Marvels: The Man on the Street

Writer Roger Stern talks about getting down and dirty on the streets of New York as MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA continues

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Preview art by
Jay Anacleto

By Jim Beard Everyone loves a good Marvel team-up. MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #3, out January 28, gives you two for the price of one: newsmen Phil Sheldon and Ben Urich as well as legendary real-life writers Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern! Stern joins Busiek and artist Jay Anacleto on the third issue of the sequel to MARVELS as things get a bit grimmer for the Marvel Universe and the man who keeps an eye on it, Phil Sheldon. "It's a hectic time for Phil," explains Stern. "He's working on his new book and dealing with a darkening world. There are new Marvels in town, new heroes like Iron Fist and mysterious figures like Wolverine. The Avengers are in the midst of a big shake-up in their membership. The Falcon is on trial. And reports of monsters—vampires and werewolves—are starting to appear in the mainstream media. "In the midst of all this, a new team of X-Men apparently tears things up at JFK International. And, oh yeah, the Punisher

Preview art by
Jay Anacleto

comes to town. And while all of this craziness is going on, Phil is undergoing chemotherapy in the fight for his own life." The Marvel Universe of the 1970's forms the backdrop for the series, but it's the man on the street that pulls the focus. And this time that man has the help of Ben Urich, a two-fisted reporter who among other incredible feats has uncovered Daredevil's secret identity and exposed Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin. Urich's no stranger to Stern; in fact, they're practically old friends. "I reviewed Ben's appearances in DAREDEVIL that were more or less contemporaneous to the story," he says. "But it's not like I was unfamiliar with him. I had included Ben in a couple of stories that I wrote for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, back in the day. "Ben and Phil have known each other for years. In fact, they were shown working together on a story about Tony Stark for 'The Daily Bugle' in the third issue of the first MARVELS series. In MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #3, Phil and Ben get together at the Masthead [restaurant] to chew the fat, and then circumstances lead them to a big story."

Preview art by
Jay Anacleto

Though events in the two newshounds' lives drive the narrative, the more extreme characters that grew out of Marvel's cutting edge approach to comics in the 70's vie for their share of attention. Take Wolverine and the Punisher, for instance… "They're both pretty mysterious figures, almost urban myths as this story begins," Stern notes. "At one point, Phil even doubts Wolverine's existence. He certainly doesn't look upon them as heroes. After all, the Punisher kills people. "I don't want to be mysterious myself, but I don't want to give too much away, either. Let's just say that one of these characters has a major effect on Phil's life." As we've seen previously, Phil's been pretty lucky through the years, snapping pics of such Marvel luminaries as the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. But one might gather that it's a tad more difficult grabbing shots of some of the more fringe characters.

Preview art by
Jay Anacleto

"Sure, it's difficult!" Stern insists. "Guys like the Punisher don't appear before the public in the same way that Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers do. You don't see the X-Men issuing regular news releases. And even Spider-Man has more of a public face than Wolverine. "But Phil's a photographer and Ben's a reporter. They're both journalists. For them, it's matter of acting on tips and following up on leads as quickly as they can. It's hard work, but they're good at it." Visit the world of MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #3 on January 28. And for more from Roger Stern, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!

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