Most Helpful First | Newest First
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)This book is incredible. I am not terribly familiar with golden age comics, but these are very fun. The Bill Everett Sub-Mariner stories are especially twisted. This is pre-Comics Code material, the medium was relatively young and was evolving quickly and their was a lot of experimentation before they arrived at The Marvel Style. Highly Recommended!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Age Marvel review,
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)This volume is more than a book because it also contais the history of golden age comics and comics writers & editiors in the USA. It is quite a need for all of us who love comics and want to preserve good and fond memories of those comics that marked our childhood (and life as well. I do strongly recommend it and wait other golden age comics omnibus soon again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gold With Some Pyrite Mixed In,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)The Marvel Golden Age Omnibus is an extraordinary book. It collects the first 12 issues of Marvel Comics, plus a great introduction to the volume giving you gads of information about Martin Goodman and the founding of Marvel Comics. Plus this basically smashes together, three Marvel Masterworks productions, you also get three introductions by the great comic writer, editor, and historian Roy Thomas. Plus you get reproductions of the covers of Marvel's pulp predecessors and some rare pictures.
In terms of the comics themselves, the stories of the Human Torch and Namor the Submariner loom large.
I have to admit that I enjoyed these Torch stories more than any of the others I've read. These are all from the Human Torch's pre-Toro days when honestly, he was a better character. The Torch is actually an Android created by a scientist with power over flame. In early stories, the Torch does some accidental damage and criminals attempt to control the Torch. Believing that his own creator intends to exploit his powers, the Torch breaks free, accidentally setting his creator's house on fire and killing him. After these initial stumbles, the Torch begins a string of purely heroic and noble deeds and even joins the police department at one point. It seems after the first couple issues that everyone both in the comic book and the writers too, forget the Torch is not really human. he acts human, has emotions, and a conscience. Mirroring the actions of Superman a couple years earlier at DC, the Torch burns down a row of tenements against the wishes of politically powerful slum wards which makes him briefly a wanted fugitive.
Prince Namor is another case. Liking this character is a guilty pleasure as he's so schizophrenic that it's scary. He begins the book determined to defeat Americans and destroy the surface world. He's a half American half Atlantean. Like the Torch, he begins the stories by causing a few regrettable deaths because he doesn't understand the surface world. Things turn around in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 and then decides to fight Hitler more than a year before America joined the war. But he gets bored with that after an issue. Then he decides to do good and be kind to Americans but he's made to answer for his previous crimes and sentenced to death. As he's a big name character that doesn't work, so Namor goes back to trying to destroy the Americans.
This sets up the Human Torch v. Namor battle that is hinted at in Issues 7 and 8, but the real battle for 20+ glorious pages in issue 9 of Marvel Mystery Comics. It's one of the greatest Golden Age stories told by either company.
At the end of the day, Namor is really hard to figure. He can try and destroy an entire city and then stop in the middle to save a baby whose nurse ran away from terror from his antics. He can sink the ship of an American that's coming after him with Captain Ahab-esque obsession but then allow the prisoners captured from the boat to escape. That makes him complex and interesting.
The art on the first three Sub-mariner comics are simply beyond almost anything that was done in the Golden age at all.
These stories were often to be continued or cliffhangers.
Beyond these, two character, the book has issues that really highlight the differences between most DC Archives collections and the Marvel Masterworks. If DC were reprinting this comics you'd have Namor and Human Torch Archives containing nothing but Namor and Human Torch stories. But Marvel does all the back up features, some of which were really terrible.
Not all of them were. Tarzan knock-off Ka-zar was actually a winner in my book. The story told in the first five or six issues is complex, particularly as it was adapted from a story published in a pulp. The character was fun and the situations were great action and adventure. This was a well-done script and a gem in the book despite some offensive racial stereotypes.
On the other hand, Masked Raider appeared in every issue and was really mixed. A few had clever mysteries, but most were really short stereotypical westerns.
The Angel received a lot of fanfare and several cover appearances, but was really boring with a couple exceptions. The stories were repetitive and unlike with the Submariner and the Human Torch, we really get no clue who this guy is, where he comes from, or what his powers are. He fights typical monsters and you know he's going to win but you never know why.
The robot Electro appeared throughout most of the book and got better moving from horrible to very bad. The original concept had Professor Zog design the robot Electro as a super robot who fought crime and performed daring deeds. He was initially controlled by operatives who were known only by their numbers and they proceeded through the first three stories or so to have unobstructed triumph. What could be better than nameless people operating a robot and achieving goals with no real conflict. Eventually, they ditched the numbered robots and added some conflict. It never was a good strip but it was certainly better than it had been before. And a later upgrade to Electro displayed the face of the operator on a television screen which may have been an inspiration for Stan Lee or Steve Ditko when they wrote of the creation of an anti-Spider-man robot that displayed the face of the operator.
American Ace was an abortive Buck Rogers type serial that was replaced by the Ferret, who was supposed to be a master detective who had a pet ferret and solved mysteries. The Ferret was totally forgettable and was replaced by Terry Vance, a boy detective with a pet monkey. Yes, the concepts were strikingly similar-sleuth with pet solves crime, but the Vance script was much better. It was lighter, more fun, and the mysteries were better. If you were a kid in the 1940s you'd love Terry Vance and I think he was pretty fun.
