In what may or may not become a new feature – although with this being the second post under that tagline, it’s looking more likely that it will be – I decided to make a cup of tea (PG Tips again) and sit down and read a comic or two whilst I drank said cuppa. My intention isn’t to read review copies, or digital copies if I can help it, but either graphic novels, TPBs, or floppy comics because I much prefer to relax with a physical comic. I may have read them before, or they may have been on my To Read pile for far too long. Whether this happens monthly, weekly, daily… never again… will depend entirely on the time I have.
This week, I sat down with Marvel’s The Marvel Project graphic novel.
I should probably switch up my cup for these pictures sooner or later, eh?
Anyway, I really enjoyed this. It’s told from the perspective of The Angel, a long forgotten hero from the Golden Age of superhero comics, and set in the year or so before the U.S.A. entered into WWII. Despite Captain America featuring on the front cover, this isn’t a Captain America story. It’s a tale of the time during which Americans were aware of the war in Europe but had yet to enter the fray. The Marvels Project is a genuine page turner – I devoured the entire trade in a single sitting, bar a bathroom break, and never actually touched my tea until I was several issues in.
Reading about superheroes and vigilantes from the late 30’s to the 50’s or so has always been a (not-so) guilty pleasure of mine. I love the that time period in American history, and as most of the pulp novels and superhero stories set in that time are typically based in New York or Chicago, it’s always a win-win for me. But with my misgivings about Hydra-Cap prevalent in my head as I finally decided to read this TPB, I was worried that I’d not enjoy the story – and I’ll admit they did cloud my judgment initially when Steve Rogers appeared in the comic, but after a few pages I was reminded just how great a character he is when written well, and consequently I was able to enjoy Captain America’s presence in the remainder of the comic.
For me the highlight was the way the story was presented; by having The Angel as both the narrator and the closest thing to a central character in the comic. The story telling style was very reminiscent of Hollis Mason’s autobiography snippets in Watchmen adapted to comic form. Every page was a joy to read, and thankfully the TPB is a completely standalone story.
I picked this up for $5 at my LCS. It’d be a bargain at twice the price.
Writer: Ed Brubacker Art: Steve Epting Colourist: Dave Stewart