Monday, October 28, 2013

Another One Down!

Another minor collecting milestone as I labor to finish my collection of FANTASTIC FOUR by Jack Kirby. Now that I have this issue, #80, I have all of them from #68 through #102. I only have to pick up five or six issues to complete my run from #21 through #102.

Sometimes when I look at building the collection an issue or two at a time, I am reminded of my days as a comic book dealer when I would buy and sell wonderful rare comics at a rapid clip. In my earlier days as a comics dealer, I would barely notice issues of Fantastic Four over #25. They were that common in my stock of back issues that I didn't consider anything higher than #25 worth a second glance.

Now, as a civilian, things have changed. For one, I get a much bigger kick out of the books now than I ever did when I looked at them mainly as only a commodity to be bought and moved out as quickly as possible for a profit.

How things change.

This was a neat, if goofy story. Once again, Kirby refuses to create any new commercial properties for the thieves who employed him. The villain in this issue initially seems to be a god come back to exact vengeance, but turns out to be a Soviet-built robot out to cause trouble for the dirty capitalists. The FF set that straight! This story was actually a lot of fun to read. As robots go, this one was pretty darned tough, even beating the crap out of Ben! In the end, Wyatt Wingfoot and Reed Richards team up to take the big monstrosity down with skill and brains rather than brawn.


Mark Gelbart said...

Somewhere in the boxes of comic books I keep in my closet I have an issue of Superman's Friend Jimmy Olsen that was created by Jack Kirby. Unfortunately, it has the cover torn off. When I was a kid the corner store sold 3 comics for a quarter in a plastic bag, but all the covers had been removed.

I remember it was a pretty good story like a marvel comic book using DC characters.

The other day I read a wikipedia article that said Curt Swan redrew Superman's face in the Jimmy Olsen comic books created by Kirby. Evidentally, he had to have a certain generic look.

James Robert Smith said...

It's true. The DC editors didn't like the way Kirby was drawing Superman so they had Murphy Anderson come in and do paste-overs of all of the Superman faces to more closely resemble the Curt Swan-produced "house" style. I don't think Kirby was pleased, but there was nothing he could do about it.

Kirby's Fourth World stories for DC were top-notch. Fans at the time only reacted in a lukewarm way to it, so sales began to flag after a while, despite the fact that it was one of the most effective and best written comics at the time.

To this day the characters that Kirby created for DC are still going strong and still earning money for the company.