A beautifully presented treasure trove of Marvel covers from the last eight decades…
Whether you’re a long term Marvel fan, or someone who has just dipped in and out of the adventures of the X-Men, the Avengers and their ilk, chances are you’re going to love this collection of Marvel artwork. I read the books regularly in the mid-70s to late-80s, and this evoked a wonderful feeling of nostalgia, and in many cases, instant recollection of the plotlines in a way that surprised me.
All the ones you’d expect are there – from the classic Kirby and Ditko covers, through Frank Miller, Neal Adams, Barry Windsor-Smith to today’s far more experimental exponents. The book is divided into the various different Ages of the Marvel Universe, with the titles then dealt with alphabetically and then chronologically, and there are some fascinating “box-outs” (double page spreads in reality) on some of the best of the artists. It means occasionally a piece of art isn’t quite where you’d expect it to be – the second part of Days of Future Past precedes the Wanted poster first issue – but that’s a trade-off worth making to see the way in which artists developed within the Marvel style, or brought changes with them.
Each cover is given a concise description, which only spoils images that are actually on the cover itself – a relief, as there are at least two series which I shall be finding as a result of reading this, and I’m glad I haven’t had the endings wrecked. – Additionally, there are indications where the plotline fit into the general Marvel Universe, and, where relevant, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Some of the images are presented at considerably magnified size – one of the Jim Steranko covers will take your breath away in these dimensions – and you’ll put the book down with a greater appreciation of the skill of the artists involved.
Verdict: If you’re a Marvel, or comics art fan, you won’t want to be without this. 10/10