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Marvels: Eye of the Camera #1 [Review]


Just One Little Thing

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Jay Anacleto
Colors: Brian Haberlin
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Associate Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover: Jay Anacleto
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I’ve been looking forward to this series for years. I mean, we’re talking at least a decade. It’s been rumoured for many years, with apparently a couple of false-starts, and now after all this time, this series is here. Now what?

From the cover we immediately see this is different from the original. Different artist, different look…separate entity. No real attempt is made to have the cover evoke the feel of the original series–the “cover dress” with the black border/negative space over a full single image might have worked very well here, with the subtitle Eye of the Camera along the bottom.

The first page is an introduction by the main character, Phil Sheldon; and the issue’s creator credits somehow make me think of some “event” ticket, indicating who is involved for the night and all that. Not bad–I don’t think I’ve seen/held a ticket like that…well, ever–so it helps to indicate this story is not set during my lifetime.

The story follows Sheldon in the opening of the 1960s as he begins to realize that some of his “marvels” may be monsters, unlike the heroes during the war. He also considers that as a family man, perhaps he needs to lay down the freelance photography in pursuit of a steady/full job so that he knows he’s got provision for his family and isn’t still playing at his youth. Through this, we also see the arrival of the Fantastic Four on the scene and the “man on the street” reaction to the super-team’s unveiling.

The art is a very clear departure from that of painter Alex Ross from the original series. I’m not familiar with this artist at all offhand–ntohing comes to mind and I have nothing prior to compare the work to. In and of itself–and I’m sure credit must be given to the colorist in tandem here–has a look that while apparently not painted, has just the right feel to suggest painted, and very nicely captures the look of the characters I recall from the original. By itself, I’d deem this very good art; I honestly think the only thing that may keep it from that is the unfortunate fact that as a sequel, this has got to be compared to the original…and as such, the comparison to Ross must come up.

That said, I found this to be an excellent issue. It seems to be “sequel” in that it is a follow-up; though time-wise, it seems to be coming between the pages of the original story. As the first of six issues, I have no idea how the other issues will play out in that regard–are these meant to be taken as “between issues” stories from the original, between pages, or just another story from the same period, much as one could tell two independent stories that both follow the same life, the difference simply being the events chosen to focus on and unpack in each story.

Without Ross, I can think of no artist who would have done better than Mr. Anacleto; and I trust Busiek–who wrote the original series–with whatever he’s choosing to do here.

A very worthwhile issue…though with about a decade and a half of having the original story available in full under a single cover, I can’t help but wonder if this sequel will read better in the same way–as a whole, rather than split into six segments across half a year.

If the rest of the issues hold up to this one, this could be one of those rare sequels that at least matches its original.

Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 8.5/10

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