ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Amazing Fantasy,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amazing Fantasy #1

Amazing Fantasy #1 is written, illustrated, and colored by Kaare Andrews,  lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino, and published by Marvel Comics. “Arrival” takes place on a mysterious island populated by animal men and a strange kingdom. Three of Marvel’s heroes are drawn to different points on the island from different times. Captain America, who is in the midst of World War II, ends up becoming a fearsome warrior; Peter Parker, who is just beginning his career as Spider-Man, finds himself running afoul of the Animal Men; and Natasha Romanoff, currently undergoing Black Widow training in the Red Room, finds her potential escape taking a turn for the worst.

The name “Amazing Fantasy” will no doubt inspire a wave of nostalgia for longtime Marvel fans, as it was the title that first introduced Spider-Man to the world. (It also is fitting that a younger Spidey would play a key role in this story.) Here, Andrews takes the “Fantasy” part of the title quite literally with the world he’s created. The animal men come in various shapes and sizes, from frogmen with razor-sharp teeth and black soulless eyes to armored eagle men with spears and swords. There’s a castle that appears to be forged out of skeletons, which has to be a shoutout to Masters of the Universe. Plus Captain America rides a giant griffin into battle, which is just as awesome as it sounds.

The color art also shifts between various periods of time, depending on where the heroes are located. Captain America enters the story on a battleship that is trapped in a raging storm; the end result leads to a dark and greying atmosphere. It then transitions into a sandy and sunny beach when Cap washes up on the beach. Likewise, Natasha’s escape from the Red Room takes place at night with various shades of black and other darker hues, giving Andrews’ art a more polished look. And Spidey’s battle against the Green Goblin features all the vibrant hues of the 60’s-era Marvel comics; all that’s missing is the Ben-Day dots.

Andrews also manages to capture the characterizations of the heroes at their various points in time. Captain America, so used to being a soldier, is able to tame a griffin and ends up becoming a bearded warrior ripped from a Frank Frazzetta painting-albeit a warrior clad in a rather patriotic garb. Natasha, desperate to escape the harsh confines of the Red Room, is a far cry from the skilled and lethal spy known as the Black Widow. And Spidey, still starting out on his heroic journey, is still the wisecracking web-slinger fans will love-just not as skilled as he is in the present day. Andrews even ends the issue on a cliffhanger that has massive implications for the other heroes, but a massively emotional moment for Spidey.

Amazing Fantasy #1 bends time and space for its unique tale, featuring beloved Marvel heroes encountering a world of sword and sorcery. This is one of the more unique Marvel debuts in history and I look forward to seeing where Andrew takes this tale.

Amazing Fantasy #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on Wednesday, July 28.

'Amazing Fantasy,' Issue #1
4.5

TL;DR

Amazing Fantasy #1 bends time and space for its unique tale, featuring beloved Marvel heroes encountering a world of sword and sorcery. This is one of the more unique Marvel debuts in history and I look forward to seeing where Andrew takes this tale.