Characters Appearing: Bennet Schwed, Beth Sheldon, Doris Sheldon, Hawkeye, J. Jonah Jameson, Jenny Sheldon, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Mary Jane Watson, Nick Katzenberg, Phil Sheldon, Spider-Man
Marvels: Eye of the Camera #2
Issue(s): Marvels: Eye of the Camera #2
Meanwhile, his book publisher is pushing for a sequel. The publisher wants the second book to focus on super-villains.
You can't help but wonder if the idea of a sequel being pushed on Sheldon is in any way auto-biographical for Busiek. Even if it's not, the idea of a middle-aged man facing cancer and looking back on his life, wondering what his legacy will be, is a recognizable theme, and it's done very well.
Sheldon attends an award ceremony honoring Peter Parker's contribution to photography. We saw in Marvels #3 that Sheldon doesn't have a lot of respect for Parker's MO of deliberately depicting Spider-Man in a bad light just so he can sell pictures to JJ, so he leaves the party early feeling crotchety. But when he's attacked by muggers and rescued by Spider-Man...
...Sheldon makes some important decisions. He's determined that he will publish another book, but instead of focusing on super-villains or the "dark side of the Marvels" the point of the book will instead be to explain why the "Marvels" deserve the public's respect, and in order to stay alive long enough to put the book together, he's going to take the cancer treatment.
It's a nice turning point, but we'll see in later issues that Sheldon will have his resolve challenged a few times, so it's not as neat a transformation as it seems, which actually serves to make the story more realistic.
On an art note, since the story is much more focused on Phil Sheldon, there's not a lot of epic scenes being depicted. Most of the super-hero events referenced in this issue are not actually shown; it's usually reporters talking or similar off-panel situations. The art fits the story well enough, though. One complaint: i don't really love the idea of Spider-Man's nose being so visible; no matter how realistic that may be, it's not how he's ever been drawn, so why do it that way here? Make the stuff you are representing work; don't try to "fix" it in this series.
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: A casual reader of the Eye of the Camera series alone might not realize the time gap between issues #1 and #2, but it's clearly there based on the difference in Sheldon's age. All of the reference points and the fact that his book has already been published confirm it. This has to take place after all of the references below, including Marvels #4, since at this point his first book has been out for some time. It's worth noting that many of the references below are rumors or reports mentioned under discussion by reporters at the Bugle or their after-work hangout, and that the events referenced therefore don't necessarily have to occur in the order mentioned.
References: Thanks to Michael in the comments for helping me out on some of the references.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
The rabbit is from Dr. Strange 1- Clea created it and Silver Dagger cast a spell to make it grow larger.
Posted by: Michael | December 27, 2011 7:53 AM
Thanks, Michael. You're right on both counts, although i'm disappointed to be reminded of the Doctor Strange issue because it means there isn't a "giant bunny on a rampage" story that i was missing.
Also, at the end of the Avengers/Defenders War, Dr. Strange was supposed to have wiped the world's memories of what happened. However, in Avengers #119, Iron Man and the Vision videotaped a report on the event for the news networks, so i guess that's how Sheldon knows about it.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 27, 2011 10:47 AM
Just thought I'd type out the "Sources" section from the Trade Paperback for cross-checking.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 24, 2014 12:23 AM
I confess that I just found this site, and I may not be understanding all the rules of your ordering, but even though you note that this references the bunny from Dr. Strange 1, you still have it placed well before it. Even though you have the first five issues of Dr. Strange grouped together, based on your synopsis they don't seem to cover a wide range of time. Is something making it impossible for this to be at a later date?
Posted by: Icthyander | October 1, 2016 12:12 AM
You seem to understand the rules correctly, Icthyander. I think i missed this when i was adjusting things relating to Dr. Strange's chronology a while back. I've moved this forward in publication time. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 3, 2016 9:52 AM
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