What can I say about the Marvels graphic novel that hasn’t already been written somewhere else? It’s gorgeous, and sumptuously illustrated by “the man” of comic artistry Alex Ross – with captivating storytelling by Kurt Busiek.
The series portrays some of Marvel’s best superhero stories, as seen through the eyes of ordinary people – specifically a photo journalist named Phil Sheldon.
Unfortunately – the plot sounded a bit too familiar.
That’s because a lot of the themes presented in Marvels are also covered again in Marvel’s popular and controversial Civil War cross-over (including using journalists to showcase the effects superheroes have on ordinary citizens). Marvels was released about 10 years prior to Civil War…but I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.
It was disconcerting to draw the parallel, but it certainly didn’t stifle my enjoyment of the series. However, much of what I would have had to say about the ideas presented here was already covered in my initial readings and rantings about Civil War.
I highly suggest giving it a read through and deciding which forum you think is best for these ideas. A huge – bazillion issue cross-over that ends in the assassination of one of comics beloved icons (Rest in Peace, Cap) OR a simple four issue plot line that somehow manages to capture many of the same concepts and ideas with less hype and more grace.
Also – big love to Busiek for weaving an interesting tale for The Mutants. The big draw to them when I first started reading the series was that they were pariahs – hated and feared by those they were sworn to protect. There is a lot of human interest in that concept which tends to become over-shadowed in the regular X-series by big boobs, tech speak, and general stupidity.
Marvels is a book I wouldn’t mind handing over to a non-comic enthused friend as a means to understanding why superheroes and comic books have managed to capture the hearts and minds of millions for so many decades. It’s a wonderful love letter to superheroes and their creators.
I’m ashamed I hadn’t read it sooner.
Much Love, Mindy C