Marvel Comics: Timeless Tales – Frank Tieri, Gail Simone, Al Ewing, Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, Cullen Bunn, Jon Adams, Howard Chaykin, Edgar Delgado, Maria Lapham & A Cast of Thousands (Marvel)

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What do you do when you reach your eightieth year? How do you celebrate eight decades of existence? Well, if you’re Marvel Comics, you take a long hard look at your past and embrace the facets of your longevity and success that have, for the most part, been consigned to history and you breathe new life into them by allowing them to once again become a celebrated part of your mythology.

Timeless Tales is a collection of stories by a legion of some of the greatest writers and artists working in the four colour universe that completely bypasses the usual superhero fare and instead tells tales of the Old West, of strange beings from different worlds, of things from beyond the grave, of the sacrifice, heroism and pain of war, of romance and lost love and the laugh out loud funny reunion of the most dysfunctional comedic duo of anthropomorphised mammals in show business.  And while each and every chapter in this collection seems, thematically at least, completely alien to what Marvel usually does, all of the tales are given an otherworldly spin and made to feel like they wholeheartedly belong, and always have, in the House of Ideas ever expanding sphere of influence.

While it’d take up far too much space and time to acknowledge the ensemble cast of writers and artists who have brought this weird, wonderful and captivating book to life, rest assured that they were all at the peak of the creative genius and firing on all imaginative cylinders when each of them delivered their individual contributions. Timeless Tales is Marvel’s Twilight Zone and each of the stories transports you to places that you never dreamed they would and draw their influence from the pulp magazines, comics and funny books of yesteryear in order to deliver a brace of tales that thrive on twist endings and cliff-hanger finales and feel contemporary, fresh and exciting.  Pulptastic fun… Tim Cundle

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