Super Types

March 28, 2015

Off The Shelf: Marvelous Mythology: How The World’s Greatest Heroes Were Created

Marvelous Mythology: How The World’s Greatest Superheroes Were Created
Writer: Todd Frye
Publisher: Todd Frye

How geek are you?

It’s a real and important question in this day and age of wiki pages and network television series based on comic books. Patton Oswalt in his Wired article talked about the death of the American Otaku and nerd culture in general at the hands of the internet, modern conveniences and crossover popularity. Once upon a time you had to watch the original Star Wars trilogy with a careful, borderline obsessive eye and read through books after books of the vast collection of novels that take place in the extended universe to get the full story about Boba Fett. Nowadays one Wikipedia article and two YouTube videos later and you know everything there is to be known about Boba”The Fett” Fett. Long gone are the days of the badge of honor you earned through slavish devotion to your obsession; every nerd’s jealously guarded best kept secret is now on Front Street on everyone’s Netflix queue. So be honest;



How geek are you really?
Were you pulling out your phone at the end of the first Avengers film to look up who was the raisin-chinned dude?
Were you desperately disappointed by X-Men: Days of Future Past but still stayed to the end to catch En Sabah Nur’s big screen debut?
Do you know the original composition of Captain America’s Shield?
Would you lose your mind if you met Stanley Martin Lieber on the street?

If you’re the deep cuts kind of old school expert nerd that sends the Nouveau Geek Chic crowd running for cover then there is a must-have book out dying for a place on your already crowded bookshelf: Marvelous Mythology by Todd Frye.This grand tome of comic knowledge is chock full of insight and history about the beginnings of the multimedia 220px-Ff1kirbyjuggernaut that is Marvel Comics. Frye details stories from the creation of comics from the 30’s as well as the genesis of such old school Marvel heavyweights such as Captain America, Namor the Submariner, and the Fantastic Four by weaving the tale of how a handful of young artists and writers from New York changed the world with their vision of how the world could be.
Covering the history of Marvel comics up until the late 70’s, Marvelous Mythology is an in-depth exploration into the history of the industry as well as a chronicle of the formative years for one of publishing’s most influential companies. Retelling the tale-turned-legend of how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created a modern mythology that dominates pop culture worldwide, Todd Frye, as a geek-leaning Indiana Jones, has sifted through the sands of time to give us this glimpse into the past. It is at this point that I must articulate that this is a non fiction book with no pictures at all, but this shouldn’t be a deterrent for anyone with strong enough geek cred. If you’re looking for a book full of pretty pictures about Spider-Man and his arch nemesis “Mr. Octopus”, then look elsewhere. This work is strictly for those looking to crush the world under the weight of their Brobdingnagian knowledge of the MCU and all things that surround, involve, or influence it.220px-Amazing_Fantasy_15

Marvelous Mythology is a ultra nerd references and a heated geek argument settler wrapped in a creation story about writers struggling to make ends meet in an unforgiving industry. Brilliant men who in the process of trying to feed themselves changed the world and the lives of every writer and reader of this site. Costumed folk heroes that parallel any pantheon that antiquity ever produced, the stories of Marvel heroes and villains are now as much of an artifact of 20th and 21st century culture as the Iliad and the Aeneid are of their periods and cultures and Marvelous Mythology is a great overview of how all of that came to be. It’s a solid read and and well worth your time and cash if you’re geek enough for it.

Cameron Crump

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