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Marvel Firsts: WWII Super Heroes Paperback – 26 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: MARVEL - US (26 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785167919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785167914
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 2.5 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The key thing to remember it is the WWII Super heroes so only the superheroes are featured and only up to the WWII .. though the WWII is a loose thing as many of the stories have little to do with WWII (especially the early Human Torch and Sub Mariner tales). The color and art reconstruction is excellent. The covers and information is first rate. Totally recommended addition to the Marvels Firsts. Hope they eventually bring out a Marvel Firsts 1940s-50s / Atlas years etc
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Nazis Beware! Gangsters Surrender! Mad Scientists...Get Ready to Die on the Last Page! 28 Feb. 2013
By David Lawrence - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh my is DELICIOUSLY bad! Even by the standards of the day.

I thought the clunky Human Torch origin by Carl Burgos was the worst thing I'd ever seen...and it was, till I kept reading.

I say that with love and respect, mind you. I knew what I was getting into and was not disappointed.

Not as much Simon and Kirby as I had hoped. The book features all first appearances, in the order of original publishing, so the limits them. There is a solo outing by Joe Simon on The Fiery Mask. Jack does some inspired work without Joe on Mercury.

Early Marvel had a thing for robots...4 I think, counting the not-quite-human Torch. Maybe 5...not sure WHAT Dynamic Man is.

One thing that stands head and shoulders over everything that isn't Simon & Kirby is the Sub-Mariner origin by Bill Everett, in quality of both art and story. It is a tragedy that his personal demons limited his productivity and shortened his life and career. Though his second contribution, The Fin, is nearly incomprehensible. And nearly might be kind.

A lot of forgettable characters, a lot of forgettable art. A smidgen of inspired weirdness. The Black Widow, though not precisely good, is just so far out there...rounding up criminals for Satan, really?!? Rockman, drawn by the great Basil Wolverton, is interesting to look at. The Whizzer, gifted with super-speed thanks to a transfusion of mongoose blood...really, if that's all it takes Lance Armstrong could have avoided a lot of trouble. With three dozen-ish costumed crimefighters, surely something will grab your attention.

One thing that struck me is the sheer bloodlust of early Marvel's villains, heroes and writers. Some of the heroes are practically serial killers. The body count piles up pretty high as skyscrapers collapse, ships sink and wild weather events wipe out whole towns.. You wouldn't want to be an innocent bystander in this book!

For the most part, you'll forget each character as soon as you turn the page but the book is packed and the pages keep turning. The reproduction is good, colors and printing aren't muddy, pages are nice and white. I wish there was more in the way of editorial commentary but I tend to feel that way about most collections.

As always when dealing with this period, expect some awful ethnic stereotypes and I think you need a history with and a love for the genre to enjoy these wacky trips back to yesterday. Still, well worth picking up for anyone who enjoys the wondrous entertainment power of bad Golden Age comics.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
For hard-core fans or history buffs. 16 Sept. 2013
By Mark Treitel - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "Marvel Firsts" collections haven't disappointed. I'd give it 5 stars in the presentation and completeness. They used high quality paper, and dynamic colors. Bill Everett's Sub-Mariner, which you've probably read before, was magnificent. The book is laid out in chronological order, with a full page of the comic cover, a very short bio of which characters were introduced, and then the "origin" story. This is great for collectors and a way to read the stories you may have heard about, or didn't even know existed. I recommend reading "The Twelve" which was Marvel's way of reintroducing these characters, so I had an idea who some of them were.

As other reviewers have pointed out, there is a level of overt racism which is truly cringe-worthy. Many of these characters are all rip-offs and every bad guy is a mobster. They are blood thirsty, will kill, and are definitely of their time.

For the price you are paying, if you want a chance to read these stories in order and get a historical sense, I highly recommend it. You will see allusions to charcters you may be familiar with. E.g. "The Destroyer", "Ghost Rider".

I'm assuming Marvel released this because of the New Invaders book forthcoming in Marvel Now, (approximately December 2013). But this book stands on its own. The stories are basically forgettable, so my higher rating is due to the great production value of the compendium.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Marvel Golden Age Bible 12 Dec. 2013
By Max Michaels - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up with a passing curiosity of the obscure characters from Marvel's Timely period that popped up in the modern MU here and there. Over the past decade, the publisher has released many hardcover Masterworks volumes featuring some of these characters, but the volumes are pricey and a little too comprehensive for someone with only a general interest in this primitive comics period.

Thankfully, Marvel released this collection under their "Firsts" softcover line. This 450+ page volume features origin stories from well-known ( Cap, Torch, Namor), less known (Whizzer, Destroyer, Miss America), obscure (Blazing Skull, Thunderer, Jack Frost) to REALLY obscure (Invisible Man, the Ferret, Secret Stamp). Characters from Marvel's recent-ish "The Twelve" series like Basil Wolverton's Rockman are represented, as well as early counterparts of familiar names like The Vision, Black Widow, and the Angel. The only notable omissions are stories featuring Thin Man, Blue Diamond, and Citizen V, all who have appeared in the modern MU.

Reproduction on these stories is quite nice. The material seems to benefit from the thinner paper and standard comic size, rather than the larger-sized, thick, glossy paper stock presented in the Masterworks collections. The Jack Frost story is beautiful, and I've never seen the oft-reprinted Sub-Mariner origin by Bill Everett look so good.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Reproduction 1 Mar. 2013
By Samuel C. Urfer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book presents a series of "first appearences" for various 30's & 40's Marvel Superhero characters. The reproductions are beautifully rendered, crisp to look at, and the book itself is solid. The stories are of varied quality; some are amazing and entertaining, some are pretty bad. But even the bad comics have a certain charm and historical value. One of my main takeaways is the realization that many early superheros were simply serial killers with a mafia fetish:sort of Dexter in a circus outfit. It provides interesting food for thought in regards to the cutesy hyper-innocent nature of later Silver Age characters. A good addition to the bookshelf.
"Marvel Firsts - Golden Age Super Heroes" would have been a better title 4 Jan. 2015
By Gary Dunaier - Published on
Format: Paperback
My biggest problem with the book was the title, "Marvel Firsts - WWII Super Heroes." The title made me think the book was a collection of stories set in World War II, and since that's not one of my topics of interest, I wasn't interested in the book as well. "Marvel Firsts - Golden Age Super Heroes" would have been a more accurate title - not all of the stories included were published during World War II. For example, you get three stories from 1939's Marvel Comics #1 (Human Torch, the Angel, and Submariner).

By its nature, many of the stories reprinted in this volume are set during the war, and have war themes. Again, if you're not into war, you're probably not going to want this book no matter what it's called. But it's a good representation of the type of material Marvel was publishing during the Golden Age, and if you like looking at covers there are plenty of pages showing covers of other Golden Age Marvels that are otherwise not reprinted in the book.

My biggest complaint is that, while the pages are numbered, the contents pages in the front of the book don't indicate what pages the stories are on.

For me, this is one of those books I'm glad I have for the sake of having it. I don't plan to get the entire "Marvel Firsts" series unless I can get some of the later ones really, really cheap - but I would say that if you just want a representation of Golden Age Marvel in general, as opposed to collections devoted to specific characters, this is the book to buy.
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