In addition to this, we have the text stories which were required by regulation to be in comics for decades and really these were a waste of space particularly to do up in such high quality.
Still, the historic nature of the book and the awesomeness of the Human Torch and Submariner, along with some great Kazar and Terry Vance stories make the book worth reading. However, with its $120 plus price tag, this is one book I don't recommend paying retail for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic content, restoration and commentary,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)Even if you already have the hardcover Masterwork volumes, if you are interested in the history or in a better view of the artwork (which was notoriously poorly reproduced in the first Golden Age Marvel Masterworks volume), this is well worth your money. In addition to the oversized printing, the art was further restored with the key initial issues now looking fantastic. See Bill Everett's amazing work on the Sub-Mariner stories as intended! (as I understand it, this restoration or better is also available in the *paperback* edition of the Golden Age Marvel Masterworks, vol. 1)
Beyond the art, Will Murray's lengthy introduction incorporated all of the latest research into the early days of Marvel, then mostly known as Timely. From Martin Goodman's pulp background and connections, to the shops that produced the content, wonderful detail is given on Timely's earliest days. Murray continues on through more of the history, with less detail on the later years but still giving a great overview of the company's evolution into Marvel Comics as it re-invented itself in the early 1960s.
Additional goodies include Everett's Sub-Mariner cover rough for Marvel Comics #2 (before the change in name and cover design) the Zephyr Comics ashcan cover, the original pencils for Marvel Mystery Comics #2 showing changes made to the final print, and illustrations from the pulp side of Goodman's operation, many tied to the early comics by way of the Angel and Ka-Zar.
On top of all of that, you still get the original introductions from the collected Masterworks editions, and updated creator credits. An absolutely stunning celebration of Timely/Marvel's beginning.
5.0 out of 5 stars Omnibus version vs Masterworks version of Golden Age Marvel Comics,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)I have always been fascinated by the early days of comic books when people like Kirby and Eisner were beginning to work.
This volume features Bill Everett of course. If you have a similar interest then you will enjoy this book.
One warning - Marvel has two versions of the Golden Age Marvel Comics. The covers look similar and the titles are similar.
The difference is that one is the Masterworks version which has the first four issues while the other is the Omnibus version features twelve issues. The one on this page is the Omnibus version with over 800 pages. Be careful that you know which one you want to order.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of early Marvel issues,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)I am new to collecting golden age comics, and only have a cursory level of knowledge about them. I got this book because I have several other Marvel omnibus editions and they are all fantastic quality. This book is no different. The sewn binding, paper quality, and color reproduction are fantastic. One of the best parts of this book is the generously long introduction which gives a great idea of what was happening in comics at the time these issues were originally produced. As I said, I am new to golden age comics but I am very familiar with some of the characters contained herein such as Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, and Ka-zar. Seeing them in their early tales is a real treat. The art and writing of this era were drastically different than today's comics, but I am a huge fan of 60s and 70s stuff from Marvel, and these early issues aren't so far off in terms of design, page layout, color usage, etc. I can understand why some people might not like these old comics. They can be very corny and the art might seem "simple" to some. But, if you give them a chance I think you'll see that they have a charm all their own and the art is wonderful in its own right. I am so glad I got this book and can't recommend it highly enough. If you're even mildly interested, now might be a good time to get it before it goes out of print and gets very expensive as some other out of print Marvel omnibus editions have.
5.0 out of 5 stars money well worth spent!,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)For those of you who have an interest in the golden age of comics, particularly Marvel Comics! then this volume will not disappoint. What you will find within this volume are the first twelve issues of Marvel Comics masterfully represented in one huge volume. I have been an enthusiastic collector of golden age comics for over 20 years, what I like most about this particular volume is the introduction by Will Murray. Murray presents a well constructed introduction highlighting the humble beginnings of Timely Comics Inc (later to be known as Marvel Comics). This detailed account gives the reader a behind scenes look at the inner machinations of building a comic publishing empire. Not only will the reader be given the opportunity to explore the mindset behind the marketing machine which produced such characters as the Human Torch, the Sub Mariner and the Angel, but how these characters were able to propel Timely Comics Inc at forefront of the comics industry. Murray's introduction gave the characters importance, which made for a more satisfying experience once you where ready to immerse yourself in the pages within. The book is an absolute gem and is highly recommend.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marvel comics omnibus,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)A MUST have book, for anyone who was ever a marvel comics fan. The 12 original issues from 1939-1940 reprinted in it, would today cost a reader A half million or more.It's worth it just for the early sub-mariner and human torch stories alone, through the other material is interesting.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Age Marvel....the best years!,
This review is from: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 (Hardcover)Wow! I just rec'vd this book and it is beautiful! 828 pages packed with color, fantastic reproductions of golden artwork and the best of superheros: Human Torch, Sub-mariner, Angel, Ka-zar and other titles from that era. This book gives some bio of the Golden Age Marvel comics, and then just plows into all the color of the Golden Age heroes that represented Marvel during the 1930s & 1940s. If you want to have a jam-packed all-in-on book with history of the greats, this is it. My biggest diappointment.....no Captain America. He's the heart of the Golden Age, and for that only 4 stars.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 by Steve Dahlman (Hardcover - October 7, 2009)