Marvel Comics: 75 Years Of Cover Art Review

75marvIt says what it is on the cover! You are going to get cover art for Marvel comics.

75 years of Marvel cover art – each carefully selected from highlights of Marvel’s history up t present day. Welcome to what is one of DK Books crowning glories in recent times.

The book gets a forward from artist Adi Granov (Iron Man Extremis artist) and Author Alan Coswill – but words will largely take a backseat on this adventure. This is largely an in depth visual coffee table book with minimal text to accompany the cover art chosen.

The book is separated into the different ages of comic book – From the 1930s – 50’s Golden Age, then up to 1970 for the Silver Age; The Bronze Age leading up to the mid-80s and finally from there to present with the Modern Age. If that all seems a bit too easy, each “Age” is then split up by specific characters as well. These are all marked out on the contents page so you won’t find it hard to find Modern Age Avengers, or Bronze Age Iron Fist.

The actual content itself is quite a treat.  On such big pages you still never get more than 4 comic book covers at a time (And even that is rare).  More often than not the entire page will be taken up with one issue, or just two with a short paragraph of accompanying text. The text itself describes Year, issue number, the issue content, the cover art and the artist; but you may find it hard to pause for the words when they art is doing the majority of the walking and talking.

Origin issues, stand out Marvel events, Infinity Gauntlet? Civil War? Extremis? Tales of Suspense, It’s all here! There is even room to put focus on specific artists from specific eras. Starting with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, The Buscema’s, John Byrne and of course the Romita boys are all covered. There is also a couple of examples of cover development which illustrates early sketch designs compared with a final cover.

Over 300 pages it is going to take readers a while to get through it as the artwork is often spellbinding and the large prints especially are worth taking pauses for.

DK Books are having a time of it right now. If you are more the DC fan then look no further than the Batman: A Visual History review we are currently running as well.  This Marvel one is their biggest book out of the two, standing taller, but also coming packaged in its own hard box and there are a couple of very nice removable prints for good measure!

It’s a tough book to beat, but one worth equalling in the future.

5 Stars




Steven Hurst

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