The Marvels Vol 1: The War In Siancong

By Busiek, Cinar & Isanove
Publisher: Marvel
ISBN: 9781302921521

In a word…meh.

I loved Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, so these seemed like a no-brainer. It’s a sprawling epic that touches upon much of Marvel’s rich history, with forgotten characters, diverse situations, and plenty of new ideas to boot. And yet, somehow, it doesn’t quite work. The focus of the story concerns the fictitious country of Siancong and how the heroes of the Marvel universe have interacted with it across the years leading up to a modern-day crisis. But what with all the time-hopping, linear stories, historic characters, legacy situations, and new creations, there’s not much time for any meat on the bones. It’s all a bit something of nothing.

And then there’s Threadneedle. He’s just too David Bowie to be anything other than David Bowie, so every appearance jars. And didn’t Busiek play with this Bowie-esque character in Astro City with the Broken Man? 

It’s not dreadful, by any means, but it’s not the epic it wants to be. A shame, really.

And if you liked that: Try Astro City – or even the groundbreaking series Marvels (without the The)

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