Monday, August 27, 2012
Doomsday On The Moon!
As one nation, as one world we watched the glorious moment when Neil Armstrong first set foot on anther world, the Moon. It was a splendid shining chapter in the whole of human history, but we did not know when we watched out television screens on that July day that we were not privy to the whole story.
It seems that the Apollo 11 crew needed the help of another team of explorers, the Fantastic Four created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby no less. The secret origin of the moon landing is revealed a few months after the grand event, in the pages of Fantastic Four #98 dated May 1970, where it is reported for the first time that while the brave American astronauts approached their appointment with destiny, the team of Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm worked together here on Earth to defeat Kree Sentry #9168 bent on stopping the American moon landing from his craggy island base.
Thankfully the Fab 4 were successful and the Kree plot to quicken an ancient living force buried under the Moon's surface was extinguished and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed safely on the silent surface while Michael Collins orbited above. The Fantastic Four saved the day, as they had so many times before. The Earth's heroic astronauts never knew how close to disaster they had come.
Here's a look at the original cover art for this one-shot epic, featuring Jack Kirby's and Joe Sinnott's lush artwork. This sadly is the last truly dramatic cover they would create together. It's a gem.
Nearly a decade later in 1978 this tale got reprinted for some reason the cover image gets flopped, and there seem to be a few other touch ups as well. Al Milgrom is credited for the alterations apparently needed to freshen the image for its second outing.
Whatever the case, at least now we know (cue Paul Harvey) the rest of the story.