Writers: Mark Waid; Ryan Stegman; Rainbow Rowell; Dan Slott; Armando Iannucci; Steve McNiven; Jason Aaron; J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: Alessandro Cappuccio; Ryan Stegman & J. P. Mayer; Marguerite Sauvage; Michael Allred; Adam Kubert; Steve McNiven; Pepe Larraz; Kaare Andrews
Colorists: Mattia Iacono; Dave McCaig; Marguerite Sauvage; Laura Allred; Frank Martin; Steve McNiven; Alejandro Sánchez; Kaare Andrews
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson; Frank Miller & Frank D’Armata; George Perez & Nolan Woodard; Greg Land & Frank D’Armata; Javier Garrón & Edgar Delgado; Ryan Stegman & Jay David Ramos; Frank Miller, Klaus Janson & Frank D’Armata; Francis Manapul
Release Date: August 30, 2023
In the 1980s and ’90s, Marvel Comics produced Marvel Age. The monthly publication delivered short stories, news, previews, and interviews with creators. With news sites and social media bringing us such valuable swag, what can a vaunted name like Marvel Age offer today’s fans? Let’s leap into Marvel Age #1000 and find out!
Oxygen ignites Dr. Phineas Horton’s android. Yet flames don’t consume it. Dr. Horton hungers for money and fame, but the android seeks a higher purpose. Discovering that he can fly, he takes inspiration from a public hero. But what happens when he learns that his hero doesn’t exist? Mark Waid’s compelling story in Marvel Age #1000 draws on 1930s pop culture and an enduring children’s story that honors Marvel Comics’ Timely origins.
Artist Alessandro Cappuccio’s shifting viewpoints and period interior furnishings evoke film noir and the pre-television age. Android Jim Hammond gets frustrated by things he doesn’t understand and angered by injustice. Colorist Mattia Iacono makes everything clear and easy to see in this tale that only lightens when understanding dawns.
Aunt May wants to see more of Peter, so he’s agreed to meet for dinner weekly with her and his closest friends. If only crime considered Peter’s schedule! This week, the Lizard has stolen a device to stop reverting to Dr. Curt Connors. While poised to apprehend him, Peter receives texts from friends, family, and coworkers. Guess what they want to remind him of? While set in modern times, Sunday Dinner spotlights a hero and villain from the early 1960s, the decade that birthed many of the Marvel characters we know and love today.
Aided by inker J. P. Mayer, writer Ryan Stegman pencils a high-adrenaline rooftop battle in Marvel Age #1000. The muscular Lizard channels Juggernaut but can’t barrel past Spider-Man. Inset panels show text messages and photos Peter sends mid-fight to keep J. J. Jameson happy. Direction lines enhance action without erasing backgrounds, and Peter’s spider sense energizes the air. Aunt May looks older–and Mary Jane and Peter younger–than in the contemporary Amazing Spider-Man series. With Mayer’s inks providing so much darkness, Dave McCaig loads his palette with color—especially greens and blues—and highlights characters and their surroundings. McCaig gives depth and reality to this high-octane tale about supporting the people in our lives.
“People Wonder Why”
Just before curfew, Jean Grey visits Hank’s dorm room in Rainbow Rowell’s story. While Bobby listens to albums on his portable record player and Warren flies above the beds, Hank paws through his books to find one for Jean. Scott later breaks curfew to bring her the book she requested. Despite her growing attraction for Scott, his chivalry chafes. What does it say about her, and how will it define their relationship?
While she doesn’t include clothing changes, Marguerite Sauvage’s characters resemble the paper dolls that comic readers once cut out and played with. Her limited color palette gives Rowell’s story a bright, dreamy appearance that evokes summer holidays. Jean’s eyes glow when she sees her favorite guys in Marvel Age #1000. Only one bed looks occupied in her dorm room at Professor Xavier’s school, symbolic of how her powers isolate her. Pages evoke Pizzazz, Marvel’s short-lived pop culture magazine, that attracted readers with covers featuring teen pop culture heroes.
