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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and realistic interpretation of the Marvel history
This is a great book for marvel fans used to the various references to its backhistory and the interlinking of themes between it's various characters and groups. Busiek and Ross craft a great history following the development of Marvels comics, and a fascinating story to boot covering all sorts of ideas. The main thing is that they make the superheroes seem real - and...
Published on 17 Dec 2000 by matt@skyre.freeserve.co.uk

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT
Interesting to see early Alex Ross - but story did not really grip. Some nice visuals though. Helps if you know the story of the Marvel Universe already.
Published 16 months ago by JULIAN FLETCHER


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and realistic interpretation of the Marvel history, 17 Dec 2000
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
This is a great book for marvel fans used to the various references to its backhistory and the interlinking of themes between it's various characters and groups. Busiek and Ross craft a great history following the development of Marvels comics, and a fascinating story to boot covering all sorts of ideas. The main thing is that they make the superheroes seem real - and realistic - quite an accomplishment.
And Ross's artwork is second to none
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Marvel Graphic around., 14 Oct 2005
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
Marvels, is probably the best graphic novel to look at the Marvel universe, it does not focus on the heroes, but on the life of one man who records their actions, news photographer Phil Sheldon. We follow his career from its beginnings in the 1940s with the emergence of the first Marvels, the original Human Torch, the Sub Mariner and Captain America. Then through the 1960s, where New York has become home to the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and where Sheldon himself becomes caught up in anti-mutant hysteria against the original incarnation of the X-Men. Then the later 1960s when Galactus arrives in New York and finally the 1970s where Sheldon investigates the death of NYPD captain Stacey and befriends his daughter.
The artwork is nothing short of fantastic, being a long time fan of Alex Ross, I feel that this is possibly his best work, coupled with the superb writing of Kurt Busiek. The characters of the superheroes are given a totally different slant than what we are used to, they appear godlike at times and all to flawed at others, Sheldon's character reacts to them like I expect we all would if they ever emerged in our world, with a mix of fear and wonder. The battles they fight among themselves are what I imagined the war between the Greek Gods and the Titans was like, with the ordinary man in the street unwillingly caught up in events he can't control, but the consequences of which he has to live with. Galactus' arrival in New York is nothing short of spectacular, looking more like a fiery god descending from his kingdom to wreak terrible harm on mankind, all the people can do is watch as the Fantastic Four attempt to stop him, when it's over though it will be those ordinary people who will have to rebuild and collect their lives. The heroes seem almost aloof in this regard, saving the world, but not apparently aiding in rebuilding.
The 1960s book of the graphic is I think the best of the four collected in this volume, the writing from Busiek is at its best here I think, with the anti-mutant hysteria and the public's and Sheldon's reaction to the X-Men, what he calls the 'dark side to the marvels'. In short the graphic is nothing short of amazing, I asked myself at the end if I would act differently and while I like to think I would, I know I probably wouldn't. These heroes are far too godlike for any of us not to fear them, much like Kingdom Come; it asks how humanity would react to a group of super powered beings taking it upon themselves to defend the world, our lives in their hands. Because at the back of everyone's mind is 'can we trust them' it is their very godlike powers that make us fear them, if they wanted to they could walk all over us and we know it.
Read this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous marvels, 3 Aug 2010
This review is from: Marvels Premiere HC (Hardcover)
Being fan of Alex Ross, this buy was a no brainer, and this edition was an extra bonus.

This was Alex's earliest work in this genre, and it doesn't go un noticed, but he still manages to bring the characters to life and put them into the `real' world. Combined with Busiek's writing, this really delivers the goods, and in such a clever way.

The story is told from the point of view of a photographic journalist who witnessed the first ever sighting of these extraordinary folk `back in the day' and despite what he or society feels, about them, "are they friends or foes?" documents their appearances through the years .. Here is an eye witness account of those stories as they intertwine with each other through the eyes of one man.

The cover and hard back packaging, as well as the `extra features' - Ross's designs, principle drawings and insight into his techniques really make this a show piece for anyone's collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous, 31 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. Leighton P. Jones (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
I am relatively new to Graphic Novels and have so far concentrated on the must reads (Watchmen, Maus etc) and Batman novels. This was the book I chose to introduce me to the Marvel Universe and it did so brilliantly.

It is set from the early 1940s to the early 1970s in Marvel's New York. The book begins with the birth of The (original) Human Torch and ends with a significant death in the life of Spider-Man. In between these events we see and hear about many key events in the rise and fall of various Marvel characters but only through the eyes of a news photographer, just a regular guy. In this way we get a potted history of key episodes in the Marvel Universe whilst also seeing what it might be like to actually live in it.

Around 60 or 70 major and minor Marvel characters are involved in the story - some with key roles, many just cameos and others blink-and-you-miss-it appearances or even just small references in the text or background. I knew some of these characters from films (Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four), some from general popular culture (Hulk, Captain America, Thor), and some I'd never heard of (Namor the Sub-Mariner, Black Widow).

I would recommend this book to anyone who is new to the Marvel Universe but I also think it would be great to re-visit the more I get to know the various characters from reading other Marvel Graphic Novels.

