Marvels 10th Anniversary Special
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Plot/Story:
Art:
Dialogue:
    Presentation:
Wr. Kurt Busiek
Ill. Alex Ross

The ageless tale within Marvels has easily become a comic book classic and should be in the library of every single comic book aficionado.

Simply put, Kurt Busiek's emotional and intimate take on the Marvel universe through the eyes of a regular human being, paved the way for the new generation of comic book readers. Just like Alan Moore's Watchmen and Frank Miller's Dark Knight Strikes Again, Busiek's and Ross' Marvels deserves an equal amount of praise and importance within the comic book community.

As a newer generation reader when I first saw the series in 1994, even though it created a certain amount of buzz, it did not hold as much importance back then as it does now upon a re-visitation 11 years later. I did not concern myself with revolutionary works of art, nor did I care about the creative aspects of a comic book. A name meant everything, and anything with Spiderman or X-men in it, was a good comic book no matter the art or story. As a more mature reader nowadays, when I reread Marvel's, especially in this gorgeous 10th anniversary edition, my value towards what the story did for me and for comic books skyrocketed tremendously.

Marvels 10th Anniversary Special by Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross.Everybody talks about Miller's Batman and Watchmen as the perennial books that altered the perception of comic books in our world. However, no one speaks as highly of the Kingdom Comes, Squadron Supremes, and Marvels of the other side. Each work was just as revolutionary. Without Marvels, Marvel Comics as a company, would not have as much success as it does now because for Marvel, this was their Watchmen.

This highly pivotal tale propelled to stardom, arguably the best painter within comic books, Alex Ross. Even though this was his first mainstream project he delivered in every possible way and stunned every fan and critic alike with his detail and final output. A little bit rough on the edges, it is as beautiful as anything printed in the history of funny book pages.

The story is viewed through the eyes of a photographer as the world around him changes with inclusion of superhero/villains of the Marvel universe. Busiek weaves together a fantastic story that is rich in history and detail and flies along with tons of cohesive and historically relevant dialogue without any letdown. For the first time in the Marvel universe you are left caring for the people that find themslevs around these super powered beings. You are equally confused and scared, as the regular human tries to live amongst what has been presented to them, as their superior. Each issue spans a few years as the photographer ages, but connects the most important events in Marvel Comics history, in a wonderful uncluttered yarn.

For this review, I read the essential 10th anniversary. This collection of the mini series contains the best/largest amount of extras and w/o arguments presentation of any trade ever put out. Only with these bonuses can one fully appreciate the complexity and beauty that the series presents. No only is the story fully reprinted on glossy stock in a red leather hardbound, it has an astonishing 195 pages of extra features!

The most appealing of those features would be all of the proposals that Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross sent to Marvel Comics as you can see the evolution of the original story to what you hold in your hands. The entire process with commentary is the most in depth and intimate look into a creation of a comic I have ever seen. And for the writer to be there are, in their entirety, 4 scripts that show how neurotic and extremely detailed Kurt Busiek can be. If you compare the scripts to the art pages, you can even notice slight/extreme changes that occurred in the creative process. But that is not all, there are tons and tons of Alex Ross sketches and an annotated section by the artist about the easter eggs that he put within certain panels. Do I have you salivating yet? Well...there's more!!!! But I won't divulge the rest...

What else should I say...at 30 bucks you should own this! A classic that any reader would adore...

- Pawel Goj


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