Last night, on our weekly NCBD Book Club YouTube show, my friend Alec of White Whale Comics and I were joined by Rod of Just a Rican and his Comics for a fun discussion of this epic new Marvel book.
Marvel 1000 dropped yesterday with the usual hype and explosion of covers that seem to accompany all significant Marvel comic books these days. For those who are unaware of the book, it is the Marvel 80th anniversary comic with over 80 pages of content and seemingly just as many artists and writers involved (Kareem Abdul-Jabar wrote a story... seriously). Each page of the book is it's own story with a writer and artist paired together for a specific moment from marvel history. The book starts with 1939 and the publishing of Marvel Comics # 1 and then ends with 2020 and introduction of a new villain character. In between the book goes year by year showcasing moments of importance and reframing them within the 80th anniversary celebration.
All that being said, it obvious that a book with so many people working on it will undoubtedly have successes and failures. I found that there were three main problems for me. The first is that 80 cooks in the kitchen means you will not have a very cohesive story overall and this can frustrate people. Alec and I disagreed to what extent this was frustrating (he found it very disappointing and I less so) but it's clear that this is a somewhat disjointed comic book read, with some pages being profound and creative while others are boring and overwritten. Rod was particularly blown away by pages connected to the Marvel history of including characters of color like the White Tiger.
The second problem is that there's no logical reason WHY this book had to be numbered 1000 other than to take a shot or steal some money from the Action/Detective Comics 1000 celebrations earlier this year. I am still baffled as to why they didn't just call it Marvel 80th or something more connected to the anniversary they were celebrating for themselves. You might consider that a cosmetic problem but I know plenty of people who skipped the book because the title felt like a cash grab to them.
The last problem is one that I heard over and over again this week. 9.99$ for a comic book???? Even one with this many pages, quality covers, and a thick square bound cover is over priced at 9.99 and I didn't feel like I got my money's worth. Unlike Absolute Carnage 1, which had a high price tag as well, this book didn't make me feel like it was worth the price tag and seemed to reinforce the 'cash grab' mentality that people were expressing. I think a 7.99 price would've been more reasonable and I would say if this book interests you at all you should simply wait since they will end up in dollar or discount bins soon enough since there are so many of them.
So what about the story? Was the writing and art any good? The truth is, like I mentioned above, with so many people dong so many different pages the results are very mixed. Deadpool alone has 3 pages and some are amazing (his take on Tom King and the 9 panel pages he uses is hilarious) while other are so so. Spider-man has some profound pages involving Uncle Ben and others with Wolverine dispensing bad advice that seem random and poorly planned. My opinion is that this book is a ride through Marvel history that hits more than it misses but if you want to see how the panelists shared their views last night then click the link below:
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