Comics : 70 Years of Marvel Comics Poster Book

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This review was first published on: Oct 2010.

Background...

Marvel started these poster books (magazines really) back in the 1990's, and has picked up the pace more recently. I guess with the increased emphasis on painted cover art, the flood of variant covers giving more options to choose from, and the focus on major "events", it seems a no-brainer to bring out a poster book with any major Marvel happening.

This one is part of the "70 years of Marvel Comics" thing.

In Detail...

70 Years of Marvel Comics Poster Book
Year 2009 : SM Cover
Summary: Spider-Man on Cover and in posters of Civil War #1 variant, Secret Wars #8, Ms. Marvel #1, ASM #50, AF #15
Editor:  Jennifer Grunwald, Mark D. Beazley
Artist:  John Romita, Sr. (Spidey Poster), Michael Turner (Spidey Poster), Mike Zeck (Spidey Poster), Steve Ditko (Spidey Poster)
Cover Art:  Spring Hoteling
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Review

This book features covers from the full gamut of the seventy years from "Marvel Comics #1" back in October 1939, through to Civil War #1.

The Spider-Man appearances are:

In General...

Most of the poster books have features recent high-quality art work, whereas this one is mostly older artwork.

The new art looks great, naturally.

The very old stuff seems to have been effectively but respectfully retouched. Edges have been cleaned-up and the colors are all brightened and matched.

The weak point of this book (if any) would be the mid-period covers from the 1970's to the 1990's. They compare badly to both the earlier and later material. The mid-period covers seem overloaded and overworked. The art is not high-quality digital art, and it doesn't seem to have been retouched.

So while the early covers have classic charm and are well reproduced, and the later covers are high-resolution true-color works of art, the mid-period covers are generally poorly balanced and rather crass. Pretty much like the comics they contained, really.

Overall Rating...

Overall, it's a respectful and well-selected offering at a more than fair price. Unfortunately, the lack of attention to the 80's and 90's covers have to count against the rating. But even so, let's give a more-than-acceptable three and a half webs.