Dear Marble Gang,
This was a jim-dandy of an issue, though I confess when I realized there were only two stories, one twelve pages in length and the other ten I worried. In the past, longer didn't necessarily lead to better yarns. But in this issue you all have cracked the code and produced two funny stories of decent length and scope.
My favorite is "The Origin of Stuporman" by 'Rascally" Roy Thomas and "Mirthful" Marie Severin which takes on the number one icon in all of the history of comical books. We get a hilarious send up of the very familiar classic tale of doom and how a mere babe came to this planet and it only gets better from there. The "Kreeptonian" orphan becomes a lunk named "Kluck Kettle" and we see a few days in the life of such a "Man of Steam", before thanks to "Mort Weinieberger" and his sidekick "Birdwell" the super-universe at gets chock full of a gaggle of super-critters and super-folks. Kluck's response is both violent and as we see utterly feckless as his comic world is overrun is still overrun by a mob of new super faces.
"The Origin of the Fantastical Four" by Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby with the help of "Terrible" Tom Sutton does a smash up job of taking the classic tale that launched the Marvel Universe and making it equally essential to this the Marble Universe. "Mr.Fantastical, the Inevitable Girl, Human Scorch, and the Thung" are all spot on spoofs of another world's greatest heroes. And the famous faces in this one as cameos were bristling.
A good one and I have great hopes for the future of Not Brand Echh and the Marble Universe as a whole. Hang in there amigos.
Notes and Comments: In remarking on this issue in Alter Ego #95 Roy says that sales of this issue were unusually low and given that DC was still in charge of distributing the up and coming Marvel Comics it was generally assumed that the mavens at DC had undermined sales of the issue which went out of its way to spoof their own most famous son of Krypton. Roy says that the gaggle of celebrity cameos were the work of Marie Severin in stealth mode, adding some spunk to Kirby's yarn. I especially like the appearance of Uncle Creepy as a salesman trying to find just the right mask for the Thung. Stuperman was a brave attempt given that MAD's "Superduperman" by Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood is one of the greatest parodies in the history of the form. A great gimmick was that whenever the duo from DC talked their words would get the letters "D" and "C" in close proximity. Clever joke and successfully pulled off more often than I'd have suspected. Roy says this is his personal fave among his many contributions to NBE. It's certainly a highlight in the run.
Here are the comics which inspired this delightful and memorable issue.
Next time it's more Forbush Man. I can't wait.