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Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Volume 1 TPB: Fantastic Four v. 1 Paperback – 11 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (11 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785137106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785137108
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.9 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 50 Squirrels of Grey TOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
This volume reprints The Fantastic Four issues #1-10, from November 1961 to January 1963 (bi-monthly until #6, September 1962); all written by Stan Lee and pencilled by Jack Kirby, and inked by Sol Brodsky (#3, 4), Joe Sinott (#5) and Dick Ayers (#6-10) - the inkers for #1 and #2 are unknown.

The Contents are -
P001: #1. "The Fantastic Four"
P026: #2. "The Skrulls from Outer Space!"
P052: #3. "The Menace of the Miracle Man"
P077: #4. "The Coming of... the Sub-Mariner!"
P102: #5. "Prisoners of Doctor Doom!"
P126: #6. "Captives of the Deadly Duo!"
P151: #7. "Prisoners of Kurrgo, Master of Planet X"
P176: #8. "Prisoners of the Puppet Master!"
P201: #9. "The End of the Fantastic Four!"
P226: #10. "The Return of Doctor Doom!"

These are the first superhero comics of the Marvel Age, and you can see the trademarks of the Stan Lee style evolving in front of your eyes: DC heroes at the time had secret identities they used when they were not in costume - the civilian identities were the disguise; Marvel characters put on costumes but were still the same characters, and here they don't even get costumes until the third issue, and the Thing keeps fiddling with his for several issues before he settles on the familiar one - though his rocky skin doesn't settle down until the next volume.

The team's adventures begin with a 'Challengers of the Unknown' style story (and see the Jack Kirby Challengers Omnibus / Archives from DC for a story that has an uncanny resemblance to this one!), and we meet some of the mainstays of the Marvel Universe in this first volume - the Mole Man, the Skrulls, the Sub-Mariner and Doctor Doom (and his time machine) the Puppet Master and Alicia Masters. We also get a Namor-Doom team up, ending with the duo falling out as usual, as well as two solo appearances each. A new Golden Age began here. Don't miss out.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jman jr on 5 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I love the fantastic four dearly - If you've never read them you REALLY should.

I have the 6 vols of masterworks that are available & It is simply a wonderful run of comics to behold that includes imo the best ever 3 issue story arc that is the GALACTUS TRILOGY (issues 48-50)

The 60's marvel period is unreal - The FF are right there in my affections with Spidey.

Kirby & Lee at their creative best.

The one thing that I don't dig about masterworks across the board is the remastered colouring - Sure pep the vibrancy if you wish but don't change yellows into blues, oranges into greens etc
(This putting moustaches on the Mona Lisa is common in all vols!)

That is not authentic to Joe Sinnott & Co's great colour work - is it?
Will you remove their credits next?

Anyway it is all still wonderful stuff.

The whole Kirby/Lee run is a


Wonder how much this vol would cost in seperate issues?

Bet J Ross has the whole run - Bastich!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Styles on 31 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my son on the basis that my first comic books were the Fantastic Four. The comics encourage him to read- and he enjoys the stories, although the early ones are very dated in terms of art and story lines. In any event, a good compliation of the early comics!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Classic Marvel 4 April 2009
By Zach D. L. Story - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marvel's reprints of their old stuff under the Marvel Masterworks title are major proof not only of the timelessness of the story telling, but it is a testament to the consistency found in Marvel. With DC comics continuity has been changed so many times it's not funny. With Marvel, much of the events that happen in this collection of the Fantastic Four have lasting effects on the Marvel Universe. Specifically the second issue which not only introduces the Skrulls, but establishes events referred to much later in the Kree/Skrull war which plays a role in leading up to the recent Secret Invasion.

Stan Lee's story telling and Jack Kirby's art are great, classic work any hard core fan of the Fantastic Four shouldn't go without!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Jack Kirby is the King!!! 27 May 2009
By João Paulo Hammes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well friends, I've just got this TPB yesterday and I was amused and bemused at the same time. I had never seen Jack Kirby's pencils before, it's wonderful, he desires really to be called "King". Fantastic Four is the only old material I will colect from these new reprints of Marvel Masterworks, i'ts the best comic produced in 60's!!! The paper is very good, and I love softcovers, I prefer than to the Hardcovers. Man, profit of this time to buy it, you won't regret.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
More affordable trades = good... 1 Feb. 2011
By Cozzster - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pleased to see the new masterworks released in a paperback format as this was. I really don't want to pay $50-$60 just to read old stories everytime I get a craving, so these fit well for me.

These serve as a point of nostalgia for me, not that I was a kid when these were originally in stores (I'm only 25), but nostalgia in the form that it reminds me of the days when I was a kid first reading comics as I'm sure many people felt reading these very issues when they were kids.

To me, the stories are good old Stan Lee style storytelling, full of action and cosmic adventures. I'll admit, there seemed to be a need (as with all the older marvel works) to have each character say a paragraph and fill each panel full of word balloons. This detracts a bit from the story, but not to the extent that you would not want to continue reading. Just try reading issue by issue and pacing yourself if you feel overburdened with word balloons.

