Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross are curating a series of done-in-one stories by different creative teams set at different times in the Marvel universe. Which is definitely intriguing... but then the first one has been announced, and it stars the Invaders and the All-Winners Squad, it's drawn by Jerry Ordway, and...

...it's written by Alan Brennert. 

The same Alan Brennert that wrote Batman: Holy Terror and "The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne" and "To Kill a Legend" and "hould Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot" with Deadman and Supergirl -- comics that always get considered for the Best of All Time lists. 

And he's writing a new comic book, for what I think is the first time in decades.

So hell yeah, I'm excited. Bleeding Cool as some more details.

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How many Marvels projects have there been now? If one were to assemble a collection, it would be Marvels, Marvels: Eye of the Camera and what? I seem to remember two extra-snazzy single issues with plastic cover protectors, but I don't remember their names. Would Ruins count?

Anyhow, here's the PR for Marvels: Snapshots:

KURT BUSIEK ASSEMBLES AMAZING TALENT FOR MARVEL SNAPSHOTS

NEW SERIES WILL OFFER AN UNUSUAL LOOK AT MARVEL’S GREATEST CHARACTERS

New York, NY— December 13, 2019 — This March, prepare to see the greatest moments of Marvel’s 80-year history told like never before! In MARVEL SNAPSHOTS, industry legend Kurt Busiek will bring together incredible creative teams for eight standalone, double sized issues showcasing Marvel’s most beloved characters from the golden age to today. Like 1994’s critically acclaimed MARVELS series, MARVEL SNAPSHOTS will be tales told through the eyes of ordinary people, offering unique insights on the legendary mythos of the Marvel Universe. MARVELS SNAPSHOTS also reunites Busiek with renowned MARVELS co-creator Alex Ross who will be providing the series with his iconic painted covers.

It all begins with SUB-MARINER: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1 when best-selling novelist and Emmy Award-winning TV writer Alan Brennert (L.A. LAW, TWILIGHT ZONE) and superstar artist Jerry Ordway (ALL-STAR SQUADRON, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) unite to tell an unforgettable story about Marvel’s original antihero: Prince Namor! Set circa World War II, things kick off with an action-packed tale featuring Namor, Betty Dean, and the All-Winners Squad--a dream come true for Brennert. “I can honestly say that I enjoyed working on this story more than any comics story I've done in years. I grew up reading (and loving) Marvel's Golden Age heroes in the 1960s, in reprints in FANTASY MASTERPIECES. But I never thought I'd have a shot at writing them--especially the All-Winners Squad!--and I'm grateful to Kurt Busiek and Tom Brevoort for providing me the opportunity, and to Jerry Ordway for bringing it all to glorious life,” Brennert says. “I'm enormously proud of ‘Reunion’ and honored to be the first story published in MARVELS SNAPSHOTS.”

Artist Jerry Ordway is just as passionate about bringing this tale to life. "When I was offered this project, I jumped at it, being a big fan of the original MARVELS book by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Getting to draw a Sub-Mariner story set in the 1940s, with appearances by the All-Winners Squad, lets me connect with Marvel’s World War II era history, and the work of Subby’s creator, Bill Everett,” says Ordway. “I’ve been a Marvel maniac from the age of 10, so this is pretty cool! Alan Brennert wrote a great script which fits neatly into the bigger tapestry that is the Marvel Universe. I’m thrilled to get to play in this sandbox after so many years as an artist."

“The MARVELS SNAPSHOTS books will provide a different perspective on moments throughout Marvel history while also giving a wide range of talent, many of whom are new to Marvel, to play in our sandbox under the expert watch of Kurt Busiek,” says Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.

This dramatic, unexpected and revealing tour through the Marvel Universe crafted by a cornucopia of amazing creators begins this March! Don’t miss this celebration of Marvel’s legacy that’s sure to be an instant favorite for True Believers old and new!

