Monday, April 2, 2018

Hembeck And The House Of Ideas!


Fred Hembeck is a personal hero. He's a fanboy who made good through his diligence, talent, and wit. There is no one who draws like Hembeck draws, his work is instantly recognizable and always welcome. He brings a fanboy's sensibility to his humor, making as much fun of the fans and their often ludicrous expectations as of the heroes and their inherent absurdities. Hembeck is an equal opportunity lampoonist,but it's his work with Mighty Marvel which is the focus of this collection. 


It starts with the amazingly wonderful fan-fest called The Fantastic Four Roast. This comic was written by Hembeck and drawn by an absolute cavalcade of fan-favorite artists from the period. Big names are hidden in this story which gives nearly all of the Marvel Universe a jab before it's over.


Also on hand  is Fred's contribution to the notorious Assistant Editor's Month from the pages Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #84. This was an wonderfully entertaining stunt for Marvel at the time, and Hembeck's contribution is a highlight.


Then we have the infamous Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe in which the trope of comic book deaths was given the shaft, though as we've seen the trend has never slackened.


This was followed by Fred Hembeck Sell The Marvel Universe which gives Hembeck's favorite hero Brother Voodoo a showcase...of sorts. These stunts were just fun, and for me marked the beginning of the end of my monthly connection to Marvel. I'd drop off most titles by the early parts of the 90's and was off all Marvel books as a regular thing over a decade ago now. But one name that will always get my attention is Hembeck, as this tome proves.

There are lots of other Hembeck features in this Marvel book, from the pages of Spider-Ham and other wonderful locations. So this one is highly recommended if you can find it.


Stacked alongside The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus and you have enough Fred Hembeck for almost any fanboy. But that doesn't mean I might not buy more.

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6 comments:

  1. I met him at a convention 10 years ago and had him sign my copies of the FF Roast and Destroys the Marvel universe. I love his humor and his unique style too.

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    1. I bet he's a very friendly fellow to meet at a convention. Love to do that some time.

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  2. My first thought upon seeing the Hembeck Guide To The Marvel Universe was "Oh, sure - a guide from the guy who destroyed it!", so it was pleasing to see that cover a little further down the page.
    I somehow missed Hembeck Sells The Marvel Universe - i already put in a call to have it sent over. In the meantime, i think i'll go read Abbott & Costello Meet The Bride Of Hembeck.
    Which beggars the question - How complete is that Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck? Does it include all of his old Dateline strips that were collected in his Eclipse/Fantaco Hembeck comics?

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    1. Without checking, I think it does include those. It's a pretty hefty tome. The printing is a little spotty and it's on old-fashioned light newsprint, but it's still a worthy tome.

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  3. Thanks for this info. I have the omnibus and couldn't wait to read those Marvel ones!

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