In the upcoming onslaught of comic book anniversaries, Superman led the charge with Action Comics #1000, followed by Detective comics #1000, and now, in honor of Marvel Comics turning 80 years old, The House Of Ideas has released Marvel #1000!!
89 pages packed with 80 creative teams to celebrate the comic book giant with stories about almost every hero in the Marvel pantheon. Each story relates to a specific time and issue in Marvels great and lengthy history, beginning with not just the actual first image, but also a recreating and expansion on the first panel of Marvel #1, released by Timely Comics (soon to be Marvel Comics) in 1939. This idea of expanding upon an idea or panel from key issues throughout Marvel-comic-dom follows through the entire issue, woven around a single tale of the Eternity Mask’s trail through the Marvel Comic’s Universe. AL Ewing, who is given the most space in this book, writes all these intertwining stories.
Marvel #1000 has a little bit of everything
Each chapter is told in a variety of different forms from each team; heartfelt essays, comedic cartoons, beautifully drawn action sequences. etc. Almost all of them are single page tales with lots of fourth wall breaking and similar direct-to-audience style narration, which can get tiring, but on the whole there is something worthwhile in every story.
Although great, the stand out moments in Marvel #1000 for me didn’t come from the fan-favorite artists of today and yester-year. Meltzer, Ross, Slott, Liefeld, Perez, Waid, and Gaiman all turn out solid tales, but it’s some of the other eye grabbing names you don’t normally associate with comics such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s heartwarming Jessica Jones Short.
Conan and Darth Vader also have some delightful pages to share, reminding readers how deep the effects of Marvel comics have run these many years.
Although he appears multiple times, Deadpool is one of the most re-occurring characters of the issue, however, Gail Simone scripts his highlight story. Not only is it genuinely funny and pokes fun at the 90’s “sexifying” of female heroes, but a certain caped crusader gets his boat stolen, making DC’s Batman an ingredient in marvel’s 80th celebration cake.
My personal favorite was Chip Zdarsky and Joe Carmagna’s wordless, but deeply meaningful literal dissection of Iron Man.
A moment that also drew on my heartstrings was a focus on Stan Lee soapbox from 1969 about where ideas come from and what to do with them.
All this excellence and history for $9.99 is a steal, even if it a cash grab as some have accused it to be, it’s an spectacular one.