Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Additions to My Comic Collection

Latest additions to my Jack Kirby Fantastic Four collection. Conceived by Kirby (and Kirby alone). Written by Kirby (and Kirby alone). Penciled by Kirby (and Kirby alone).


After the editing debacle of FANTASTIC FOUR #66-67, it seems that Kirby was not in the mood to deliver any more marketable creations to the thieving bastards at Marvel. For the longest time Kirby was still delivering top-notch, action-packed superhero adventures, but if you judge on the basis of new characters, he was mainly just giving Goodman and Lee cookie-cutter androids and aliens as villains. And no more great new superheroes to join the pantheon he'd already created. This particular android is telling. Not even a face that the corporate pigs could steal.

Fun stories, but few new properties for Marvel to steal and merchandise.

Kirby must have liked The Wizard. He introduced him initially as a Human Torch villain in STRANGE TALES, but kept going back to him again and again. He seemed like a good foil for Reed Richards (they were both technological geniuses), but the arch-enemy role was already filled by Doctor Doom. However, that didn't stop Kirby from returning to The Wizard as one of the FF's mainstay villains for many an adventure.

I can afford to get these later issues of FANTASTIC FOUR in higher grade. As I narrow down the focus to the issues before #21 (I only have a few before that number), I'll have to settle for lower condition copies.
This is my copy of STRANGE TALES #102, which has the first appearance of The Wizard. Initially, Kirby intended him as a villain to face the Human Torch in the backup series in Strange Tales. But he realized that the guy would make an effective antagonist for the entire Fantastic Four, and soon brought him to the pages of Marvel's best-selling comic by teaming him with other villains to form The Frightful Four, an evil analog of the Fantastic Four.

4 comments:

Kirk G said...

I know it's not the same as being able to smell the ink, but have you considered picking up one or two of the first FF Marvel Masterworks volumes? They are even in trade paperback versions now. It might be far cheaper. I know that the Omnibus reprinted the letters pages as well, if that's what you were looking for.

James Robert Smith said...

Yeah, I have hardbacks of the first two. Still in the shrinkwrap. I never even unwrapped them. Looking at the books on modern slick paper just ain't the same. And I don't want to see any modern-era bullshit about how everything was created by Stan-fucking-Lee.

Kirk G said...

I guess that's understandble.
I worked backwards to try to get what I didn't already own, and finally had to stop acquiring the lower quality copies with #15. Still looking for #28, overpriced due to the X-men. But I know what you mean. Seeing the ink soaked into the newsprint, smelling the musty smell, feeling the texture... they're special issues. Also, I find I enjoy reading the bullpen page, and see how it grew out of the clearing house letters page in the FF for the entire line.

James Robert Smith said...

I kept trying to find a #28 but never could get one. They were just too pricey. Finally, I landed a lower-grade book that was acceptable and now I have it.

The fan stuff was something that Lee and Goodman copied from the early days of EC, before they were run out of the business by Wertham, Goldwater (Archie Comics founder), and the US Congress.