Thursday, August 29, 2019

Marvel Comics #1000

   I'm all for anniversary celebrations, and Marvel turns 80 this year, so I took the plunge and picked up Marvel Comics #1000.

   And guess what? It was surprisingly good!

   Since it promised (and delivered) a small army of writers and artists contributing, it promised to be a complete hodgepodge of concepts - and it is, but it actually all works.


   The idea behind it is apparently the brainchild of writer Al Ewing, whose pages keep the concept together. Each page reaches back to one of the years that made Marvel, starting with the first appearance of the original Human Torch and ticking off an event each year counting up to the present day.

   Some concepts are clever, some of the links are a bit of a stretch or seem self-serving - but most are rather touching and well-crafted.

   There's also a plot thread running through it, as the mystery behind a powerful black mask unfolds.

   There's a great lineup of talent on display here, including some Silver Age creators - it's nice to see Gerry Conway working on a Spider-Man page, and Roy Thomas checking in with one of his famous co-creations.

   Of course, some are notable for their absence. They couldn't get John Byrne, Frank Miller or John Romita, Jr. to contribute a page? 

   But even with 80-plus pages, I suppose they couldn't include everyone. 

   I enjoyed this mix of styles and approaches much more than I would have expected. The issue rises above its concept and delivers a fun package that honors Marvel's history and sets up some future challenges as well.


Grade: A-


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