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Monday, June 02, 2008 

Marvel 1985 #1: Letting loose the inner geek

Ah, 1985. A watershed year in comics, a year in which the last of the old innocent Silver Age comics died out and the first of the grim-n-gritty comics slouched onto the main stage. A time when The New Teen Titans and the Uncanny X-Men ruled the world, when Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars revamped all of comicdom. John Byrne's depowered Superman and Frank Miller's dehumanized Batman were still a year in the future.

In short, it was a damn good time to be a young comics geek.

Now, Marvel has produced "Marvel 1985," a six-issue series set in that year, but in this world. It's like a mainline jolt of nostalgia, so fierce and sharp I feel like I ought to be listening to Rush and pretending like I don't hear Mom calling me to dinner. The plot is pretty simple: villains from the Marvel Universe cross over into ours, and hell breaks loose.

Or not; this issue was all setup and very little action. Written by Mark Millar, who's always had an air of calculated cool to his work that veers between kick-ass and contrived, 1985 looks like it's going to be a hell of a good series that knows it's going to be a hell of a good series. Make sense? No? Well, hell with it, then. Here's my favorite two-panel sequence from the book, when the young protagonist goes to visit the strange visitors who have moved into the previously abandoned house in his neighborhood:

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That's the Red Skull there leering out of an upstairs window, and that right there is badass creepy. Dunno if 1985 can sustain the skin-crawling strangeness it's set up -- I'd much prefer that to an all-out battle -- but yeah, I'm on board.

Bio

Jay Busbee runs Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR Blog From The Marbles, Atlanta Magazine's Atlanta sports blog Right Down Peachtree, and the Southern sports/humor blog Sports Gone South. He also writes for damn near anybody who'll throw him a buck and a byline, and he's at work on the books The Quiet Dynasty: The History Of The Atlanta Braves' Championship Run (2009, Sports Publishing LLC) and God Is A Bulldog: Georgia, Florida, And The Greatest Play In College Football History (2010, Sports Publishing LLC). Click below for more info on his novels, articles, and comics.
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