MARVEL COMICS #1000
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
Editor in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort
COVER PRICE: $9.99
In October 1939, Timely Comics, Inc., published their debut issue of “Marvel Comics” Issue #1, featuring the first appearance of characters including the Human Torch, the Angel, and the Sub-Mariner, and would change the course of comic book history forever. Featuring the talents of writers and artists like Bill Everett, Carl Burgos, and Paul Gustavson, these pioneers would then begin a new era of superhero comics that would rival DC’s Superman and Batman.
Publisher Martin Goodman launched his new line of comic books as the growing medium began to be popular. Within the next few years, they would introduce heroes such as Captain America in 1941, created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. 20 years later, the publisher would change the name from Atlas Comics to Marvel Comics in 1961. With new editor and writer Stan Lee at the helm, he and a few talented artists such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and John Romita, Sr. revolutionized superhero comic books. Characters such as the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, and of course Spider-Man, continue to be popular today.
To celebrate its 80th Anniversary, Marvel Comics has released an 80-page special issue which features the largest collection of writers and artists (80 to be exact) in one comic book! While this comic features an exorbitant amount of writers and artists (listed in order of appearance), many of the stories are written by British writer Al Ewing (“Immortal Hulk”, “Loki”). Each story is contained in only one page collectively forming a somewhat fragmented and muddled narrative. Many have very little to do with each other, except for the mystery of the ‘Eternity Mask’. Each mini-story can only be compared to a comic version of flash fiction. The stories range from the melodramatic, to the serious, to hilarious and sometimes incomprehensible with each one representing a year in Marvel Comics’ history from 1939 – 2019, and a preview of things to come in 2020. Milestones such as the first Captain America movie serial in 1944, the first appearance of Iron Man in 1963, the first appearance of Black Panther in 1966, to the first ‘Star Wars’ comic book in 1977, and even the release of the “Iron Man” movie in 2008, every page is a brief look into the events and characters that made Marvel what it is today. Even the awkward points in history such as “Not Brand Echh” title, Howard the Duck, the Spider-Man “Clone Saga” in 1994, and the controversial “Heroes Reborn” line in 1996.
Despite the huge mishmash of stories both great and not-so-great, there is something missing out of Marvel’s history. Anything from the Epic Comics and New Universe years from 1982 to 1986, as well as many of the writers and artists from the 2000s: Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, and Ed Brubaker, who have moved on to other companies. Many of the little vignettes are enjoyable, although some are an attempt to rewrite history, as in the first appearance of a lesser-known heroine Miss America (aka Madeline Joyce) who debuted in “Marvel Mystery Comics” #49 in 1943 is replaced by another female character who fights for love. While it certainly represents the age we live in today, it definitely has nothing to do with the 1940s, and seems a bit out of place.
Many of my own favorite writers and artists all get in on a little piece of Marvel history in this book, such as Chris Claremont, Walt Simonson, Alex Ross, Mark Waid, Peter David and Neil Gaiman. However there is a significant lack of female talent, especially writer and editor, Louise Simonson. She was best known in Marvel with her work on “Power Pack”, “X-Factor”, and “New Mutants” in the 1980s.
For those Marvel aficionados “Marvel Comics” #1000 is definitely a must-have. New fans who may have only been exposed to the MCU movies, this is a great look into the extensive and ever-changing history of Marvel Comics. The average fan will most-likely find this to be a collector’s item, particularly with dozens of variant covers that are available. I personally like the primary Alex Ross cover the best but the Joe Quesada and George Perez covers are equally as impressive.
Note: There is also a fitting ‘In Memoriam’ to Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and the hundreds of others that Marvel Comics has lost over the years (in alphabetical order by first name) but there is NO mention of Jean “Mœbius” Giraud, who worked on Silver Surfer, and died in 2012.
Written by Dave “Chernabog” Whiteman, a Native Texan, Metalhead, Writer, Star Woid, Funatic, and all-around Fanboy/Nerd/Geek! 👓