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The 25 Comic Books You Need To Read Before You Die

11. Marvels (Marvel Entertainment)

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Alex Ross

Unlike what DC does with its Vertigo line, or, for that matter, what Image and Dark Horse comics do every month, Marvel rarely strays from the superhero genre. Which is fine, since the folks at the House of Ideas have become the masters of fictional, heightened heroism. The company's creative highpoint came in 1994 when Marvels hit the shelves.

The story provides a look at the most memorable comic book moments from Marvel’s history through the eyes of a news photographer named Phil Sheldon. To see these characters from the prospective of the average man made these heroes look more like gods than simple comic book stars. It was a novel concept, but no matter how great Kurt Busiek’s scripts were, none of that would have mattered if the artist wasn’t up to the task.

Thankfully Alex Ross absolutely owned every page. His fully-painted work added to the characters' respective mystiques. Readers witnessed Spider-Man battle the Green Goblin, the Fantastic Four take on Galactus, and the X-Men reveal themselves to the public in photo-realistic style. Imagine a marriage between Jack Kirby and Norman Rockwell. To be honest, the Marvel heroes have never looked better.

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