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Marvel 1985 #1: Review

May 2008
Mark Millar, Tommy Lee Edwards

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel 1985 #1 Review by (May 25, 2022)

Review: Offbeat miniseries looks at the phenomenon of comic books themselves and the results are surprising. In the “real” world of the main story where comic books are an art form best appreciated by nerds and losers, people read them to deal with personal trauma (Toby) or to bond with friends (Jerry and Clyde) or to prove their superiority over other fans (the comic book shop guys) or to waste their time on trash (Toby’s Mom). And Jerry Goodman, who grew up on comics and knows more about them than anyone else, is now an unemployed musician and failed artist, making me wonder whose side Mark Millar is on. But then Marvel Comics villains are invading the “real world” and murder and mayhem abound; who is the best person to deal with all of this? The unappreciated Jerry Goodman now comes into his own! Being an expert in comic books, he knows the bad guys’ weaknesses! And so he sets out…and does nothing to stop the villains; instead he has to be rescued by his son who had the imagination to go into Earth-616 and bring back the heroes. Which is all well and good, since the town was in danger because of an insane comic book fan, Clyde Wyncham. Mark Millar has written a clever and creative tale of what love of comic books can do for you and it’s mostly negative. Is he secretly working for Dr. Frederick Wertham? And he totally misses what it likely the most common reason for reading comic books, which is the one I happen to hold, namely, I enjoy reading comic books.  

Comments: In addition to various Marvel Comics, most notably SECRET WARS, there are mentions of LOVE AND ROCKETS and CEREBUS. Includes one-page profile of new ULTIMATE X-MEN writer Aron Coleite.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel 1985 #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

1985: Thirteen-year-old Toby Goodman has gotten back to reading comics to cope with his parents’ divorce. He lives with his mother and rich stepfather and is doing poorly in school. His dad Jerry, an unemployed musician, stops by for him and they go out to see the old Wyncham place, just purchased by some people planning to turn it into a hotel or rest home. Jerry grew up with the son of the household, Clyde Wyncham, until he had an accident as a teenager that left him brain damaged. One of the new owners, a creepy little guy, offers Toby a cache of comic books found in the basement but Jerry, prompted by honesty, tells the guy the books, a complete set of the earliest Marvel comics, are valuable and he should sell them himself. Toby glances up at the house and sees the Red Skull peeking at him through the curtains….

In school, Toby tells his friend Darius he saw a guy dressed as the Red Skull but was afraid to tell anyone else. A few days later, his mom has heard about Jerry’s giving back a load of valuable comics and questions his intelligence. Toby sees a news report of a man with wings perched over the city and recognizes him as the Vulture from comics….

Late at night, Toby goes out to the Wyncham place and finds Doctor Doom balking at spending any time there, while gathering that some powerful being has brought the villains there from another dimension because here there are no superheroes to protect anyone. Doom burns the furniture stacked outside with a blast from his gauntlet…and then he hears Toby. Toby runs away and slams into the Hulk….

Tommy Lee Edwards
Tommy Lee Edwards
Tommy Lee Edwards
Tommy Lee Edwards (Cover Penciler)
Tommy Lee Edwards (Cover Inker)
Tommy Lee Edwards (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Workman.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)

(Bruce Banner)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

(Adrian Toomes)

> Marvel 1985: Book info and issue index

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