Take a guided tour through the vast cosmos known as the Marvel Universe and meet the superheroes -- Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four -- and the supervillains -- Green Goblin, Magneto, Galactus, Doctor Doom -- whose adventures have thrilled millions of comic book readers. Comics insider Peter Sanderson recounts Marvel's main story lines and delves into the lives of major characters, showing how different writers shaped their fates. The illustrations include scenes from ground-breaking stories, showcasing the best work of important Marvel artists.
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In the 1960s, Marvel Comics revitalized then-staid superhero comics by introducing characters with superhuman powers but quite human imperfections and temperaments. Sanderson's survey of Marvel's costumed champions really starts with the 1961 launching of the Fantastic Four, who led the way for Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and the hundreds of other inhabitants of what would come to be known as the Marvel Universe and "a modern-day mythology." Over the years, the many writers and artists who chronicled these heroes' exploits strived to maintain a tight-knit continuity to lend consistency, if hardly verisimilitude, to their larger-than-life adventures. Unlike Les Daniels, whose Marvels (1991) related the company's history through its comics and their creators, Sanderson focuses on the characters and the considerable changes they have undergone to stay timely. His big, copiously illustrated book should thrill current comics fans, and baby boomers who haven't picked up a Marvel comic in decades may be astonished to learn what has become of some childhood heroes. Gordon FlaggFrom Publishers Weekly:
Captain American, Spider-Man, Wolverine, the nonviolent Doctor Strange, caster of rhymed spells, the swashbuckling vigilante Daredevil, the Manhattan-based Fantastic Four, Eastern European tyrant Doctor Doom, the rampaging Incredible Hulk and his alter-ego, mild-mannered physicist Bruce Banner, are among the heroes and villains we meet in this lavish, nostalgic survey of Marvel Comics' major characters, story lines and artists. Sanderson, Marvel's former archivist, views these fantasies as a modern-day mythology recasting age-old themes of heroism and human struggle in pop cultural trappings. His entertaining text, decked out with kinetic story-captioned artwork, insets and comic-book lore, interprets these comics as parables of the Cold War, space race, multiple personality disorder, teen angst, love and hate between the sexes?and as good, old-fashioned storytelling with more than camp appeal for adults. Featuring 400 color illustrations, the book is a visual knockout. BOMC selection.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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