Back in 1994, Marvel Comics unveiled a highly original new take on the history of their comic universe in the beloved four-issue series Marvels, written by Kurt Busiek with art from Alex Ross. If you’re a Marvel fan, and you’ve never read it, do you yourself a favor and check it out. The groundbreaking comic not only has a phenomenal story, but Ross’ art is utterly breathtaking.
Marvels explores key events that transpired in the Marvel Universe between 1939 and 1974 from the perspective of a Daily Bugle photographer named Phil Sheldon. Several incidents from the history of Marvel Comics go down right before his eyes, and we follow along as he snaps photos of the action.
The story begins when superheroes first start popping up on planet Earth. Sheldon, the photographer, refers to these superheroes as “Marvels.” First, the Human Torch is unveiled by scientists. Later, other “Marvels” such as Captain America and Sub-Mariner enter the fray. Over the course of decades, loads of Marvel heroes and villains are introduced to the world. And we see it all from the point of view of Sheldon, an average joe.
At first, he’s kind of freaked out by the “Marvels.” However, he eventually becomes awe-struck by them, as does the rest of the world.
When World War II hits, some of the “Marvels” go off and fight in the war effort. Later on, in the 60s, superhero collectives like the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four hit the ground running, and the world gets swept up in anti-mutant paranoia. All the while, Sheldon continues to catch everything on his camera. He’s even working on putting together a book filled with his photos of the “Marvels.”
As Sheldon watches these events transpire over the years, we see these “Marvels” from his perspective. It puts the reader in the shoes of an ordinary human being who just so happens to live in a world filled with superheroes. And after seeing them from a human’s point of view, it makes you wonder how you would react to these “Marvels” if they existed for real.
Amazon user Danno provides this helpful review:
“…it contains some of Alex Ross’ freshest and most beautiful artwork and Kurt Busiek’s clever story and characters have more heart and humanity than virtually all of the MCU’s feature films put together.”
You should add Marvels to your collection because it is incomplete without it. Pick up a copy by clicking on the Amazon button below: