Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics

Les Daniels, Author, Stan Lee, Introduction by ABRAMS $49.5 (287p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3821-2
The strongest impression one gets from this commemorative album is of the extraordinary skill with which Marvel Comics has hopped on the bandwagon throughout its 50-plus-year history. Timley Publications (Marvel's original name) started publishing superhero comics after Superman and Batman became prominent in the late 1930s (and stopped when the genre lost popularity after WW II), and romance and horror comics after competitors Prize Publications and EC Comics, respectively, popularized those genres in the late 1940s/early 1950s. When DC Comics's Justice League of America repopularized super-heroes, Marvel inaugurated its famous line of superhero comics, starting with The Fantastic Four in 1961. Daniels ( Living in Fear: The History of Horror in the Mass Media ) lays to rest the myth that Marvel publisher Lee (whose introduction is written in hyperbolic, adjective- and alliteration-laden prose) was the sole creator of those 1960s superheroes, which was Marvel's position until others in the field pushed to give proper credit to the artists who worked with Lee, especially Jack Kirby. The book does a fine job of documenting Marvel's overlooked pre-1961 background and is beautifully illustrated. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 287 pages - 978-0-8109-8146-1
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8109-2566-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-91595-3
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