Essential Marvel Saga Vol. 1 compiles the first 12 issues of the ‘80s series that documented the Marvel Universe’s age of superheroes in chronological order. Well, not always. Oddly enough, there are flashbacks that should’ve been included in the series’ first issue. Still, you won’t mind them that much, and it’s easy to appreciate this rare, wider view of the characters’ shared history. Origin stories from the Lee-Kirby-Ditko era are interspersed in the order they happened, but transitions aren’t always smooth, partly because of the absence of color, and also because some tales were unevenly compressed. It’s still a good read, though. From the early days of the X-Men, and other heroes, to the real origins of the Kree-Skrull War and the non-intervention rule of the Watchers, Essential Marvel Saga discloses on popular and little-known facts years before the Marvel Universe’s past became overly complicated by unending retcons.