10 February 2011
Phil Sheldon: Devoted and Disillusioned Front Row Seat to the Marvels
Marvels’ four-issue comic book series follows the career ambitions of Phil Sheldon, a photojournalist whose world is shaken by wars at home and abroad, among regular people in World War II and supernatural beings created from synthetics. The reader is introduced to The Human Torch and his torrid relationship with his creator and father. Then, the reader follows Phil Sheldon’s career blossoming, his inferiority complex with the supernatural heroes and villains, his internal struggle to wholeheartedly embrace his family as his number one priority despite being constantly preoccupied with work, and his rollercoaster ride with his faith in the good of the Avengers and his bitterness towards his fellow man’s disregard for their saviors.
The seeds planted at the beginning of Busiek’s Marvels regarding Phil Sheldon’s career ambitions when he confidently declares, “The name Phil Sheldon may mean nothing now – but you just wait and see!” cultivate into the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure the reader shares with Sheldon, his toil and grind. All four books focus on Sheldon’s progress of accomplishments and behind-the-scenes, tireless contribution to the journalism field and to journalism’s goal: unbiased information for all. Jumping at every opportunity to capture moments of supernatural war and placing himself in harm’s way, Phil Sheldon builds an enviable career for himself as a must-have freelance photographer and later an author celebrating the controversial, paranormal heroes that both plagued and preserved the entire human population. Ingenuity and devotion to his journalistic ambitions are best exemplified when Sheldon, comparably fearless to those sprinting to safety, heads to the symbolic eye of the explosive battle between The Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch – and ironically loses an eye because of a “chunk of masonry…broken loose during...