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Marvel 1985 #1 (of 6)

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 1 critic ratings.

As mankind’s enemies cut a swath of destruction with unprecedented ferocity and ruthlessness, the fate of the planet rests in the hands of one person: Toby, a 13-year-old boy who holds the key to uniting his comic-book idols, the Marvel Heroes!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
24 pages
Amazon ASIN

1 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 91


    A long time ago I decided to crush any expectations I had for Marvel 1985. This troubled series has been in development for years, morphing from a fully photographed fumetti comic to a more traditionally illustrated one in the process. I stopped expecting it to ever come out, much less bowl me over with its quality. Well, it did finally come out. And for the most part, consider me bowled over.

    Marvel 1985 features the characters and settings from said year. That means Spidey wears black, Wolverine wears brown, and Secrets Wars was all the rage. However, this isn’t some standard flashback issue. It takes place in the same real world setting that Kick-Ass is meant to. Given that all four Millarworld titles are meant to be connected, I wouldn’t be surprised if both took place in the same world. Whatever the case, the entire issue is framed through the eyes of a young boy named Toby. Toby retreats to his own world full of comic book superheroes because the real world, full of divorce, bullies, and all the other trials of adolescent life, just isn’t much fun to be in. If Toby sounds exceedingly similar to Dave from Kick-Ass, that’s because he is. Apart from the age gap, the characters are nearly identical in many respects. It seems Millar is mining from the same internal area for many of his recent stories. Toby is easier to identify with, however. He strikes me as being more realistically portrayed, and not just because he chooses not to dress up and fight crime.

    In his mundane suburban adventures, Toby discovers a house occupied by various Marvel villains circa 1985. This sounds like a silly premise, granted, but by the first time Toby looks through a window and spots Red Skull peering back I was hooked. I’m eager to know how and why the villains have crossed over into our world. The only disappointment is an expected one – far too little is revealed this early in the series. It doesn’t help that Marvel, in their zeal to keep the book fresh in the minds of its readers – revealed a good chunk of the interesting parts in their previews already.

    I’m still disappointed that the fumetti angle was dropped, but I could think of many worse alternatives than Tommy Lee Edwards. His style blends the realistic and the surrealistic into one unique package, and it fits the book like a glove. Toby’s small town feels like a living, breathing piece of our world, and the villains blend right in. The only aspect of the art I disliked was an early scene where Edwards recreates the climax of Secret Wars #10. In this case his art looks like a bad imitation of Scott Kolins’ work on Beyond, which itself was none too pretty. I hope this sequence isn’t indicative of what I can expect as more Marvel characters spring up.

    Millar and Edwards managed to hook me line and sinker with this issue. I told myself I no longer cared about Marvel 1985, and I was proven dead wrong. I’m tempted to call it the best of Millar’s work this year, but I suppose we’ll just have to wait a couple more issues to make sure.

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