I loved the first issue of History of the Marvel Universe. The second issue continues on through the 1900s, presenting the fictional events tied to WWI, WWII and the cold war. There are wonderful moments, such as clearly showing Mystique and Destiny’s relationship, and strong depictions of Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos. But there are also cringe-worthy bits carried out of some of the most problematic Marvel comics, such as blanket-casting Communists as villains and showing little agency for women. And then Vietnam is replaced with a fictional stand-in, Siancong, where a “Communist takeover” was being resisted. The art is so, so good in this issue, but the stories, told so quickly, could have used much more care and updating to impart a better understanding of the history they depict and to reframe stories that carry racism, Americentrism and misguided politics.
From the dawn of the 20th century to the first meeting of Mr. Fantastic and Doctor Doom, learn the secrets of Marvel’s history! Who was John Steele? Which Western gunslinger helped inspire the first Heroic Age? All this and more – revealed!History of the Marvel Universe (2019) #2