Amazing High Adventure
(Marvel Comics, 1985)

Back in the mid-1980s, Marvel Comics published a five-issue series that gathered some of the industry's top talent. Purveyors of superior sequential goodness such as Mike Baron, Steve Englehart, Mike Mignola, John and Marie Severin, Val Mayerik, Mark Wheatley, Al Williamson, Bill Mantlo, Steve Bissette and John Bolton collaborated on this project, appropriately titled Amazing High Adventure.

This anthology series would probably be considered a major undertaking in comics today and is certainly worthy of inclusion in anyone's collection. However, it almost never seems sought out or reviewed by anyone. "Why is that?" you may ask. In answer, let's look at some of the laudable characteristics of this series.

Diversity of subject material. Stories from Napoleonic times, 19th-century American West and the American Revolution share page space with tales of early paleontology, modern-day Indonesia, Genghis Khan's unification of Mongolia and others.

Diversity of art styles. I could just put a "see above" indicator here, but it's worth pointing out again that the cream of the artistic crop is represented within these pages. From the beautiful painted style of Bolton to the sketchy, yet quite detailed pencil/ink work of Alan Weiss, as well as the highly expressive and moody work of Steve (Swamp Thing) Bissette, the series is an eye-popping cornucopia of wonderful art. When you consider the differing techniques represented, nothing highlights the unique approach of each like sharing space in an anthology. If you are fans of these artisans, my guess is this series will remind you why.

Amazing High Adventure is highly recommended for readers of all ages who love great stories, beautiful artwork and ... well, high adventure.

review by
Mark Allen

24 November 2012

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