Book Review: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

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Marvel Comics: The Untold Story
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story – Kindle Edition

 I am a self proclaimed superhero junkie. For years my sons and I have stood in line at the midnight premiers of superhero films to ensure that we would be the first in our region to see a new superhero movie. So, when I heard that Sean Howe was writing the definitive history on all things Marvel, I had to request an advance copy.
It takes someone like Sean Howe, a brilliant entertainment critic and former editor of Entertainment Weekly Magazine,  with a love of all things Marvel to appreciate the history that is Marvel Comics.In Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Howe takes the reader on a historical journey to a day and age when the world was desperately seeking superheroes, but didn’t necessarily realize it was something that they needed.Howe handles the history of Marvel Comics with a care that is normally reserved for more weighty historical topics, and in doing so helps the reader understand the sociological factors that became the fertile soil in which Marvel became such a cultural phenomenon.I absolutely loved this book. It was a historical journey worth taking, surprising me with delightful and sometimes heartbreaking stories . . . kind of like a comic book.Well done, Sean Howe! Bravo.
I received this book for free from Harper Collins Publishers  for this review.

twelve:o-one

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I wrote the following blog post on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. It was the night that Batman Begins was released. For the past several years it has been a tradition for my oldest son, Chris and me to go to the midnight release of superhero movies. Before taking Chris, I’d go to these midnight showings with youth ministry friends. Tonight I get to take my two oldest sons to the midnight showing of The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s a great way to start a week-long vacation to Chicago and the Lake Mille Lacs area. I have always love superhero films, tv shows, etc. I think you’ll see why below. Enjoy!

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It’s 11:14 p.m. and for the second straight summer I find myself being inexplicibly drawn to the AMC Movie Theater, Eden Prairie Mall for yet another 12:01 release of a summer blockbuster film. Tonight’s film? Batman Begins.If history repeats itself I will no doubt snooze for a few minutes as my group of friends, all 10-12 years younger than me, take their turns snickering at the old youth pastor who just can’t say, “no,” to a movie premier.In the past twelve months my little band of renegade youth workers have viewed the midnight releases of The Bourne Supremecy, I. Robot, Star Wars Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith, and now Batman Begins.But, I’ll surprise my friends this time. I will overcome! I will stay awake. For this is Batman! They don’t know that each day after school my older brothers and I would crowd onto my parent’s bed, each taking time to kick the other brother in his face, in order to get the best possible viewing space for reruns of the 1960’s Batman television show. We’d watch the show on my parents 9″ Black and White TV.

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The show made us feel alive! We all wanted to be Adam West’s Batman or Burt Ward’s Robin. We all wanted to battle Catwoman, the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler. We shouted, “POW,” when the screen read, “POW,” and “ZOWIE,” when the screen read, “ZOWIE.” We were engrossed.I still want to be the hero. I want to defeat the villian in my child’s bad dream. To help the homeless guy get back on his feet. To find a place for the orphaned child to call home. To balance the family budget and have money left over.My two youngest sons got a new CD recently. It’s from Austraila. One of the songs is calledJesus is My Superhero. They love it, and I have to admit, it’s become a Schulenburg family favorite! God, thanks for being my true superhero. You amaze me. You’ve rescued me. You love me with a neverending and never failing love. So, this movie is supposed to be about justice. Maybe I’ll stay awake through it. But, if not . . .”He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8Well it’s 11:28 and time for me to meet my posse. Thanks for listening, God. I love you. And, Jesus, You’re my Superhero!