All of the Marvels
An Amazing Voyage into Marvel’s Universe and 27,000 Superhero Comics
by Douglas Wolk
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 07 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 06 Oct 2021
Serpent's Tail / Viper / Profile Books, Profile Books
The first full reckoning with Marvel's universe, a revelatory guide to the 'epic of epics' from a beloved authority who made it through all 27,000+ Marvel superhero comics.
Every schoolchild recognizes their protagonists: the Avengers, the X-Men, your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. The superhero comics that Marvel Comics has published since 1961 make up the biggest self-contained work of fiction ever created: over half a million pages and counting. Eighteen of the 100 highest-grossing movies of all time are based on it. And not even the people telling the story have read the whole thing - nobody's supposed to.
But Douglas Wolk did. In All Of The Marvels, a critic and superfan takes on the superhero epic to end all epics. What he finds is a magic mirror of the past 60 years, from the atomic terrors of the Cold War to the political divides of our present. Wolk teases out Marvel's mixture of progressive visions and painful stereotypes, its regrettable moments as well as its flights of luminous creativity. The result is an irresistible travel-guide to the magic mountain at the heart of popular culture.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
As someone who read a few Spider-man and X-men comics as a child, and who has followed the behemoth that has become the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but who has been put off from reading further by simply not knowing where to start, Douglas Wolk's book has proven invaluable by explaining that basically - it doesn't matter! "All of the Marvels" does a great job in giving an overarching view of Marvel's printed output since the 1960s and highlighting some of the individual highpoints from both the main comic book lines and the slightly more obscure ones, in a highly entertaining and readable manner. But for me, it's main point is that you can just pick a story or character who grabs your attention and dive in - there may be some references you miss at first, but then you'll read another story and find yourself thinking 'ah, so that's why Doctor Doom said that in the last panel' as it clicks into place. I can thoroughly recommend 'All of the Marvels' to anyone who has a passing interest in comics, but would like to find out more. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1"!
For the occasional comic reader it’s hard to know where to dip your toes in the epic lake that is the history of Marvel. It’s too vast with it’s own positives & negatives to know where to start. Especially if you are only familiar with some characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe since it has a habit of tweaking characters & stories into their own creations. Wolk has taken on the burden of doing the time-consuming research so that new converts to the church of comics and fans like myself can find out where to bow down and be wowed. I have a habit of reading whatever graphic novels I can get my hands on from my local library which can mean I travel all over the timelines and discover various styles & storytellers in a haphazard manner. I love this approach and have read some of this author's recommended stories and I've now added lots of new things on my list to try and track down. This book is not just for newbies, die hard geeks and the casual fan will all find something to treasure in Wolk’s approachable style and recommendations. You can feel his love seep through every chapter. For all true believers!