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~Free E-pub ♟ Marvels ♤ Welcome To New York Here, Burning Figures Roam The Streets, Men In Brightly Colored Costumes Scale The Glass And Concrete Walls, And Creatures From Space Threaten To Devour Our World This Is The Marvel Universe, Where The Ordinary And Fantastic Interact Daily This Is The World Of MarvelsWitness The Birth Of This Fantastic Universe From The Inside See The World S Greatest Heroes In A Different Light, With A New Awe And A Touch Of FearFor The First Time, Experience The Marvel Universe From A Whole New Perspective Yours Collects Marvels And Marvels I just read Ed Brubaker s Marvels Project and liked that a bit better, but it may just be a matter of taste I like Brubaker s and Steve Epting s earthier noir approach versus the glossier, dramatic work of Busier and Ross But I gave both 4 stars They both take a kind of unique wide angle, meta and historical approach to the history and purpose of comics both are approaches to the inception of the Golden Age of superheroes in the late thirties, as WWII loomed for the US We see the love of comics at least in the US in both volumes as in part driven by our interest in fighting Evil, and with a sense of optimism about doing so in the waning of the Depression Everything seems possible We can unite with them under FDR s leadership with the Allies to defeat a common enemy Both humanize the comics, putting it in the context of regular folks, helping us see things from the angle of the Everyman that encountered them suddenly everywhere Marvels looks at heroes and villains with a contemporary feel, with moral ambiguity about what they positively and negatively might do with their powers It s dangerous having all these superheroes flying around Busiek takes the approach specifically of telling the story through photographer Phil Sheldon He s even hurt by one of them in the process, but keeps on snapping We get to meet many of them, too, one by one The point is ALL of them, just rolling out many of them versus a focus on one superhero and his story And Sheldon does the meta fictional thing of publishing a book of photographs of superheroes called Marvels There are Ross pages with dramatic swooping inspiring superhero feats alternating with the corresponding intimacy of the awe and worries of the Common Man Over all, I would say with Brubaker s volume they are indispensable comics works, and I am glad I have finally read them. Treasure of the Rubbermaids 17 Marvel At Marvel s Marvelous Marvels The on going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent s house and untouched for almost 20 years Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths.I would hate to be a New Yorker in the Marvel universe because it seems like the city is constantly being threatened by super villains, invaded by aliens, flooded by pissed off Atlanteans, or beset by some other form of comic book mayhem I ll bet it s impossible to get property insurance at all.Comic book readers get a ring side seat and full explanations for everything that s happening, but what would your average man on the street think about all this insanity That s what Marvels explores beautifully.Phil Sheldon is a young newspaper photographer during the Great Depression who witnesses the public unveiling of the original Human Torch followed shortly after by the appearance of Namor the Sub Mariner Like most people, Sheldon is initially shocked and disturbed by these new super beings he thinks of as Marvels who routinely turn New York into a battleground With the coming of WWII and the introduction of Captain America, Phil embraces the costumed heroes who fight the Nazis.Years later in the early 60s, an explosion of superheroes creates an odd mix of emotions in Phil and the general public The Fantastic Four and The Avengers are celebrities who get put on magazine covers while some don t know whether Spider Man is a good guy or a criminal, and the mutant X Men are feared and persecuted Phil s work as a photojournalist puts him in the middle of almost every big event Marvel did during the Silver Age, and he frequently finds himself conflicted about how he feels about them.This does a great job of exploring that idea of how the public responds to larger than life characters and events that make them feel scared and insignificant, and one of the things I ve always liked about Marvel s comics is how they ve always portrayed the public s attitudes towards the superheroes as being full of contradictions People cheer the heroes like Iron Man and Captain America, but some blame them for the fights that cause so much destruction The mutants are the target of hatred and bigotry while stores sell clothing lines based on the many costumes of Wasp New Yorkers will cheer on the Fantastic Four as they battle Galactus to save the entire world, but just days later their landlord will try to evict them from the Baxter Building for the danger they attract.Phil s a great character to use in the midst of this because he s a decent, ordinary guy who is still fully capable of giving into his worst instincts at times He makes a career out of documenting the craziness that comes with the superheroes and thinks deeply about what the heroes mean to all of them At times he almost worships them but can easily swing to resentment and jealously Phil s attitude towards them mirror how the superheroes have always been portrayed with a mixture of admiration and fear in the Marvel comics The stunning artwork has a retro realism to it that really makes you feel like you re looking at people wearing tights in the 1960s, yet still conveys all the wonder of seeing someone otherworldly like the Silver Surfer By showing us how one regular person reacted to some of Marvel s greatest hits, this moving tribute to the past gives a fresh perspective on how fans relate to the characters in these wild and amazing stories. 