Marvels was a brilliant and wonderful summary of the early years of the Marvel Universe, all told from the perspective of reporter Phil Sheldon.
Sure, there were liberties taken, but when you had such terrific scripting and beautiful art, who cared? And this was the first time a whole series was based on “filling the spaces between the boxes” of existing comic book stories. There had been a few issues here and there that took place in the past, but this was the first attempt to glue things together that had previously been unexamined. Now, these are called “retcons” and they happen all the time.
But Marvels did it first.
The time period covered started with the original Human Torch being created, went through the Green Goblin/Gwen Stacy story, and culminated with a young lad on a bike delivering the newspaper to Mr. Sheldon. The boy’s name?
It was full of Easter Eggs, sweet moments, and some real insight into what it would have been like to have lived through the dawn of superheroes. Like the first time Galactus appeared on Earth…
Before this, both Marvel and DC had created “handbooks” to their universes, but this kind of retrospect had never been done before.
And frankly, nothing like it has been done since.
It turned Busiek and Ross into two of the hottest creators in comics.
Housekeeping note: I am not tagging all the characters appearing in this miniseries because it’s just about everyone.