Saturday, September 07, 2013

Kirby's Last Fantastic Four!

I got a copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #102 today. This is the last of the issues that Jack Kirby wrote and illustrated before he left to do the Fourth Worlds series at DC Comics. I had forgotten that he'd done such a good job on the art in this issue. You'd think that a man leaving the company would possibly not put everything he had into the tail-end of a project as he walked out the door. Especially for an outfit that had stolen so much from him.

Instead, Kirby turned in a wonderful effort.

What is interesting is that the cover for the last issue he did in that run was by John Romita and not by Kirby. I do know that the editor had chosen Romita to take over the book, so perhaps he wanted the Spider-Man writer/artist to get some time in to get a feel for the characters.

Unfortunately, Romita had no business illustrating the Fantastic Four. His rendition of the characters--truthfully and bluntly--sucked. He didn't have the slightest clue what he was doing when drawing Ben Grimm. The rest of the team looked like refugees from Spider-Man.

At any rate, that was the last of the late Kirby issues that I needed. Now I'll have to begin the slow walk backward from issues #20 to #1.

The story was written and illustrated by Kirby. But the cover for Kirby's last issue on the book was by John Romita. It is absolutely awful. Romita had no feel for the characters, at all.

And I have always figured that Kirby knew he wasn't going to do the cover for #102. Instead he delivered this very symbolic cover for #101.

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