Marvel 1985 – Mark Millar

Marvel 1985This has disaster written all over it. Fictional superheroes in the real world, our world, the one you are reading this from. Like a Smurfs live action film this can’t be good.

But wait, it actually is. Cleverly set in 1985 this world is far enough removed from our own so as to still feel fictional. It also pushes the nostalgia buttons of anyone who was around then. By reminding you of a period when you first read comics and still believed in heroes it sucks you in to empathise with the 13 year old protagonist. We all wondered ‘what if’ at one time didn’t we?

Millar is famed for his anti-super hero work with Kick Ass and similar projects so it is nice to see him present a more optimistic tale. It isn’t actually about the supers either. We follow a boy struggling with growing up and his father who is also still struggling to grow up. There is a mystery and a hefty spoonful of human drama, albeit with a slightly Scooby Doo ending.

The art is much darker and grainier than modern Day-Glo comics, perhaps to hark back to a four-colour age. The covers are great tributes to that period and there are some famous comics that appear within the storyline too. A trip to the actual Marvel Universe is rendered in a different, softer style that really hits the spot.

There is a lot of humour and wisdom in this volume and this is a side of Millar’s talent you rarely get to see these days. This succeeds because it is about people and in some ways about you, not about the spandex cavalry.

Thumbs Up!

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