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Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics - Volume 1 Hardcover – Illustrated, October 13, 2004


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Hardcover, Illustrated
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (October 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785116095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785116097
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By RandA on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
NOTE: This review is in regards to the PAPERBACK edition.

I have been buying all the Marvel Masterworks series since Marvel Comics started releasing them in paperback editions. (And thank you, whomever at Marvel realized there may be fans who want these books, but who can't afford the hardback editions!) I knew I would be buying every single Silver Age volume...but I wasn't sure whether I would be purchasing the Golden Age and Atlas Era volumes.

As the release date for the Golden Age Marvel Comics volume approached, I decided I would buy it--after all, the beauty of the paperback editions is that they're pretty affordable. Even if I regretted my purchase, it would be a small loss, and I would then know not to bother with future Golden Age volumes.

Well, I can happily report I don't regret the purchase at all.

While some of the features suffer from the fact most comics during the time were aimed at what was viewed as their only audience--children of the Depression and WWII era--there are some really good stories contained in these books. I found Bill Everett's Sub-Mariner (also an example of some of the best drawn Golden Age material, in my opinion) and the Ka-Zar features particularly enjoyable.

One criticism people cited regarding the hardback edition of this volume--and which made me hesitate in regards to purchasing the paperback edition--had to do with the quality of the art reproduction. While I don't have a copy of the hardback edition, and I don't have copies of the original comics, I have seen a digital scan of an original copy of the second issue of Marvel Comics. The digital copy was well scanned--not a poor quality microfiche copy--and I got a clear indication of the detail of the art in the original comics.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Collofello on January 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Marvel really dropped the ball with this one. This volume contains some comics not seen since they were originally published, over fifty years ago. Unfortunately, the reproduction of the artwork in this volume is hideous. The artwork is splotchy and looks like it was xeroxed. It's too bad Marvel couldn't invest a little time and effort in this rare material like DC has done with their very high quality Archives. I'm giving this book one star just because of the scarcity of the material it contains. What a disappointment.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on August 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With the medium of comic books exploding, and the genre of super-heroes combusting right along with it, many publishers entered the comic book field. One such person, Martin Goodman, a publisher of pulp magazines, contracted for material for his own line of comics. The line was called Timely. The first offering was "Marvel Comics", an anthology book that featured a mix of super-heroes, westerns, and detectives. In doing so, Goodman and his creators inadvertently laid a corner stone for one of the most popular comic book universes to arise in fiction.

Marvel has produced five series of golden age Masterworks. They inaugurated their series with this, "Golden Age Marvel" Vol. 1, which reprinted in their entirety the first four issues of "Marvel Comics." Well, "Marvel Comics" #1, and then "Marvel Mystery Comics" #s 2-4, as the title had changed: a common practice in the golden age.

This series introduced three major super-hero characters: the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, and the Angel. Truthfully, while Angel was important, he was relegated to the second tier when Captain America was introduced a year later. The Torch and the Sub-Mariner stayed big sellers for the remainder of the golden age.

It's not hard to see why. First, as DC had made it impossible to blatantly ape Superman, other creators had to find new takes on super-heroes very quickly. In this case, Timely (rather ahead of its time) created characters who found doing the right thing wasn't always easy (admittedly, Superman did some rather strange things in his early days). Carl Burgos' Human Torch was an android who, thanks to a design flaw, burst into flames when he made contact with the air.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Kolovos on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ok...this was a real bummer for me. The reproduction is terrible. The line art looks...well, I can only describe it as pixelated. Like the they were working from some low-res digital photos of the original comics as the source material for the book. Still, I was in the mood to be forgiving. It was only when I compared this edition to an earlier Marvel reprint of Marvel Comics #1 published in 1990 (ISBN 0-87134-729-1) that I got totally bummed. The 1990 edition is really nice. The lines are clean, the color is clean. It's like the total opposite of this. If you're looking for clean reproduction and can live with a reprint of only one issue, search out that edition.

That stated, the stories are great. These early Sub Mariner stories are incredible, the Human Torch is totally bizarre, the Angel, Ka-Zar--almost surreal. Still, if it were a $15.00 paperback, that'd be one thing. As a $30+ hardcover, I'd say check it out from the library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Carpino on September 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
two thirds of these reviews are for other editions of this book. this book was released in 2012 and is a beautifully illustrated reprinting of the original marvel comics/golden age human torch stories. this latest line of marvel masterworks is what they should have been putting all along,none of that overpriced,hardback,six issue a pop nonsense,or big ass black and white phone book collections that the "essential" series offers.
most of these reviews are out of date,DON'T APPLY TO THE PRODUCT,and should be deleted.
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