I will admit it, I was a little unsure at first on just why “Marvels: Eye of the Camera” really needed to be told. At first, it felt somewhat like “Untold Tales of the Marvels,” with Busiek telling stories that slotted in-between other issues of his original “Marvels” mini-series. Now, Busiek certainly proved on his “Untold Tales of Spider-Man” series that if there’s someone who can handle such a task, it’s him. But at the same time, the original “Marvels” mini-series was such a seminal event for the company that it seemed a little, well, odd to just be telling missing stories in the early ages of the characters.
With this latest issue, “Marvels: Eye of the Camera” has earned its existence. With the series ever-closer to the present day, we’re starting to get a very different sort of Marvel Universe than the first “Marvels” mini-series presented. Things aren’t as simple and rosy as before; no one is sure who to trust, the media is more interested in tearing down heroes than holding them up, and vigilantes and beings like the Punisher and Ghost Rider seem to be blurring the lines between hero and villain with every single day.
It’s this different world that Phil Sheldon is trying to find his way in, and Busiek and Roger Stern do a good job of showing Sheldon’s confusion and frustration with everything around him. In many ways he echoes the frustration of readers from that era, seeing their favorite heroes forever misunderstood and not trusted by the people they’re trying to protect, and Busiek and Stern do a good job of making sure that we get all sorts of reaction from the public in “Marvel: Eye of the Camera.” It’s fun to see all the different reactions from the public towards the big and small events of the Marvel Universe, and Busiek and Stern bring the little person’s view to life perfectly.
For people who have never seen Jay Anacleto’s art before now, they’re certainly not going to forget it — hopefully this will make him a superstar in the same way that the original “Marvels” propelled Alex Ross into the spotlight. Anacleto’s art is beautifully realistic, able to handle not only superheroes but regular people, and even average city skylines. He’s got a very strong sense of movement and action, too; so often overly-realistic comic art looks stiff and posed, but that’s not the case here at all. Even a single panel of a kid mimicking Iron Fist has energy and spirit to it, and it’s gorgeous, especially with Brian Haberlin’s soft colors over Anacleto’s art.
For those who were unsure at first with “Marvels: Eye of the Camera,” check out the new issue, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It may have gotten off to a slow start, but it really feels now like this mini-series is firing on all cylinders. I’m looking forward to the remaining three issues.