Monday, June 2, 2014

The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!


The eternally hyperbolic Stan Lee dubbed Fantastic Four "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!" It's great hype, but a claim which sadly draws a lot of attention. But for a time, this description was actually true. In late 1965 Stan and Jack started a series of stories which included among other things, the marriage of Reed and Sue, the discovery of the Hidden Land of the Inhumans, and the arrival of Galactus preceded by his herald the Silver Surfer. Change and innovation were the watchwords as the FF comic started to percolate as never before.

Those key stories are collected in the fifth volume of the Marvel Masterworks reprints dedicated to the Fab 4. I desire these mightily, but have been put off by the prices. I found this particular one, with the handsome Kirby and Sinnott cover art transformed by the rendering of Dean White, discounted for a very pleasant price.

Like an exceedingly fine wine, I need to sit back and savor these issues, arguably the greatest comic magazines ever. Even Stan says so in his introduction where he calls these stories "the best of everything Marvel stands for". He may not be bragging just this one time.












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9 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful cover! I'll agree with you, Rip -- this is the finest run in comics (although we did question on the BAB the other day whether or not the height of the Claremont/Byrne/Austin run on X-Men could rival these classic FF tales). I really think if you add the Masterworks volume that succeeds this one, then you have the peak of the Lee/Kirby years. And let's not forget the influence of Joltin' Joe Sinnott on the inks!

    Doug

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    1. Sorry the X-folk are dandy but Marvel has a few runs on that level (Starlin's Captain Marvel and Warlock/ Steranko's SHIELD/ Windsor-Smith's Conan and more) but only one Lee-Kirby FF. They are transcendent.

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  2. I so agree. These should be read in hand not in digital format like most of my collections are these days. I remember walking home from the drug store in Erie PA reading one of these stories and flet like my brain was expanding as I read it.

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    1. I read comics online from time to time, but I don't prefer it by any means. Books! Good old fashioned books!

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  3. "Wold's Greatest Comic Magazine" is no joke, FF is still my favorite especially the early days. I'm also a fan of reading the hard copy. Nothing like the sight, smell and feel of vintage comics!

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    1. I find I love a good solid trade paper these days. The old comics have a romance but for pure reading I like a trade.

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  4. These softcover Masterworks are very handsome indeed, as are the FF Omnibus editions available. However, great as these tales you mention are, I'm kinda partial to early FF - especially the first 10 issues. Must be because I associate them with my childhood when they were reprinted in a British comic entitled WHAM!

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    1. I have the FF run a few times over, but I'd love to get it in these handsome trades through. The Kirby stuff with Chic Stone inks are some of my boyhood faves.

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  5. These books, ar enow a few months past 50 years of age, and STILL blow everything coming out today out of the water.At the time, a comic fan entering high school, was facing plenty of flack for reading comics.The war against comics was a mere 11 years in the past at the time.The surfer became VERY popular, VERY quickly, because of these issues.

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