2.5 starsI think I get what Marvel was aiming for with Marvels, and I ve been a fan of their legendary roster of super characters for nearly 40 years, but this book was dull Said characters aren t even the stars of this storyline they re strictly limited to featured status, noticeably detached in a sense.The plot focuses on a fictional New York City photojournalist the second time I ve used that job title in a review today how odd from The Greatest Generation who specializes in covering the notable superheroes who debut during the WWII era Captain America, Sub Mariner, etc and then later in the 60 s Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X Men, Spider Man, and many The illustrations were often first rate and the humor was sly on occasion e.g look for the Beatles, among other celebs, attending the nuptials of Mr Fantastic and Invisible Girl , but the story just seemed creaky. A very bland book story wise that is only saved by Alex Ross and his beautiful painted artwork It s basically a condensed history of the Marvel universe shown from the perspective of the regular people As a result, we don t really see any of the superheroes doing anything heroic, and the regular folks perspective doesn t bring anything interesting to the table by itself If anything, it makes it even obvious how arbitrarily and illogically hate is distributed among the superheroes in the Marvel universe People hate the X Men because why, exactly Why don t they hate Captain America the same way Why do people despise Spider Man but not the Fantastic Four, love The Wasp and can t stand Iron Man apparently The book clumsily raises those questions but doesn t have a clear answer I m not sure what kind of message Busiek was aiming for here, but I missed it That Alex Ross art, though Every time he gets to do a splash page or a double spread, it s phenomenal This is the book s main strength, and if it was just that a retelling of Marvel universe history illustrated exclusively by large format Alex Ross paintings, it would have been infinitely better This could have been the definitive go to comic for new Marvel readers, showing everything they need to know about the universe As it is, though, the tacked on story of Phil Sheldon the photographer is soulless, pointless and entirely forgettable, and that s a real shame. In my view Marvels is one of, if not the greatest, comics released by Marvel Comics I first encountered it as a twelve year old and have read it several times since And each time I encounter again what it is that makes Marvels a stand out work in the Marvel universe of comics.The artwork in Marvels is clearly a stand out feature Though Alex Ross is better known for his work in the also grand Kingdom Come I personally prefer his artwork here where he first worked his unique stylistic magic In my eyes Marvels has some of the greatest illustrations in the genre While Watchmen and Batman The Dark Knight Returns may be the greatest acclaimed graphic novels, I believe that alongside Batman Noel this novel has the greatest artwork style.The story is essentially a trip through Marvel comic history, beginning with the WW2 based heroes and moving forward to the space age cosmic heroes This trip is seen from the Odyssean perspective of one man by the name of Phil Sheldon Phil is a photographer who through the course of the novel takes advantage of the rise of superheroes to gain work experiences Through his eyes the reader sees how the world is changing with the rise of the superhero and the prejudice as regards the mutant X Men As an aspect of this comic history the reader can see the interconnected nature of the comics I believe this shows better than any Marvel comic how connected the story arcs are And in this way it makes the perfect entry novel into the Marvel universe It also makes for the perfect novel to see a progression of human reactions to the heroes across the different entire continuing arcs Part of the joy and brilliance of this graphic novel is how it also shows how individuals respond to the heroic and to the extraordinary There is the sense that there are those vigilante style heroes the Spiderman characters who are disliked, because, despite being the heroes with power and responsibility, they are the heroes who make the right calls There are the heroes like The Avengers, the public heroes which are loved and adored by many until they make an error or leave an unforgiving public to their fate Then there are the X Men, those unloved figures seeking desperately to be accepted and working behind the scenes as heroes And then of course for every hero you have a villain, the individual who chooses