Marvel’s Voices is a series of one-shot stories that spun out of the popular podcast series of the same name. Launched in 2020, the anthology series has released multiple one-shot stories and the first collection focuses on celebrating Black History Month. These one-shots don’t just contain short stories, either, as there are interviews along with creator and character spotlights.
Now collected for the first time, fans can pick up 2020 and 2021’s Marvel’s Voices along with reprints of tales from Fantastic Four, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, as well as the first chapter from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther. Running 200 pages long, there’s a lot of content here and a lot of reading thanks to the character and creator profiles.
This book opens with the reprinting of Marvel’s Voices from 2020. This issue opens with an introduction from Marvel’s Voices podcast host Angélique Roché who explains the podcast, the purpose of this series, and more. Following this is four pages that outline different essays you can read on Marvel.com/Voices depicted via a handy chart. At the back of the book is a nice letter from editor Chris Robinson, who has done a great job curating a collection of stories. It’s a good intro to how this got started.
The general flow of this book is quite good. The first story by Evan Narcisse and Jaynoy Lindsay (with colors by Emilio Lopez) reminds us heroes can come from anywhere in a Brother Voodoo tale. Things get exciting with an international Science Race Expo with Forge going up against Shuri. By Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo on colors, the deeper message of working together, not against, is heard loud and clear. Or at the very least, go one on one to avoid sabotaging each other! There’s a plethora of art styles and stories throughout the rest of the book.
Next in this collection is Marvel’s Voices: Legacy which collects six stories that celebrate Black History Month utilizing Black characters. The stories employ characters like Miles Morales, Riri Williams, Domino, and Blade, and each one is rendered in a way that’s entertaining on their own terms.
The first story is by John Ridley and Olivier Coipel, which tells a Miles Morales story mostly through captions. Coipel’s lines are gorgeous, especially with colors by Laura Martin. It’s a short-but-sweet way to remind us we’re all in this together. Next, gear up for a Riri Williams story by Mohale Mashigo and Chris Allen with Rachelle Rosenberg. It’s all about Riri, Ms. Marvel and Shuri blowing off some steam and getting to see them with their hair down, so to speak. The bond between these characters is highlighted well, and Allen’s detailed art style suits the cityscapes and Riri’s cool-looking armor.
Stephanie Williams and Natacha Bustos’ story is fun, featuring Monica Rambeau going grocery shopping, followed by a Domino story by Tochi Onyebuchi and Ken Lashley with Juan Fernandez set in Madripoor. This is one of the longer stories of the bunch and is well-rounded with a beginning, middle, and end. It also has a nice message, especially given that Domino is a mercenary type of hero.
Nnedi Okorafor and Chriscross with Rachelle Rosenberg focused on Ngozi, a Nigerian Symbiote hero. A relatively new hero — her creation was back in 2017 — Ngozi story is the most political of the bunch. It’s about the people rising up against corruption and police brutality. Again, it’s so short it’s hard to gather its full purpose, but it gets the job done and more importantly reminds us people are fighting against bad cops and corruption around the globe.
The last story involves Blade, and it’s by Danny Lore and Valentine De Landro with Dan Brown on colors. Set in a bodega in the Bronx, this is a story about family, but also about looking out for one another. It ends in a heartwarming way thanks to how Blade is used. The art has a moody element thanks to the cover of night and the action is tightly drawn. There’s a nice familial solution that’s worth a chuckle too.
Also collected here is the Marvel’s Voices reprint materials which include a new introduction and essays. Followed this are reprints of recent and classic tales first with Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 which is a delight. Next is Black Panther #1, which needs no introduction, and finally Fantastic Four #119. This story is set up with a new introduction explaining how Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and John Buscema wanted to hold a mirror up to racism and segregation by addressing the injustices of apartheid.
There are quite a few stories in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy with lesser-used characters and creators you don’t often see. On top of that, there’s a ton of extra content and reprinted comics to add value to the overall read. Above all else, Marvel has curated an entertaining read from cover to cover and it’s exciting to see the perspectives within.
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