cover image Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives, Vol. 1

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives, Vol. 1

Bill Everett. Fantagraphics, $39.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-60699-488-7

Eisner Hall of Fame cartoonist Everett worked during the golden age of comics, giving the world Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, one of the earliest of the classic superheroes, and his efforts during the dawn of the “Marvel Age” in the early 1960s found him co-creating Daredevil with the infinitely prolific Stan Lee. But what of his other output from a career lasting more than three decades? Comics historian Blake Bell compiled and edited this collection of Everett’s more obscure works in what can be seen as a companion piece to Bell’s 2010 Fire and Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics. This volume provides an illuminating look at the artist’s numerous attempts at catching Sub-Marineresque lightning in a bottle for a second time, a task that mostly eluded him. The comics studios of the golden age were product mills that threw any idea against the wall in hope it would stick, and Everett did much the same. Forgotten sci-fi and superhero creations, as well as forays into westerns, historical retellings, and crime comics, populate this loaded volume, which reads like it fell straight out of some four-color twilight zone. (Feb.)