Author(s): Sean Howe
From a tiny office on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, a struggling company named "Marvel Comics" introduced a series of bright-costumed superhero characters distinguished by smart banter and compellingly human flaws. "Spider-Man", "The Fantastic Four", "Captain America", "The Incredible Hulk"," The Avengers", "Iron Man", "Thor"," The X-Men", "Daredevil" - these superheroes quickly won children's hearts and sparked the imagination of pop artists, public intellectuals, and campus radicals. Over the course of half a century, Marvel's epic universe would become the most elaborate fictional narrative in history and serve as a modern American mythology for millions of readers. Interweaving history, anecdotes, and analysis, Sean Howe traces Marvel's decades - long rise to a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, revealing how it weathered "Wall Street" machinations, Hollywood failures, legal battles, and the collapse of the comic book market. He shows how Marvel's identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. He also introduces the men behind the magic, including self-made publisher Martin Goodman, energetic editor Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, the WWII veteran and co-creator of many of the company's marquee characters. A story of fertile imaginations, lifelong friendships, action-packed fistfights, reformed criminals, unlikely alliances, and third-act betrayals that incorporates more than one hundred original interviews with Marvel insiders then and now, "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" is a gripping narrative of one of the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary America.
"A corporate biography of America's most significant comic-book publisher and a definitive portrait of comics in American culture. . . . Howe offers vivid reporting and enticing detail. . . . The result is a book both authoritative and charmingly readable."--"The Wall Street Journal"
Sean Howe's writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Observer, Spin, and the Village Voice. He is a former editor and critic at Entertainment Weekly, and the editor of Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers!: Writers on Comics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.