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All of the Marvels
All of the Marvels: A Journey to the Ends of the Biggest Story Ever Told | Douglas Wolk
9 posts | 3 read | 5 to read
The first-ever full reckoning with Marvel Comics' interconnected, half-million-page story, a revelatory guide to the "epic of epics"--and to the past 60 years of American culture--from a beloved authority on the subject who read all 27,000+ Marvel superhero comics and lived to tell the tale. The superhero comic books that Marvel Comics has published since 1961 are, Douglas Wolk notes, the longest continuous, self-contained work of fiction ever created: over half a million pages to date, and growing. The Marvel story is a gigantic mountain, smack in the middle of contemporary culture. Thousands of writers and artists have contributed to it. Every schoolchild recognizes its protagonists: Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men. 18 of the 100 highest-grossing movies of all time are directly based on parts of it. And not even the people telling the story have read the whole thing--nobody's supposed to. So, of course, that's what Wolk did: he read all 27,000 comics that make up the Marvel universe thus far, from Alpha Flight to Omega the Unknown. And then he made sense of it: seeing into the ever-expanding story, in its parts and as a coherent whole, and seeing through it, as a prism through which to view the landscape of American culture. In Wolk's hands, the mammoth Marvel narrative becomes a funhouse-mirror history of the past 60 years, from the atomic night-terrors of the Cold War to the technocracy and political division of the present day--a boisterous, tragicomic, magnificently filigreed epic about power and ethics, set in a world transformed by wonders. As a work of cultural exegesis, this is sneakily significant, even a landmark; it's also ludicrously fun. Looking over close to sixty years of Marvel's comics, Wolk sees fascinating patterns -- the rise and fall of particular cultural aspirations, and of the storytelling modes that conveyed them. He observes the Marvel story's progressive visions and its painful stereotypes, its patches of woeful hackwork and stretches of luminous creativity, and the way they all feed into a potent cosmology that echoes our deepest hopes and fears. This is a huge treat for Marvel fans, but it's also a revelation for readers who don't know Doctor Strange from Doctor Doom. Here, truly, are all of the marvels.
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HeyT
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#BookReport
This week I finished two really good books that were drastically different from one another. They weren't exactly forecasted but worth the deviation.

#WeeklyForecast
My goal this week is to finish at least one of my two current reads. They are both a lot of tiny words per page and a naturally slower pace so while I am enjoying them they are definitely taking me longer than I expected. If I manage to finish one my BookSpin is up next.

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HeyT
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Pickpick

This was a great tour of some of the overarching themes and storylines in the Marvel Comics Universe. Very beginner friendly. It reads like part literary criticism and part art history narrative but not in a dry academic way. Rather than go through chronologically in publication order he takes certain themes and character arcs an highlights the issues that are important to them.

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HeyT
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I‘m dying because I just noticed what this book was shelved under. I put it on hold so I didn‘t grab it from the shelf myself but I would never have thought to look for it under graphic novel. This is 100% prose and the only illustrations are sporadic small insets of comic pages. If anything I‘d classify it as lit crit. At least I‘m enjoying it.

HeyT I know some libraries get their stuff from OCLC but even worldcat has this as biography and lit crit 2w
13 likes1 comment
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HeyT
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Starting this tonight. I never read comics as a kid so I only really have a pop culture awareness of the Marvel universe. I thought this might make a nice overview.
#CatsOfLitsy

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xicanti
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I still can‘t decide which fiction flavour I feel like, so I started my Friday with another chunk of ALL OF THE MARVELS. I‘m up to the bit where Wolk discusses his experience with Hickman‘s Avengers, which I‘ve read and found very cool, and his enthusiasm‘s bringing it all back for me.

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xicanti
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This book makes so many cogent points that it‘s easier for me to just tell you to read it than to quote ‘em all, but I‘ve got to share this one because it‘s important. It sets my teeth on edge when I see people talk about the “illustrations” in the comics they read. “Art” (or “artwork” if you wanna be fancy) is more appropriate when you discuss comics, AND it uses up less of the character limit on social media platforms where that‘s an issue.

tenar As just a casual comics reader, I‘ve never thought about these word choices before. Thanks for sharing! 2mo
xicanti @tenar any time! 2mo
36 likes2 comments
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xicanti
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Today‘s excellent library haul. I‘m especially excited for the tagged book, which I requested after Jay & Miles talked to the author, but this‘s a pretty great bunch all around. I‘m glad to have new(ish) stuff from Ruth Ozeki, Jordan Ifueko, and Kim Thúy, I‘ve anticipated Jesse Wente‘s story for a long time, I‘m hoping to find some recipes for Sinterklaas, and I couldn‘t resist grabbing a Christmassy Jenny Colgan off the shelf.

sarahbarnes I just started the Ozeki! 2mo
xicanti @sarahbarnes I hope we‘ll both enjoy it! 2mo
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not so much focused on the company‘s and creators‘ histories, but rather on the actual characters, canon, arcs, shifts, trends, and how the universe connects. Inspired by his son, Wolk read over 27,000 Marvel stories resulting in this phenomenal rundown. I‘ve read only a few of the comics, but like many, I love the MCU films. The cultural impact is fascinating! Perfect companion to Marvel Comics: The Untold Story and A Marvelous Life.

britt_brooke Cindy, thanks so much for gifting this to me. 🤗 I loved it!! @Cinfhen 2mo
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britt_brooke @vivastory I think you‘ll like this! 2mo
Cinfhen Yay!!! I‘m so glad… 2mo
MrT This is also an interesting read about Marvel vs DC 2mo
MrT ☺ oops just seen you're already read it. 2mo
vivastory Thanks for tagging me! This sounds so interesting. I knew that the cinematic MU was intricately planned, but I had no idea this existed in the comics too. Will definitely be checking it out. Speaking of Marvel, have you seen The Eternals? 2mo
Karisa Ooh… Ordering right now for my hubby. He‘s always going on about the connectivity after every Marvel movie (and buys in to the theory for Pixars all being connected too 😂). Fun stuff! Sounds great! 😊 Now I‘ll have to decide if I can wait to give it to him for Xmas. 2mo
britt_brooke @vivastory Not yet. Have you?? We still need to watch Black Widow, too. 2mo
britt_brooke @MrT Loved it, too! A fascinating history. 2mo
britt_brooke @Karisa Yay! Hope he enjoys. I have a hard time not giving gifts immediately, too. 😅😂 2mo
vivastory I haven't watched it it yet. I've heard mixed reviews. Might wait for streaming. I enjoyed Black Widow. It was strange bc it was the first new Marvel movie I had watched in almost 2 years. 2mo
britt_brooke @vivastory We watched all the movies in chronological order over mostly over Xmas break last year. It was so fun! I‘d only seen a couple of them prior to that. My boys loved them! But now, we need to catch up on what‘s come out since then. 2mo
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britt_brooke
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Thanks SO much for this marvelous birthday gift, Cindy! 🤩 It‘s been such a pleasure getting to know you through our love of books over the last few years. 💚 Thanks a bunch for getting the celebration started for my 40th next week! 🤗😙

vivastory I saw this at B&N a couple of days ago & thought it looked interesting. Happy early Birthday 🎉📚🎂 3mo
Cinfhen My pleasure!! Enjoy xx 😘 3mo
britt_brooke @vivastory The Marvel story is so fascinating! I think this will be my 3rd read about it‘s history. Hoping to get to it soon. I‘ll let you know how it is! 3mo
britt_brooke @Cinfhen 💚💚💚 3mo
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