Be on the lookout for upcoming announcements revealing which of your favorite characters will star in this landmark series and the incredible talent who will tell their exceptional tales…

SUB-MARINER: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1

Written by ALAN BRENNERT WITH KURT BUSIEK

Art by JERRY ORDWAY

Cover by ALEX ROSS

Cap, this year you got the Marvels Annotated series, and that was followed up by Marvels: Epilogue. Epilogue was basically only half a comic, but it was fun seeing Ross do interiors again.  It also had a bunch of interviews as well.

Thanks, Travis. The other titles were bugging me, so I did a little research and found the Marvels Companion TPB. Evidently, Marvel considers these issues part of Marvels, or Marvels-adjacent:

  • TALES OF THE MARVELS: BLOCKBUSTER
  • TALES OF THE MARVELS: INNER DEMONS
  • TALES OF THE MARVELS: WONDER YEARS 1-2
  • CODE OF HONOR 1-4
  • CONSPIRACY 1-2
  • RUINS 1-2

I remember Inner Demons, I think -- wasn't that Sub-Mariner? I don't remember the other "Tales," which I may or may not have read. I do remember Ruins, mainly for wanting to throw up through most of it. Don't remember Conspiracy. But again, that doesn't mean I didn't read it -- it just might not have made much of an impression on me. I remember reading Code of Honor, part of an effort by Marvel to lionize police, firefighters and EMTs after 9/11, and being bored by it.

I may have to get this trade, just to see if I read these books or not! I should wait, though, and see if they do a re-issue and include Epilogue.

In addition to those mentioned above, there are two more of the "Marvel Select" line (acetate cover overlays) I recall: Tales of Suspense (featruring Iron Man & Captain America) and Tales to Astonish (featuring Hulk, Wasp & Hank Pym). ALL of these are forgettable, including the ones mentioned above.

Regarding "Inner Demons," I reviewed it as part of my "Recent Sub-Mariner" discussion back in September of this year. Here's what I said:

"By Mario Nicieza & Bob Wakelin. This is the oldest of the “recent” comics I intend to deal with in this discussion, but with the current Invaders series mucking about in this era, I definitely wanted to give it another look. In the wake of Marvels, Marvel released a number of painted comics with acetate cover overlays. I’m not saying that the artists involved weren’t talented, but many of them didn’t necessarily understand what makes good comic book storytelling. The title copy of this particular acetate overlay obscures the figure of Johnny Storm dropping Namor into the water from above the surface. The story is told from the point of view of a homeless alcoholic named John Mahoney who befriends the amnesiac Sub-Mariner. The conflict involves Norman Osborn (who is trying to acquire the property where the flophouse stands) and the Enforcers."

I went on to deem it "Forgettable," to which you replied, "And I forgot it!"

I'm definitely looking forward to the first of the Marvel: Snapshots, though. 

Cap, Code of Honor came out in the late 90s, and was very Marvels-like. Chuck Dixon wrote it, and I think it fit into his style.

Call of Duty, is the one you are thinking about that came out post-9/11.

Tales of Marvels? Conspiracy? Ruins? I don't remember any of those.

Snapshots sounds good!

Conspiracy was a huge Mopee that postulated all of the Marvel origin stories were somehow manipulated into being. It has been 100% ignored in continuity since and, until now, I have never heard anyone discuss it, even obliquely.

I remember Ruins. It was a huge downer.

Yeah, that's what I remember about it, too, but I don't recall any plot specifics.

Peter and May Parker were seen as terrible people. Peter dies of radiation poisoning.

Magneto (wearing his costume?) is killed by metal flying at him.

Those are the ones that stuck in my mind.

Jean Grey was a drug-addicted prostitute in Ruins. That's the one that kinda made me sick.

Nick Fury commits suicide, because sure, why should anyone stay in character?

Peter Parker not only dies of radiation poisoning, but he poisons most of the Daily Bugle staff.

And so on. Just venomous. I think Warren Ellis wrote it. 

Here's some PR on the next story:

KURT BUSIEK ASSEMBLES AN ALL-STAR TEAM FOR FANTASTIC FOUR: MARVELS SNAPSHOT

THE LANDMARK SERIES CONTINUES WITH A FANTASTIC FOUR TALE BY EVAN DORKIN, SARAH DYER, AND BENJAMIN DEWEY!