“Earth’s Greatest Weapon”
When rocket scientist Walter Lawson asks why NASA moved up Orpheus One’s launch, Colonel Carol Danvers is tight-lipped. So the Kree spy Captain Mar-Vell—known as Captain Marvel on Earth—tells his superior he failed to discover the rocket’s payload. Colonel Yon-Rogg connects Mar-Vell with Supremor, and the Supreme Intelligence orders him to prevent the launch.
After Dan Abnett reminded readers of this Silver Age character in his recent Groot series, Spider-Man writer Dan Slott portrays him as a recent emigrant to Earth. While I didn’t understand the secrecy surrounding Orpheus One, Captain Marvel’s response to Supremor’s orders, or why he called the rocket’s payload precious, his story reminds us of 1960s fears of another world war and the U.S.S.R.’s rapid industrial and military growth that prompted the space race.
Michael Allred honors Captain Marvel’s origins with 1960s superhero depictions, period interior design, and pop culture portrayals in Marvel Age #1000. The Supreme Intelligence dominates scenes, and characters seem approachable and relatable. Laura Allred’s colors brighten this tale about overcoming our fears and embracing the unknown.
Do you experience ringing in your ears? Armando Iannucci suggests that tinnitus has nothing to do with your hearing. Instead, the brain interprets nerve impulses as alarms. Even people with exceptional hearing—like Daredevil—can experience tinnitus. Having suffered from this disease for decades, I’ve yet to hear such a definitive diagnosis from a doctor. But even if Iannucci simplifies a complex spectrum of symptoms that plagues millions of people, I can relate to Matt Murdock’s admission: “It’s like somebody tipped a dumpster full of noise in my brain.” While enduring trials, we can take inspiration from our heroes and battle on.
Adam Kubert works across pages as Daredevil battles villains, argues in the courtroom, and swings through the sky. The pain Matt experiences transforms his features in Marvel Age #1000. Even wearing his mask, the agony he endures is apparent. Frank Martin’s coloring shows these sonic explosions wash through him. Joe Caramagna’s skills prove especially powerful here.
Steve McNiven transports Silver Surfer to a former battlefield. Norrin Radd leaves his surfboard to walk past corpses in the snow and a broken church to behold a mass grave. We don’t learn where the battle took place. Is Norrin in the Ukraine? Does he survey the destruction wrought in Jason Aaron’s recent Avengers series? Or might this be a slaughter far from the eyes of Western media? In any case, helplessness overwhelms him.
While the narrow longitudinal panels limit our perception, McNiven’s hand-drawn art shows Silver Surfer in exacting detail. Mephisto–his uninvited companion–grows more menacing amid Norrin’s despair. Amid so many vibrant stories in Marvel Age #1000, Deaf Heaven speaks to the importance of grasping hope, even in the most hopeless situations.
“The Girl Who Hates Superheroes”
Seventeen-year-old New Yorker Jyl Talley lives in a group home for orphans and works two jobs while attending High School. One night, she turns the corner of a dark alley and finds Thor battling flying spider demons. Jason Aaron revisits his mighty Thor saga to deliver a compelling portrait of Jane Foster defying her cancer and how witnessing our heroes’ struggles can empower our daily lives.
Pepe Larraz and Alejandro Sánchez convey Jyl’s dark and gritty existence. She inhabits subways, dark alleys, and restaurant kitchens, but the teenager rarely studies the world around her. Thor’s explosive battle transforms her existence in Marvel Age #1000. Breathtaking, transformative art shall smite thee as powerfully as it does Jyl.
“Observations From The Backyard”
Everyone sees the world differently. Can you see what others cannot? In J. Michael Straczynski’s tale, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko sit outside after school. Why does everyone think they’re so weird? No one else sees what they see, but perhaps they should. Through their storytelling, the boys can communicate how they see the world. Who knows how many people might embrace their views and share their dreams?
Kaare Andrews’ framed panels imbue Straczynski with timeless appeal in Marvel Age #1000. Beige matting surrounds spotted faded photos. Bright colors defy the aging process in this heartfelt portrait of three storytellers in their formative years. As Straczynski states, Marvel Comics wasn’t born this way. This portrait of boys discovering their superpowers argues otherwise.
Marvel Age #1000 explores the breadth and depth of the Marvel universe. Stories touch upon every era to ponder the company’s strengths and why its heroes endure.