Review: Get a Cosmic Master Class with THE HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1

FIRST IMPRESSION

THE HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1 is hard to judge as a singular narrative. It's primarily a survey course examining the entire history of the Marvel cosmology from the viewpoint of that universe's final moments. It's not a super-compelling read, but I highly recommend it for Marvel fans of any stripe for reference and research purposes.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

With 80 years of continuity, reboots, alternate worlds, and conflicting origins in the can, the Marvel universe can get a little confusing. Parsing decades of established canon is intimidating, especially for new readers. Fortunately, The History of the Marvel Universe #1 is here to set the record straight.

The book is like what DC did with their History of the DC Universe book back in the 80s, which outlined the official post-Crisis DC canon. It establishes a firm outline of what is gospel within the Marvel comics multiverse.

The Writing

The History of the Marvel Universe #1 is an abridged survey of everything from the pre-origins of the multiverse, to the early-Twentieth Century. The book outlines how the current multiverse came into existence on a varying scale. We begin at the macroscopic, cosmic level, and eventually dial-in on key figures in Marvel Comics history.

Releasing a book like this could be a great help for newcomers to the Marvel readership, many of whom tend to feel intimidated, or even put-off, by decades of complex canon and cosmology. It’s an interesting compendium for those new readers, and a vital resource for Marvel aficionados alike. Unfortunately, what it’s not—at least in this first issue—is a particularly compelling narrative.

- Advertisement -

The History of the Marvel Universe #1 reads like an outline, rather than a story. It lists out events as they occurred, with just a skeletal narrative tying it together involving Galactus and Frank Richards. The pair, the last surviving entities of the universe, provide a framing device for the story. Beyond that, it’s essentially CliffsNotes to the Marvel canon; so much so, in fact, that the book’s entire last third consists of annotations for cross-referencing key issues. As such, it’s difficult to judge it as a fully-constructed narrative.

It will be interesting to see what transpires in the next several issues. Will it foretell what’s coming in Marvel’s future? Will we see how the Marvel universe we all know ultimately meets its end…and what comes after that? It’s too early to really speculate on the scope of the story based on this issue alone.

History of the Marvel Universe #1

History of the Marvel Universe #1

History of the Marvel Universe #1

The Artwork

The artwork by Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez—the former on pencils and colors, the latter on ink—is one of the book’s strong points. The pair of artists provide a dreamy tapestry of images to illustrate Galactus’s outline of Marvel history and cosmology.

Early pages illustrating the formation of Earth and the cosmos flow borderless and shapeless from one into another. Later, The History of the Marvel Universe #1 becomes more firmly paneled as the Marvel cosmos grows and takes shape. It’s a clever device that achieves a nice visual effect along with the storytelling.

The illustrations, despite portraying a lot of contrasting images, maintain a sense of cohesion throughout. Between surreal space-scapes and illustrations of characters, the work still manages to feel uniform, which is a testament to the artists’ skills.

The color work is similarly brilliant. It’s vibrant and possesses a wide range of contrasts, but it manages to avoid overloading the reader’s eye. The colors and line work fit together to deliver a sublimely cohesive final presentation.

Final Thoughts

The History of the Marvel Universe #1 is a great quick reference guide, but it doesn’t offer much beyond that. I highly recommend Marvel fans pick this up for research and reference purposes. However, don’t expect a thrilling story out of it. Pick it up this Wednesday at your local comic book shop.

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Sailing Away With Bat & Cat in BATMAN #78

After the shocker presented in our last issue, few readers may be ready for what we find in Batman #78, out this week from...

Review: SUPERGIRL #34 Crashing Back To Earth In Style

This is a return to form in Supergirl #34 from DC Comics, with a creative team who are comfortable working together. Back to Earth and back to basics.

Frank Miller And The Dark Knight: Together Again

He's currently chronicling the adventures of the Man of Steel in Superman Year One, but it seems Frank Miller's heart will always bring him...

Review: THE FLASH #78 shows off the Terror of the Black Flash

The Black Flash Lashes Out Against the Forces The Forces are in danger of collapsing. As the Sage, Strength, and Still Forces continue to make...

Review: It’s Alive’s PINK LEMONADE Mashes Kirby & Knievel

It takes a special kind of talent to be retro without being repetitive. Too often comics that harken back to the Silver Age just...

Review: BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #12-The End of an Epic

With Anti-God threatening existence once again, Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, and company are forced to make a difficult choice in Black Hammer: Age of...

Review: DEAD END KIDS #3 Will Leave You Needing Tissues

With the concluding issue, DEAD END KIDS #3 wraps up its emotional coming-of-age story on a somber, yet high note. Word of warning, you...

Review: AQUAMAN #52 And Aqualad’s Loss Of Innocence

Readers last saw Arthur Curry facing down a monstrous oceanic creature on Amnesty Island, the proposed new home for his Old God friends. The...
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Review: Get a Cosmic Master Class with THE HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1 3

CONTACT US

Review: Get a Cosmic Master Class with THE HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1 4

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

Review: Get a Cosmic Master Class with THE HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1 5

MEET THE TEAM

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!