Once upon a time, time itself was slower. I was still a youngster when Fantastic Four #100 hit the comic book racks, a number which seemed in many ways staggering as the Marvel Age was still ripe. The Fab 4 were always the first and foremost of the Marvel comics, despite the eventual popularity of Spidey and Hulk and others now and again, it was the Fantastic Four who marked the beginning.
They have faded, the four stalwart explorers replaced by oppressed mutants, snarky billionaires, and even a living legend or two over the decades. But the Marvel Age would feel right without them. And after a hiatus, the Fantastic Four returned to the racks. Now I long ago quit buying new stuff from Marvel, so the FF will not be an exception. Most of the names who produce comics today are largely unknown to me, just kids looking to get on with their careers and godspeed to them, but for this vintage fan it will always be Lee and Kirby or DeFalco and Ryan, or the mighty Byrne who defines the FF. But there is one name who dabbled with the recent revival, one name I knew -- Art Adams.
Art Adams has been deploying gobsmacking artwork for several decades now and he produced for the first and second issues of the revived comic a fold-out interlocking cover which dazzles the eyes and evokes the majesty of the grand Fantastic Four #100 all at the same time.
Apparently this was a work which Adams took on as a fan commission. It's detail and elegance unfolding in detail which simmers slowly as the eyes dance across the composition. We see villains and heroes and more villains, the critters and folks who made the first one hundred issues of the Fantastic Four, so very "fantastic". We see Doctor Doom and the Inhumans and Mole Man of course. We the Watcher, the Silver Surfer, Diablo, Super-Skrull, Red Ghost and the Impossible Man too. But we also get Tomazooma and the Punisher and Torgo amid a horde of Moloids.
There are more and ore to see such as Maximus the Mad, the Mad Thinker, and truly Frightful Four. Even the Miracle Man gets a slot alongside the Puppet Master, Annihilus, Blastaar and Ronan. There are heroes too such as Thor, Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and you friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. I didn't get new Fantastic Four, but that doesn't I don't lust for a copy of this truly fantastic image.