Overall, having never read the old fantastic four stories, I enjoyed them very much. I still like the old Spidey stories better, but these are the next best in my opinion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Quite possibly the greatest thing ever to happen to comics. 1 Jan. 2014
By Patrick Correa - Published on
Format: Paperback
You know I’m a True Believer by now, so it was inevitable that I would be checking out the original comics that started it all. And that's exactly what the Fantastic Four did, they started what remains t this day the greatest comic universe ever. The Fantastic Four aren’t my favorite Marvel characters, but they are the most consistent in terms of quality. I have yet to read an issue I do not like this side of #357 (see my review of The Animated Series for why I loathe that issue & everything after it). But my 3 favorite writers are definitely Stan lee, John Byrne & Walt Simonson. The ones in between them were good, but they churned out most of my favorite stories. But enough about the series in general, what about these stories? They were all good. Most of them were great, but a couple were just good. My least favorites were “The Skrulls from Outer Space!” because it was that old “Frame the heroes to make them look bad” plot but to be honest it was most likely the best example of it I’ve seen since the heroes in question hadn’t been around very long at this time, and the last story for a similar reason since it uses the old body-swapping plot. But the other stories were gold. I find it amazing that some of these stories were adapted for the first season of the Animated Series with most of the dialogue & story intact, but the production & execution was just horrible compared to the comics. My favorites were the first issue, #s 4-6 (the return of the Sub-Mariner, the debut of Doctor Doom & a team-up between them) & issue #8 (the debut of the Puppet Master & Ben Grimm’s I mean Johnny Storm’s true love Alicia). The extras (especially the introduction & afterword) are just icing on the cake. If you enjoy any incarnation of these characters, this is a must read.
Great for its time, kind of hard to get through now. 29 April 2015
By Luquillo - Published on
Format: Paperback
While during a science exhibition into Earth's orbit; Reed Richards, (Mr. Fantastic) Sue Storm (Invisible Girl), Ben Grimm (The Thing), and Johnny Storm ( The Human Torch) are bombarded with cosmic rays through their ship that leaves the group forever changed. When they return to Earth they learn that they have developed super human powers, and together they decide to help protect humanity as the Fantastic Four. -summary

Thanks to Marvel's Masterworks line of TPBs people can take a trip into the time stream to read the stories that started it all. Since I wasn't born at this time and I only read bits and pieces of these storylines through random issues, it had been a treat for me to see where my superheroes came from. To be honest though, while I have enjoyed some of these earlier stories such as The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers; some of these titles really show their age and just don't read very well. The Uncanny X-Men and The Mighty Thor are some of those titles, and sad to say the Fantastic Four never really appealed to me much at least until The Coming of Galactus. Written by Stan Lee, this TPB collects issues 1 - 10 of Marvel's First Family dating back to 1961 - 1963.

Stan Lee's writing was good for that time period, and the stories can be quick and fun but they can also be a pain for those whom are more use to modern comic book storylines. The plots are short and simple with a new baddie appearing mainly to take over the world, and the FF needs to stop them. If this TPB should be notable for anything then it's key first appearances of classic villains such as Dr. Doom, The Skrulls, The Mole Man, and even the Puppet-Master.

Dr. Doom makes the greatest impression though, and it's obvious why he went on to become Marvel's premier villain for a very long time. He was just very charismatic and dangerous, as he easily tricks and captures the FF in their very first encounter. Namor the Submariner made his return to comics in these pages, and he had to be an instant classic as a villain for the FF and humanity with such a realistic drive.

Stan Lee gives the heroes their due; he attempts and succeeds to bring in some realism in regards to developing the heroes. While Reed, Sue, and Johnny's powers are wonderful in their own right, and they can pretty much turn them off and on like a light switch. It's Ben Grimm who clearly suffers being trapped as the rocky looking monster. His temper tantrums and frequent arguments with Human Torch brings out his inner turmoil, which makes him quite a sympathetic and believable character. I always understood what made him a fan favorite, but reading it from the beginning always helped out because the Ben Grimm I grew up reading already learned to cope with his curse.

The legendary Jack Kirby's artwork is very dated, but one can clearly see the imagination and potential for better stories later. However, he still does a splendid job capturing the will and intensity to win in the battle between Thing and Sub-Mariner, which is the main highlight here for me. The facial expressions and body language are done very well, and many of the action segments are fairly entertaining but nowhere as brilliantly done as later titles once the action becomes more physical and personal. The recoloring is very well done: bright and pretty detailed.

Overall, while these stories have their moments of fun; this is something I can only recommend to hardcore collectors, and fans from that era whom still believe that the best stories are from that time. I'm a serious collector and comic lover but I found myself taking breaks through this, and there wasn't that much of an urgency to finish it during my first read through. I kind of doubt if I'll ever read this again, yet at the same time I can't see myself parting ways with this title either. If you're not the type whom needs to read everything, then you can continue staying up to date and back tracking to the periods you're already use to.

Pros: Pretty strong character development and interesting villains

Cons: Dated storytelling style and artwork can make it a tough read
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