In 1995, Marvel released the darker spin off Ruins (Books 1-2 Complete) (Marvel Alterniverse)

The 2008 direct sequel is called Marvels: Eye Of The Camera TPB
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvels, 12 Sep 2002
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
This Graphic Novel is Great, With excellent artwork from the master Alex Ross to the sublime writing by Busiek It grabs the attention of the reader from page one. Unlike a lot of the superhero stories this is told from the viewpoint of a normal man trying to make his way in the world as a reporter/photographer as the world changes so much around him. It starts in the 1930s with the creation of an artifical man that reacts to oxygen in a unique way and ross's artwork here has to be seen to be believed. and continues through the main characters life untill his retirement and passing on of his camera to his apprentice. Any one who follows the classic marvel characters will see them all here and in most cases their defining moments are played out to the camera. A case in point being spidermans inability to save Gwen Stacy. All in all this is required reading for anyone who has a love for comics and Marvels Characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, 25 Mar 2013
By 
This review is from: Marvels TPB (New Printing) (Graphic Novel Pb) (Paperback)
Until Marvels, the only graphic novels we'd read were the Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way (which we love), but our mate lent us this one, as we're interested in writing our own. It's fantastic. The artwork by Alex Ross is incredible and the story by Kurt Busiek is unique. Instead of a comic where you just follow the superhero, this book is told from the point of view of a photo journalist and his take on the superheroes, or marvels, as he calls them. He witnesses the things you don't see in other stories - the devastating effects on the city as the Marvels battle with each other, the innocent bystanders caught up in the fights, and the people's attitudes to the Marvels. Phil's attitude towards the Marvels changes through the stories - he fears them, he loves them, he hates them, he feels sorry for them. And it's brilliant to take the journey with him. We'd recommend this to anyone, even if you're not a fan of graphic novels.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!, 4 Jun 2006
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
for a novice like myself, this is the first graphgic novel that i have ever bought and i was so impressed i bought another one! the narration is fantastic and the pace reflects the images brilliantly. the attention to detail and the texture of the images blending so fluidly amongst each other is an added bonus-i fell in love after the first couple of pages jsut with the layout, colours etc. only problem is that if you don't know all of the characters or their development then you do come a bit stuck as it spans the life of Marvel (i think) from WW2 to the 80s. also as it is done in the perspective of the spectator, new ideologies are formed and it is an interesting interaction.

great novel with great visual companion-a must buy!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great graphic novel!, 21 Jan 2005
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
This fascinating graphic novel is a history of the Marvel universe, seen through the eyes of "common people", and more particularly, Phil Sheldon, press photographer. Throughout his career, Phil watches the superheroes ("Marvels" as he calls them), and also he watches the common people as they interact with the Marvels. Along the way, the reader is treated to a few essays by Stan Lee, Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Scott McCloud, with their thoughts on the Marvels.
This book bored my eight-year-old son, as the superheroes were such minor characters. But, I found myself caught up in the story; reliving memories of watching the Marvel universe unfold throughout my life. (Boy, do I wish that I had saved those old comic books!) I found the authors' take on things to be quite though provoking. Indeed, he showed how people have always had a love/hate relationship with the Marvels from their inception through the 1970s, in spite of the other changes in their world.
This is a great graphic novel, one with a refreshingly different take. I highly recommend it to you!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The One Eyed Man Is King, 20 July 2006
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
It is difficult to praise this book too highly, exceptional art and writing combine to make it a top quality example of the comic book form.

In a way, Busiek here acheives the exact opposite of Alan Moore's usual trick when re-imagining old comic-book heroes: he stays faithful to the originals.Unlike "Miracleman",say, for example,"Marvels" retains the storylines and characters from the source material more or less intact and in retelling them reveals themes and even storylines not obvious in the original works.

In short, "Marvels" retells about 40 years of more or less ephemeral comic book writing,by diverse creators and forges this mass of material into a cohesive and entertaining story.

The story culminates with the death of Spiderman's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. This is fitting as in many ways this storyline was the inevitable culmination of the Marvel Comics policy of "realistic" settings and stories for its two dimensional super heroic characters. This death of a major character paved the way for ever more violent and realistic styles of story.

Although collecting many authors' and artists' works, it is pleasing that Stan Lee is allowed to write the introduction to "Marvels", since the bulk of the storys retold here, and the overall idea of a cohesive shared universe which all the heroes inhabit, owes more to him than to anyone.(If the peerless Jack Kirby was still alive let's hope this intro would have been jointly written.)

The only caveat in an unqualified recommendation would be: anyone unfamiliar with the source material may not enjoy it as much.
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3.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT, 29 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Marvels TPB (New Printing) (Graphic Novel Pb) (Paperback)
Interesting to see early Alex Ross - but story did not really grip. Some nice visuals though. Helps if you know the story of the Marvel Universe already.
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Marvels TPB (New Printing) (Graphic Novel Pb)
Marvels TPB (New Printing) (Graphic Novel Pb) by Kurt Busiek (Paperback - 6 Jan 2010)
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