Published on February 16th, 2015 | by Duke Of Havoc0
Marvel 75 Years Of Cover Art – Review
Hard to believe but Marvel, in one shape or another has been around for over 75 years now. Starting off as Timely, they became the powerhouse that now dominates Cinema, merchandise and the comic book industry. Marvel 75 Years Of Cover Art doesn’t focus so much on the stories but puts some of the most famous artists in comic book history front and centre with a look at 75 years of covers. Like the Batman: A Visual History, this book has a sturdy slipcase adorned in cover art (obviously) and it also has two nice and shiny prints: Kirby’s Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man) and Adi Granov’s The Invincible Iron Man #1 (the first issue of the Extremis story arc).
This beast of a book, with 319 pages of glorious technicolour has every iconic artist and cover you can think of. Some are beautifully blown up across two pages but most are kept to a single page with a bit of trivia accompanying each cover. You also get some covers deconstructed to show the original sketch idea, pencils, inks and then colouring.
Of course, there is a lovely section about Jack Kirby and you realise just how important he is to Marvel and how his influence still influences their characters today. Personally, the pages dedicated to Jim Steranko and his run on Nick Fury, Agent Of…S.H.I.E.L.D are my favourite. They are completely different and I don’t think they have ever been beaten in term of inventiveness and well, bat-shit insanity.
Moving through the decades in such a quick manner, you get to see the change in styles with regards to inks, colours and even layouts. Certain artists certainly attempted very different things i.e Frank Miller on his ’80s Daredevil run. Midway through the book, it moves from years and focuses on it’s big hitters, character wise. Spider-Man and X-Men feature heavily with John Romita Sr and John Byrne getting most of the attention.
The book moves onto the “Modern Era” which is pretty much everything 1986 onwards which personally could be broken up as the ’90s are not a great decade for reflecting on, when talking about the comic book industry. Again, Spider-Man and the X-Men get their own sections, along with The Avengers, and you can definitely see some artists switching to digital with far crisper and clearer images. If you adore comic book art, have a favourite artist or character, then pick this book up. You can find it in most comic book stores or online.