to use their abilities for other purposes.The book essentially could be seen as filled with metaphors for the changes in history after WW2 For instance the rise of the nuclear powered heroes, or heroes who gained powers from nuclear power, are representative of the advent of the Cold War, where the racism directed against the X Men reminds one of the periods of racism throughout recent history In such a way though Marvels is a beautiful romp through a world imbued with super heroics it is also a tribute to our own history and a reminder through the eyes of the everyman of how we as people adapt to the changing times.In short this is a poignant book full of superheroes and also with a deeper look into how the ordinary individual must survive in a world where men and women can tear down buildings with ease Or to put it in other words, how men and women survive in an era of gods and mortals, an era of politics and advanced technology It is the story of the marvels but it is also the story of the ordinary people caught in the crossfire of the miraculous and therefore the deadly And I personally know of few other comics perhaps Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns in some sense do this that take a look into how people are affected by the extraordinary As such I rate this as an important, must read, graphic novel. It took me a bit to warm up to this one but by the end I had come around Obviously great art and a very good story I know they shared the artist but I felt like this had a Marvel s version of Kingdom Come feel though I know this came first so maybe Kingdom Come was DC s version of this. Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross Marvels is their love letter to the superheroes of the Golden Age and Silver Age of Marvel Comics Theirs is a tale that examines the Marvel universe through the eye of an everyman character, Phil Sheldon Like his fellow unpowered denizens, he and his family have to live through every invasion, super villain attack and the coming of Galactus fearing that each crisis would bring about the end of their world.The story brought it acclaim and the theme explored in several other books featuring painted art But it is Alex Ross art that would be the true reason this work stands out Each cover and page is lovingly painted in the photorealistic style that becomes Ross trademark It is not traced, or done by light box, but every line is rendered by freehand Every detail is in there, rendered by a key eye who certainly knows his comics Some of its panels are even recreated from key moments in Marvel comics.It is a joy to read, or even just to scan the beautiful art Every comics fan should a copy of this masterpiece Even if you don t appreciate comics, this is a book that will improve your opinion of comics, as this a product of high production values and a keen eye for detail. Photographer Phil Sheldon experiences what it s like to live in a world of super heroes, from the rise of the Human Torch in the late thirties all the way to the dawn of the mutants, the first appearance of Galactus, and the death of Gwen Stacy.When Marvels first hit scene, I was a wee lad of 17 The internet was in its infancy and comic shops were dying by the dozen As it became easier to come by comics, or graphic novels if you re too cool to read comics, I always had a mind to read this but didn t pick it up until recently.Maybe it was just nearly twenty years of expectations but I wasn t wowed by this Sure, the premise is cool and Alex Ross is still Alex Ross but not a hell of a lot happens Busiek s writing has never done much for me and this is no exception I think Busiek should send Alex Ross a fruit basket or something every week considering this is the book that moved Busiek on to bigger and better things.Don t get me wrong, I like Phil Sheldon s odyssey through the Marvel universe from an everyman s point of view It s cool seeing what he thinks about things and how his life unfolds alongside superheroes fighting in the streets and sky of New York for decades A brief sidebar, if I may One thing that always bugged me about the Marvel Universe is how the mutants are continuously feared and or shat upon but the regular superheroes are idolized for the most part Really Is it likely that the X Men are going to destroy your house during a battle than the Avengers Is a mutant dangerous than someone like the Spider Man Anyway, back to the show.Maybe my less than stellar reaction to this book is due to almost 20 years of speculation on my part I kept thinking, when is stuff going to happen I feel like Alex Ross s artwork was wasted and should have been used on a story with action, like Kingdom Come, which I rated higher than this but probably won t hold up well under a re read So yeah Marvels Fantastic art, kind of a meh story for me It may have been a case of wrong book, wrong time Your mileage may vary. I ve read Marvels times than I can possibly count Thousands of other people have written glowing reviews so much better than I ever could Let me just say that I love this book, I always have The experience of reading it is always magical for me, completely enthralling And the art, that makes it all feel so real while I m reading it This goes very high on my list of all time favorite comics.