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Evil Geek Book Report – Marvel Mythos

I had never heard of Marvel Mythos, but as I started digging around for information about Paolo Rivera after my fateful encounter at Comic Con this year, I couldn’t escape it. Released as a series of one shots between 2006-2008 (during my self-imposed comic book exile) each issue was a retelling of some of Marvel character’s origins and first issues. The stories are adapted by Paul Jenkins and fully painted by Paolo Rivera, making this a nice companion piece to the classic Marvels miniseries.

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The series covers Spider-Man, the X-Men, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Captain America and for some reason Ghost Rider.  Not to disrespect Johnny Blaze, but he certainly isn’t uttered in the same breath as those other characters who are virtually the pillars of the Marvel Universe. My guess is that he could be a childhood favorite of Jenkins growing up or tied into the release of the Ghost Rider movie. Yet this story was one of the ones I liked the best based on the fact that I knew next to nothing about his origin story.

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All of the stories stay mostly true to the originals but tweak things slightly and also update them into a more modern context. For instance, Peter Parker first appears as Spider-Man on the Conan O’Brien show rather than the Ed Sullivan show. Even though most fans have seen these origin stories done to death or even casual fans are aware of them through their saturated pop culture presence, it’s still worth a read. For me, especially I find it very difficult to get through comics written in the 1960’s (Stan Lee, I’m looking in your direction) so it’s nice to have them written with a modern sensibility. Many of them have an extra layer of heart and pathos not found in the original. The Captain America one is simple but beautiful, the X-Men story gives Magneto the sympathetic spotlight which makes for a better read.

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Rivera’s painted interiors are nothing short of gorgeous. I understand some people don’t like ultra-realistic art for their comic books, but for me its love at first sight. I like seeing a real person’s face on my heroes it goes a long way to humanize these fictional characters and allows the Marvel Universe to become a real place. Seeing the texture of Ben Grimm’s exterior, or Ghost Rider’s blazing skull is just pitch perfect. It’s obvious from these that Rivera was born to illustrate Spider-Man, if you don’t believe me check out some his more traditional style covers for the regular Spider-Man series/

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If you’re looking for a trip down memory lane or if you’ve never had a chance to read these origin stories, give Mythos a shot. You’ll also be be able to find it for dirt cheap. I bought a brand new hardcover edition on Amazon for about $3. For that price, you can’t go wrong.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on November 24, 2014, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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