Of course, Busiek's wondrous words came to brilliant life thanks to a relatively unknown painter by the name of Alex Ross. Up to that point, Ross had done a handful of covers and interiors, but MARVELS launched him into the superstar stratosphere. His life-like style, which used models, brought rave reviews from his collaborators as well as legends like Stan Lee. And the more fans pored over these glorious pages, the more they began picking up a variety of references left there by the creative duo. Did you see the Fab Four? Or a certain pair of reporters from the Distinguished Competition? They're all in there—along with a variety of other cameos and nods that continue to be found to this day!
MARVELS proved so popular and lauded that it sold well and also got nominated for five Eisner Awards that year: Best Single Issue, Best Finite/Limited Series, Best Painter, Best Cover Artist, and Best Publication Design—and it won three for Limited Series, Painter, and Design.