From the very first issue of pulp impresario Martin Goodman’s Marvel Comics in 1939, the comic book creators of Marvel’s Golden Age flipped the traditional fantasy script by placing the inhuman and the invincible into the real world. With the likes of the fiery android Human Torch, vengeful sea prince Sub-Mariner, and pip-squeak-turned-paragon Captain America, Marvel created a mythological universe grounded in a world that readers recognize as close to their own, brimming with humor and heartache.
In the early 1960s, this audacious approach launched the creation of heroes who have since become household names—Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Avengers, Thor, the X-Men—the list goes on. Fans still celebrate it as the Marvel Age of comics, an era populated by a pantheon of bickering heroes, misunderstood monsters, and noble villains.
In celebration of Marvel’s 75th anniversary, TASCHEN presents a magnum opus of the most influential comic book publisher today, with an inside look not only at its celebrated characters, but also at the "bullpen" of architects whose names are almost as familiar as the protagonists they brought to life—Stan “the Man” Lee, Jack “King” Kirby, along with a roster of greats like Steve Ditko, John Romita, John Buscema, Marie Severin, and countless others. With essays by comics historian and former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, this book delves into the heart of thousands of costumed characters who continue to fight the good fight in comics, movies, and toy aisles of the world.
The XL-format book includes:
• More than 700 pages of near 2,000 images including vintage comic books, one-of-a-kind original art, behind-the-scenes photographs and film stills, as well as rare toys and collectibles
• A four-foot accordion-fold timeline
• Biographies of more than 300 artists, writers, editors, and famous fans who helped shape Marvel's history
“…book of super-heroic size, barely liftable if you’ve never been bitten by a radioactive spider…The blockbusters may not merit repeat viewing, this book certainly does.”
— South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
“A solid collector’s item for fans of this enduring company and the work they have produced… Old covers of Marvel issues now look more vibrant than they did when they were first printed.”
— Filmwerk, London
“…far more detailed and informative than any other book on the comic legend.”
— Popcultureshelf.com, Hamburg
“The book is truly a thing of beauty. To paraphrase Richard Dreyfus in Jaws, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger coffee table’…A collectors dream, only something like this could truly reflect the impact of Marvel Comics upon the zeitgeist. Stan Lee – the real Captain America, we salute you…”
— Debonair Magazine, Dubai
“There are already dozens of books that cover pretty much the same ground but there are a few factors that make this the only one you’ll need to own. As you would expect from TASCHEN, the book is bloody enormous – ‘Hulk size’. Because of this, the photos and artwork reproduced in the original size, can be experienced and enjoyed like never before. The work on show is incredible: obscure advertising and in-house material, beautiful covers, rarely seen snaps of the creators. The book succeeds in capturing the impact that the original comics had, while showing us the peculiar and peculiarly talented men (they were almost exclusively male) who laboured in this strange, somewhat denigrated corner of the entertainment industry, making masterworks that continue to fuel the business today. If you’re looking for a joyous celebration of the greatest (IMHO) comics company in the world, you won’t find a better or more lavish read. As the fan club members used to holler in the 1960s, ‘Make mine Marvel!’”
— Jonathan Ross for New Statesman, London