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Marvels (2004)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Marvels (2004) Writer Kurt Busiek

Artist: Alex Ross

This is truly one of the best superhero graphic novels I've ever read. It begins with the creation of the original Human Torch in the 1930's and the sort of Frankenstein-like story that is his origin, then goes to World War II, in which other super-powered beings begin to appear, such as The Sub Mariner, who vacillates from being a good guy to a villain--and even floods NYC at one point--to the appearance of Captain America. Then we go to the introduction of the mutants--and the X-men, to the Avengers, the coming and departure of Galactus--and the death of Gwen Stacy.

All of this is told through the eyes of a photographer/writer who works at the Daily Bugle,

whose perspective on these "Marvels" (which is also the name of a book he's writing) changes, depending on the circumstance.

I like how everything seemingly fits so neatly together, from cameos by a pre-Shield Nick Fury to the marriage of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl to the appearance of this photographer's co-worker, Peter Parker. The artwork, all of which is painted, has some fun with the characters. A book publisher looks like actor/writer Del Close, Mr Fantastic is drawn to look like The Professor from Gilligan's island, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore are at the FF's wedding, which emphasizes the time 1960's time period in which this takes place. The coolest thing is that the book has a historical feel to it rather than just another comic book adventure.

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