Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics : The Untold Story

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From a tiny office on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, a struggling company named "Marvel Comics" introduced a series of bright-costumed superhero characters distinguished by smart banter and compellingly human flaws. "Spider-Man", "The Fantastic Four", "Captain America", "The Incredible Hulk"," The Avengers", "Iron Man", "Thor"," The X-Men", "Daredevil" - these superheroes quickly won children's hearts and sparked the imagination of pop artists, public intellectuals, and campus radicals. Over the course of half a century, Marvel's epic universe would become the most elaborate fictional narrative in history and serve as a modern American mythology for millions of readers. Interweaving history, anecdotes, and analysis, Sean Howe traces Marvel's decades - long rise to a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, revealing how it weathered "Wall Street" machinations, Hollywood failures, legal battles, and the collapse of the comic book market. He shows how Marvel's identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. He also introduces the men behind the magic, including self-made publisher Martin Goodman, energetic editor Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, the WWII veteran and co-creator of many of the company's marquee characters. A story of fertile imaginations, lifelong friendships, action-packed fistfights, reformed criminals, unlikely alliances, and third-act betrayals that incorporates more than one hundred original interviews with Marvel insiders then and now, "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" is a gripping narrative of one of the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary America.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 48.26mm | 748.42g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Harper
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Two Black and White Images
  • 0061992100
  • 9780061992100
  • 24,929

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"Sean Howe's history of Marvel makes a compulsively readable, riotous and heartbreaking version of my favorite story, that of how a bunch of weirdos changed the world. That it's all true is just frosting on the cake." -- Jonathan Lethem "A warts-and-all, nail-biting mini-epic about the low-paid, unsung 'funnybook men' who were unwittingly creating twenty-first century pop culture. If you thought the fisticuffs were bare and bloody on the four-color page, wait 'til you hear about what went down in the Marvel bullpen." -- Patton Oswalt "Exhaustively researched and artfully assembled, Marvel Comics is a historical exploration, a labor of love, and a living illustration of how the weirdest corners of the counterculture can sometimes become the culture-at-large." -- Chuck Klosterman "Page after page, Sean Howe's Marvel Comics manages to be enchantingly told, emotionally suspenseful and totally revelatory. If I knew more about superpowers, I'd be able to explain how he did it." -- Sloane Crosley "Sean Howe is to Marvel Comics what Procopius was to the Byzantine Empire: a court gossip of breathtaking thoroughness and exactitude, and a sly and nuanced writer. It is imperative that this work not fall into the hands of alien species, or we're done for." -- Luc Sante "A jittery, hilarious, anecdotal, and exhaustive history of the company... If you're a comics fan, this is essential reading. If you're not, then it's merely fascinating. Howe has written a biographical history of modern America's id." -- GQ "Sean Howe's gripping new history lays out five decades of Marvel adventures and insanity, and will make you believe that comic-book creators have even weirder lives than their mutant creations." -- Rolling Stone "Marvel Comics is a meticulous chronicle of the real secret origins of the superhero, a tragic love story about the relationship between a long parade of passionate, talented superhero devotees and the company that didn't love them back." -- The Los Angeles Times "It's about time somebody wrote Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, and it looks like Sean Howe was the right guy for the job. Howe's clear-eyed history... is as full of colorful characters, tragic reversals and unlikely plot twists as any book in the Marvel canon." -- Newsday "Exhaustively researched and extraordinarily compelling... A quasi-Shakespearean portrayal of Marvel as it moves from spirited upstart to ruthless corporate colossus." -- Salon "A superpowered must-read for anyone hooked on comics, as well as a gripping story for someone merely enlightened by a genre that's always had to fight for respect. It's much more about ordinary, flawed humans than super men and women, and therein lies its excellence." -- USA Today "Howe, a widely published critic with a real knack, rare for his field, for reporting, gets farther inside the company than anyone else has...An essential read for anyone who loves comics, but civilians with a taste for gossip will enjoy it too." -- The Daily Beast "A corporate biography of America's most significant comic-book publisher and a definitive portrait of comics in American culture... Howe offers vivid reporting and enticing detail... The result is a book both authoritative and charmingly readable." -- The Wall Street Journal "Fascinating, compelling reading... Exhaustively researched... What ultimately propels you to keep turning the pages of this fat, enjoyable book are the endless anecdotes about how the Marvel Universe was shaped." -- The Miami Herald "A vivid account... Comics have proven an enduring art form, gaining new fans without losing the old ones. Howe's exhaustively researched love letter to Marvel should find grateful readers among both groups." -- The Boston Globe "Hugely entertaining." -- The New Republic

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About Sean Howe

Sean Howe is the editor of Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers!: Writers on Comics and the Deep Focus series of film books. He is a former editor and critic at Entertainment Weekly, and his writing has appeared in New York, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, Spin, and The Village Voice. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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