You may have a bit more time on your hands these days. If you are looking for something to do – and if you like superheroes or comics (and why wouldn’t you?) – you just may like this new podcast from Marvel, called Marvels.
As opposed to many superhero stories, the heroes are not the protagonists, they are the background story. The story is told from the perspective of journalists living in a superhero world. This type of storytelling twist has been done a few times in more recent years in comics and the media in general, but Marvels predates all, or at least most, of them.
The podcast is based on the 1994 graphic novel of the same name by writer Kurt Busiek and artist, Alex Ross (one of the most eerily realistic comic artists out there). A good friend of mine, Tim Levins (who is an awesome comic book artist himself!) lent me his copy several years ago and I fell in love with it. It opened my eyes to deeper, more interesting storytelling that can still love superheroes, but have bigger topics to cover and statements to make than heroes punching bad guys.
(If you would rather be reading than listening to podcasts, you can get the comic on Amazon or digitally on Comixology. There are other, less official ways of reading this on the web, but I won’t go into that here.)
The comic tells a more epic story, starting in 1939 and ending in the ’70’s, covering the very Golden Age of heroes. It has a very old-timey feel to it and focuses on photographer Phil Sheldon doing his job as a journalist amongst the crazy superhero and villain stuff going on around him in NYC.
The podcast picks a smaller time period of the 1970’s and tells a more detailed, portion of the original print version. The series is not complete yet, so I am not sure where they will take it. All I can say so far is that I am really enjoying it and am excited for the next episode.
Let me know how you like the podcast if you listen to it. If your are familiar with the comic and, even better, have read it, tell me what you think and if you have any other suggestions.