 

New York, NY— December 18, 2019 — Last week, Marvel announced MARVELS SNAPSHOT, a new series from MARVELS co-creator Kurt Busiek that brings together incredible creative teams to tell new tales showcasing Marvel’s greatest heroes! The series debuts in March with a golden age romp by Alan Brennert and Jerry Ordway before this epic tour through the Marvel Universe continues later that month with MARVELS SNAPSHOT: FANTASTIC FOUR! This second installment will take readers into the zany silver age, turning the spotlight on the Fantastic Four’s own Human Torch in a story by comic book creators Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. Known for books like Beasts of Burden as well as writing credits on animated series like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and Superman: The Animated Series, this duo feels right at home penning this classic tale rooted in the Marvel mythos!

 

“I'm still blushing that Kurt chose Sarah Dyer and I to tell one of the MARVELS SNAPSHOT stories, especially this one, because the Fantastic Four was my favorite super hero team book as a kid, and MARVELS did a great job of showing how the larger-than-life Marvel characters affect the average person on the street,” says Dorkin. “We're trying to do right by both series, packing the story with as much heart, wonder and fun as we can for both older and newer fans to enjoy.”

 

FANTASTIC FOUR: MARVELS SNAPSHOT reunites Dorkin and Dyer with artist Benjamin Dewey who brings this tale to life with the acclaimed art he’s known for from books like The Autumnland and Beasts of Burden.

 

“Teaming up with Kurt, Evan, and Sarah is delightful, challenging and a real education in the deep-cuts lore of characters I thought I knew! I’ll do my best to bring the same spark of joy and enthusiasm to the art that has clearly gone into the writing process,” says Dewey. “Ultimately we want to offer a story that gives fans a different angle on a beloved comics universe that they might not get from any other project.”

 

All curated by industry legend Kurt Busiek, this extraordinary series is sure to be a modern classic! Here’s what Busiek had to say about the passion project:

 

“I was thrilled to get the chance to do MARVELS SNAPSHOTS — to get a look at the Marvel Universe through a variety of eyes, from people who know the super heroes personally to people inspired by them, scared by them…even one who eventually joins them.

 

“In MARVELS SNAPSHOT, we range through time, getting a look at the Marvel Universe from the very early days (as in Alan Brennert and Jerry Ordway’s Sub-Mariner story), through the dawning days of the Marvel Age, up through events of the 1970s, 80s, all the way up to today. And I went out looking for a wide variety of creators to do a wide variety of perspectives. I wanted lots of different approaches, and I was delighted that so many creators I admire were willing to join in, from longtime pros to relative newcomers, and from Marvel mainstays to those who’ve done very little with Marvel before.

 

“In the second MARVELS SNAPSHOT, I asked Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer to write about the Human Torch’s ten-year high-school reunion as seen through the eyes of his ex-girlfriend Dorrie Evans, because they’ve done such warm, human, affecting work on material from Superman: The Animated Series to the awesome Beasts of Burden to Evan’s pop-culture-obsessed Eltingville Club stories, and I knew they’d embrace the crazy minutiae of comics history but bring that sense of heart and emotion to it. And I couldn’t get anyone better to draw it than Benjamin Dewey, bringing his impeccable craftsmanship and rich sense of character to the story.

 

And this is just the start — we’ve got plenty more to come!”

 

This eight-part series will be released twice per month over the course of four months and will feature new painted covers by the legendary Alex Ross. Be on the lookout for news about upcoming titles in this landmark series. Which of Marvel’s many great moments will readers get to dive into next?

 

FANTASTIC FOUR: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1

Written by EVAN DORKIN & SARAH DYER WITH KURT BUSIEK

Art by BENJAMIN DEWEY

Cover by ALEX ROSS

Variant Cover by BENJAMIN DEWEY

Oh, man, that sounds like a perfect team for that story, too!

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