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Essential Marvel Horror, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 1) Paperback – October 18, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (October 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078512196X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785121961
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I'm a bit disappointed that it is in black and white.
David Hahn
Despite being under Marvel's budget priced Essential line, Essential Marvel Horror really isn't all that essential at all, nor scary for that matter.
N. Durham
It gets far out and sinister, just like you'd want it to.
Plutarch XL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, it was common for DC, Marvel, and some of the smaller houses to not do their best work on their "horror" titles. There was often a revolving door of second-rate hack writers and artists working on them. Well, this was definately not the case with these stories. Every story here is well drawn and well plotted. There is a remarkable consistency considering how many people worked on all these issues at Marvel. I am not exagerating when I say that this volume was (surprisingly) the best Essentials collection that I have yet read. It was a rare treat that I stretched out reading for a week- right before sleep.

As for these stories not being truly Essential, well, they are essential to understanding the 70's. Before the Comics Code Authority began to relax its restrictions in the 70's characters like Daimon Hellstrom, Satana, Ghost Rider, Morbius and Dracula never would have appeared in comics. That is because the code was written specifically to ban horror and the occult- in response to the old EC titles. These stories demonstrate a historical change in direction for American comics- without them there would have been no Midnight Sons and certainly none of the many Vertigo titles.

Many groups attacked Marvel for making the son of S*t*n a hero with his own title. I remember avoiding the title myself. But then this shows a total ignorance of the character. Daimon Hellstrom was raised by Jesuits to be a priest. Every story is a morality play with Hellstrom on the side of the angels. Yes, he is the son of the Adversary but he has given himself over to heaven.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on December 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It would be wonderful to say that everything Marvel is putting out under its Essentials line is truly essential, reissues of classic works, particularly from the 1960s and 1970s. Wonderful, but not true. While some Essential books are truly great (for example, the Spiderman or Fantastic Four books), others definitely show that Marvel put out its share of clunkers as well. Sadly, the Essential Marvel Horror, Volume 1 - while it does have its share of decent stuff - is overall, one of the clunkers.

The Essential Marvel Horror book follows two principal characters, typically in their own stories. The majority of the book deals with Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, who despite (or because of) his heritage, fights the forces of supernatural evil. Although his origin may be a little stranger than the typical radioactively spawned one, he is nonetheless one of a long line of superheroes. Armed with a trident that contains netheranium, a strange metal that Satan is vulnerable to, Hellstrom typically battles demons from Hell, who many times are possessing innocent people. Unfortunately, despite the internal conflicts of his good and bad sides, he is not a very interesting character, and the supporting cast is rather weak as well; the strongest such supporting character, Katherine Reynolds, is abandoned midway through the Son of Satan issues as Hellstrom abruptly decides to move to a new city. In the end, the Son of Satan stories are not as much horror but standard superhero fiction with a supernatural touch.

On the other hand, the stories featuring Satana, Daimon's sister, more closely approach horror fiction and are the stronger for it. Satana is a succubus, a half-demon/half-human who can seduce and suck the life and soul out of any man.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Hood VINE VOICE on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This should really have been called Essential Son of Satan & Satana as those two characters take up the entirety of the book.

The Son of Satan stories take up the most of the book, dealing with the half-human son of "Satan", Damian Hellstrom, as he fights his father. Though an interesting premise, how would he use his satanic powers for good and how will he avoid becoming evil as his heritage would indicate he should be really gets repetitive. The beginning stories are interesting, but by the time he gets his own book they are becoming tiresome. Less horror at this point than straight up superhero.

The changing of authors also hurts the title. Steve Gerber, St. Louis native, had set up a nice continuity with Damian building up a career and relationships there. When a new author took over, without any pre-amble Damian moves away abruptly leaving his love interest. The other problem is the severely limited nature of his powers, he wields a Netheranium trident to which the denizens of hell are weak against, has the ability to project hellfire to damage the souls of the evil creatures from hell and superior strength. Though he bills himself as an exorcist, and is introduced in Ghost Rider that way, he actually does little exorcism, and what he does do is generally via his hellfire, not ritual magic. Not exploring this side of the character lessens his depth.

The last quarter or so of the collection deals with his sister Satana, who starts out raised by her father and ultimately evil. She is banished to earth as a succubus and comes into contact with humanity, and her own humanity, as she preys on people.
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