury, as a man in the street, express his admiration of Captain America to a reporter, or letting the nice normal boy on a bicycle in the last page be called Danny Ketch.Unfortunately, Phil Sheldon isn¿t quite interesting enough as a main character to me. He feels this way about the marvels, then he feels that way, and his reactions are usually either to rush out into the fray with his camera or head home to be with his family. I have a feeling much more could be achieved by a bigger cast of ¿normal people¿ as main characters, allowing for more diversity and conflict, rather than having the main guy revising his viewpoint every three years. Still, a remarkable work, and mandatory reading for anyone interested in the Marvel universe.
EikaiwaCafe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With MARVELS, you needn't even open the cover to realize that you have something special in your hands. MARVELS was the debut of Ross' fully painted, nearly photo-realistic comic book illustrations. I still remember going into the comic book shop as a kid and seeing the individual issues on the shelf. I was awed by the covers, but back then the comic book shop was more of a place I entered and dreamed about, I hadn't the money to buy anything. As an adult, I've rectified that situation and the art is just as breathtaking now as it was then, but that isn't all that sets MARVELS apart, though I probably wouldn't have appreciated Kurt Busiek's story as much as a kid.Busiek shows key points of legendary Marvel characters in the formative years of the Marvel Universe... but instead of showing us the battles from the perspective of the heroes themselves, we watch the world through the eyes... err lens of a photojournalist, Phil Sheldon, from his first days on the job, prior to the explosion of superheroes, through his retirement. In the first story, he is a rookie photographer that wants to make a name for himself covering the war in Europe. At the time, the original Human Torch and Namor are the first two super beings to frequent the city... and at first, Sheldon feels powerless and insignificant beside them, even calling off his marriage because he feels he is unable to live up to a husband's duty to protect his wife and future children. However as Captain America and then the Human Torch and Namor begin fighting the Germans and Japanese, the people of America learn to embrace them as 'their heroes'. Sheldon throws off his funk and starts his career on a path not of war journalism, but of documenting the exploits of the superheroes. In the second story, set in the 60's, having come to revere the superheroes... he deals with anti-mutant prejudices. In a moment of mob passion he even throws a rock and hits Ice Man in the head. However, the discovery of a small mutant child his children have been hiding helps him learn the horror of the prejudice against mutants. This is the most touching story in the MARVELS collection, in my opinion. The end is sort of anguishing... until you take another look at the beautiful cover.The next story covers the coming of Galactus. At this time, the public perception is turning against the superheroes. Sheldon is disgusted with all the negativity directed towards the heroes, and the feeling of entitlement the people have in their protection. He decides to work on a book to put heroes, "Marvels" as he calls them, in their proper light. To this end, he becomes lost in his work and neglects his family, until, believing that the world finally is coming to an end, he realizes that he wants to spend his last moments with his family. Of course Galactus is defeated and the world is saved.In the final story, Sheldon's book is published to instant popularity. However, he finds he isn't satisfied. He still wishes to do something more, he wants to find a way to turn the tide of negative publicity, by the likes of Jameson in the Daily Bugle... though in a moment of honesty, Jameson reveals that his need to tear down the heroes are really as immaculately selfless as they seem... how can a normal man every measure up to them. He, and his readers, feel a need to pull the heroes down to a more human, fallible level. Sheldon set's out to write a book, clearing Spiderman of the accusation that he is responsible for the death of George Stacey. He finds a surprising ally in Stacey's daughter, Gwen. He sees her as the beautiful innocent that the heroes are their to protect. However, his vision of the superheroes comes crashing down as he witnesses the death of Gwen Stacey at the hands of Green Goblin. He witnesses the failure of Spiderman to save her... and his faith in the superheroes is shattered. He passes on his camera to his assistant and retires to spend time with his family.If you read MARV
GothicGuru13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story is amazing - and so is the art - but it isn't put together well - as the inside edges are too far into the crease that reading them is a frustrating challenge and repetitively caused me to lose the flow of the story as had to juxtapose the book and hold it at different angles forcing the book open a bit more so I could read and see artwork that was disappearing into a crevice.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Artwork is beautiful, classic marvel moments humanized. Much like Astro City. I don't remember a lot of the hero bashing except for Spiderman. Wanted more X-men stuff. Last story was kind of lame.
JohnMunsch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was neat that it centers around the "real" people living in the city with the Marvel Universe characters like Spider-man and The Fantastic Four. It was also better than anything else I've seen Alex Ross's artwork in so far. He definitely deserves to be paired with an equally talented writer.
NoirSeanF on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Collects the "Marvels" series by [[Alex Ross]] and [[Kurt Busiek]], #1-4 and issue #0. The first story, published serially as Marvels #0, is fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marvelous, epic, and all too human.
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