Is a really, really long title. Anyway, this came out a couple weeks ago, and I have some thoughts.
1) The book itself is absolutely beautiful - I don't know how closely the coloring follows the original - I suspect there are more than four colors used - but the art reconstruction is damn near perfect, and the color choices are alway aesthetically pleasing. I wasn't sure I was gonna buy this - I buy most of the Masterworks trades, but some I tend to be wary of Golden Age stuff - but after flipping through the book I was all "This is beautiful. I NEED this."
And, apparently, this is a 1000% improvement over the hardcover thyat came out a few years back - Reviews on Amazon say that the original printing was smudgy and cheaply reproduced - and, horror of horrors, it left out the gag one panel gag strips! So, as with all the Marvel Masterworks, if you have a choice between the Hardcover and the Paperback get the paperback. The messed up chronology of the hardcovers is fixed, the special features are more extensive, you get a cool new Alex Ross style cover reproduction, and the interior content is often muchly improved.
2) And I did enjoy the content. It's amazing to think how good a deal comics were way back when - 64 pages with hardly any ads, and five-to-six strips all chock full of content. The quality is variable - the Ka-Zar strip (Tarzan lite, with a little bit of Jungle Book thrown in) by Ben Thompson is quite nice, while the Masked Raider strip is, at best, endearingly incompetent. Which is also true of "Ferret, Mystery Detective" a cheerfully thrown together proto-noir pastiche which is probably my favorite strip.
And there are text pages (surprisingly good) and repurposed and barely altered material designed for newspaper comics, which were tough for me to get through.
The only character who's original appearances define him as anything like a "straight" superhero is the Angel, a moustached, motiveless do-gooder who fights organized crime in a bunch of surprisingly tightly plotted strips. I said "Hey, y'know, if this was fleshed out it could work as a movie" during all of 'em.
Of the big two - I've always enjoyed Carl Burgos Human Torch strips. I remember reading the '70s HUMAN TORCH reprint series as a kid and thinking how much better the Golden Age reprints were than the Silver Age stuff. And all of these strips are enjoyable, with a surprising amount of pathos in the Torch's first excursion "Why must everything I touch turn to flame!"
Sadly, after the first strip the Torch fights generic gangsters for the next couple outings, before ending with a neat fight with a green icy human torch critter.
Everett's Sub-Mariner definitely showed the most potential for future brilliance - It was the only time I stopped and said "HEy, that's a really good panel by my "modern" standards!" but there's not much quality control and Everett doesn't seem quite as fluent at Burgos with the comic BOOK (rather than strip) format.
Still, the idea of the strip is a solid one. The Sub-Mariner declares "espionage war" against the human race. And I was dissapointed to see him shift towards being slightly more heroic in the last few strips (because of the love of a woman) , rather than casually killing the crap out of divers. I also dug the issue to issue continuity, like a movie serial. I didn't know that continued stories existed during the Golden Age!