Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kirby Deliberating

It seems obvious to me that after the debacle of Fantastic Four #66-67, when Kirby's story was utterly mangled by his editor, that Kirby had decided to stop handing his employer any more of the treasures from his imagination. I think he was already formulating the ideas and characters that would become his Fourth World concept that he took to DC Comics.

To that end, he still had to make a living and he still had to write and illustrate his flagship titles for Marvel Comics. But he deliberately went about creating good stories without giving the Marvel entity any more major new characters.

So what Kirby did over the last few years he was working on the Fantastic Four series was to either deliver up generic androids and monsters, or to recycle previously introduced co-stars and villains. Thus, we got adventures involving Dr. Doom, the Mad Thinker, the Inhumans, the Silver Surfer, and so on. Good, solid stories, but very few new, bankable characters.

I've always wondered if Lee and Goodman wondered what Kirby was doing. Did they think that he'd just run out of ideas? Or did they suspect that he, like Ditko before him, was getting ready to jump ship?

Who knows? We'd need an honest arbiter to know the answer to that, and no source close to that pair would be likely to show any honesty.

The Fantastic Four take on Doom on his home turf: Latveria!

I still need an issue to complete this story arc, so I'm holding off on reading it until I have it in hand. I read it as a kid, but I want to read it in order before I take a new look at this adventure.

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