Thus, Steve Ditko might use Daredevil in a storyline. Or Joe Orlando might use Ben Grimm in Daredevil.
But it was Jack Kirby who seemed most adept at this type of thing. Or it could even be that it was his idea to maintain all of the characters within a single Marvel "universe".
Kirby was already using both the Human Torch (created by Carl Burgos) and the Sub-Mariner (created by Bill Everett) in the FANTASTIC FOUR title. In fact, within the first 33 issues of FF, Prince Namor had made no less than six appearances, rivaling him with Dr. Doom as the most utilized antagonist on the title to that point. Of course Namor wasn't precisely a villain. He was already a quasi-good guy. More of an anti-hero than a true villain. Of course this was the way Everett had first shown him to be as far back as 1938, so Kirby understood that was the way the character should be handled.
In the issue I cite here, #27, Kirby uses not only the Sub-Mariner, but also Steve Ditko's creation, Dr. Strange. Perhaps he just wanted to borrow Ditko's character for the yarn, but I'm betting that Goodman wanted the crossover to help pick up sales of STRANGE TALES which featured not only the Human Torch, but also Dr. Strange. I would be curious to hear from some comic book historians to understand how this story--and others like it--came about.
|My copy of FF #27|
|Dr. Strange makes his appearance and agrees to aid the Fantastic Four.|
|George Bell was not the best inker Kirby had. Not the worst, but he just didn't have the skill to maximize Kirby's brilliant layouts and pencils.|