Monday, May 20, 2019

Decades: Marvel in the 70s – Legion of Monsters

Author and artists: various

First published: 2019 (collection)

Contains spoilers

The blurb: Celebrate 80 years of Marvel Comics, decade by decade - together with the groovy ghoulies of the Supernatural Seventies. It was an era of black-and-white magazines filled with macabre monsters, and unsettling new titles starring horror-themed 'heroes'. Now, thrill to Marvel's greatest horror icons: The melancholy muck-monster known as the Man-Thing - whosoever knows fear burns at his touch; Morbius, the Living Vampire; Jack Russell, cursed to be a Werewolf-by-Night; and the flame-skulled spirit of vengeance, the Ghost Rider. But what happens when they are forced together to become... the Legion of Monsters? Plus stories starring Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, Manphibian, the vampire-hunter Blade... and never-before-reprinted tales of terror. Collecting: Legion of Monsters (1975) 1; Marvel Preview 8; Marvel Premiere 28; Marvel Spotlight (1971) 2, 5; Frankenstein (1973) 1; Tomb of Dracula (1972) 10; material from Savage Tales (1971) 1

The review: The decades series are a series of highlights from the Marvel back-catalogue from a specific decade – in this case the 70s and the horror comics produced then and, in truth, I’m a little divided over it.

On the one hand it is a nicely balanced collection with a range of characters (as listed in the blurb) and from this page’s point of view we get Dracula, Morbius and Blade featured. The book is half black and white and half colour and for Morbius we get an original black and white (that I had not read before) and a colour legion of monsters that also features Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing and Ghost Rider. Indeed I hadn’t read any of the stories featured before bar the two Dracula ones (the black and white being a chapter of Marvel’s graphic version of the novel, Dracula Lives!, and the colour being the opening of the Tomb of Dracula - a note here that page 50 and 51 are reversed accidentally, one for a future errata sheet). That said we were dipping in and out of things that were clearly suited to a larger story arc at times and that was slightly frustrating.

All that said, Marvel, monsters and a trip to the 70s. It perhaps has to be done – thanks to Sarah for the gift of the volume. 6.5 out of 10.

In Paperback @ Amazon US

In Paperback @ Amazon UK

No comments: