I like Mark Millar. I liked his work on the The Ultimates. I liked his work on Wanted. I like his new book, Marvel 1985.
It’s easy to like those books, because they’re all kind of the same. What if superheroes and villains lived in the real world? That’s what Millar writes and he does a good job at it. It’s no Watchmen, which took a less personal and more geopolitical look at the same idea, but it’s good.
Marvel 1985 and Wanted are particularly similar in the idea that the villains are winners. In Wanted, analogues of DC and Marvel bad guys have already won. In Marvel 1985, the Marvel villains come to our Earth (though, not actually our Earth, since I kind of remember 1985 without Dr. Doom and Red Skull) to take over.
It’s all shown through the eyes of Toby, a teen-age protagonist who is drawn a lot younger, and it gives the story an air of “is-it-really-happening?” that, frankly, kind of annoys me. Maybe I’ve seen too many stories devolve into dreams or imagined tales that I’d like to see something more solid.
Regardless of my nitpicking, Marvel 1985 is a good book and full of funny moments and hidden treats. (Hey, kids! Find Ultron’s head!) This wasn’t on my list to pick up before, but I was won over by the first issue and I’ll be sure to collect the rest.