The Marvels Project

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TheMarvelsProject_01_EptingJust read the first issue of The Marvels Project, the crown jewel of Marvel’s 70th Anniversary celebration.

Before reading it, I took the time (and it did take time) to read a reprint of Timely’s Marvel Comics #1 from 1939.  This was released on the same day as TMP #1 and tells tales of “Marvel’s” Golden Age characters including: The Original Human Torch, The Angel,  The Sub-Mariner, and Ka-Zar the Great.  It’s a little crazy to think about how old these stories are, and the changes that have occurred in the comics medium are astounding.  This thing was densely packed with material and every story had an incredible amount of substance to it.  It was almost a little too much for my modern mind.

The book served as a great primer for TMP #1 as the story is set in 1939 and told from the perspective to Dr. Thomas Halloway, the masked detective known as The Angel (not to be confused with the X-Men’s winged Angel who wouldn’t appear until years later) and focuses on The Original Human Torch and Namor The Sub-Mariner.  The premise is that in the early days of World War II, the United States and Germany were racing to create the first super-human (the series’ title is a reference to The Manhattan Project), and all of the pulp adventures published during that era are a part of this world and very connected to the modern Marvel Universe.

In the opening issue, we also see the Western hero The Two Gun Kid, Nick Fury, Dr. Emil Erskine (who developed the Super Soldier Serum that powers Captain America), and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I’ve been reading Marvel Comics for most of my life, and this is like a hidden history that I never knew about.  I don’t think I would have ever given it any attention if it weren’t for the amazing work that writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting (whom I have great memories of from his X-Factor run) have done with Captain America over the last five years.  The Marvels Project has the potential to be one of the great tales of the Marvel Universe and is well on it’s way with issue one.  I wish I hadn’t held off reading it for the past few weeks, but I’m not kidding about how long it took me to get through Marvel Comics #1.

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