- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: MARVEL - US (23 Feb. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785150587
- ISBN-13: 978-0785150589
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 951,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four - Volume 5 (Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four (Quality)) Paperback – 23 Feb 2011
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As if all this was not enough, Issue #50 can probably be counted as the true beginning of Marvel's dominance in the comic book industry. Superman and friends cold not compete in story or artistic content. And, rather than lasting a year or two, this team stayed in tact at this level for the next FIFTY ISSUES! During this time, even though Spiderman was and remains Marvel's top seller, The Fantastic Four was the idea mill. The Inhumans, Galactus, the Silver Surfer, and a myriad of Marvel's heroes and villains were born in the pages of Fantastic Four. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee were building the entire franchise with characters and story lines that would run from the sixties all the way until now.
It was during this time that the "Soap Opera" aspect of comic book story telling took hold. Long before Graphic Novels, these epic stories spanned many many pages and read like screen plays. There were issues that dealt with very serious emotions and tragic situations. What would it feel like to be a hero trapped in the body of a crusty monster? Identity Crisis is a reality that is not just a Sci Fi plot line. Stories like the first appearance of the Silver Surfer, which lead to the first invasion of the universe devouring Galactus might take the better part of a year to tell. And we were all hooked.
It is no surprise that these are the stories that are being adapted into major films with multi million dollar budgets now. At the time they were published, George Lucas and his generation were reading them and wishing the special effects of the day could show that kind of larger than life action.
And when they grew up, they found themselves inventing that technology. In the first interviews given after the huge success of the original Star Wars, it was told that when Lucas was putting together his design team, he gave them a stack of Marvel comic books and and said something like "Make the spaceships look like this."
Thank you, Jack Kirby!
So, for those of you who have not read or seen these ground breaking books, well, what are you waiting for? There is a whole universe ready for you to explore. This is what inspired modern comic book collecting. And you don't have to search a dozen book stores or wait for months for the whole story to unfold.
Go for it!
'nuff said, JPF
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby pull off a real blockbuster in this volume. The marriage of Sue and Reed is a real treat and Lee and Kirby must have had as much fun bringing this story to life as much as it was for fans reading it - all of the Marvel Universe comes out - good guys and bad guys and all hell breaks loose on Sue and Reed's big day - everything that you would expect, happens in these panels - characters such as Nick Fury, X-Men, Avengers, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Spider Man all show and have to jump into action as villains such as; Mandarin, Kang, Super Skrull, Grey Gargoyle, Enchantress, Executioner, Attuma all try to crash the wedding - and who is the mastermind behind all the chaos - would have to be Dr. Doom right? Yep, of course. The excitement that ensues is a scene you might compare with one of those classic western bar-room brawls where everything gets utterly trashed - But thank goodness, Sue and Reed have their bliss at the end. But this book gets even better.
The chapters with the FF meeting the Inhumans and Dragon Man is an enjoyable story and Kirby's panels are wonderful. Black Bolt and Maximus scenes are particularly worth savoring. Its these types of stories that made reading the Fantastic Four so much fun.
And then we get the "Coming of Galactus" tale and his cosmic herald the Silver Surfer - these stories set the ground work for future tales and introduce us to some of the most intriguing characters in the Marvel Universe. My favorite scene is; galaxies away in the Skrull section of deep space, the green-skinned aliens detect the Surfer on their scopes and it instantly puts the true terror in them as they immediately take measures to cloak their homeworld, as they are fully aware that where the Surfer appears, the devourer of worlds cannot be too far behind - Galactus is a personal favorite and I have always enjoyed the stories with this character, which is the primary reason in buying this book - but with all the other great stories - this volume is a must for the Marvel fan's shelf.
Many people feel that the legendary duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby caught their creative stride with the now Marvel Milestone, The Coming of Galactus. I will admit that storyline was indeed a high point not only for the Fantastic Four but Marvel and comics itself, because this is when Marvel pretty much ran things and became rather invincible in the comic book world. I personally feel Lee and Kirby "got it right" several issues before the Galactus Trilogy, and it all started with their, at this point, recent encounter with Dr. Doom and especially The Frightful Four. The sinister group which was made up of the Wizard, Trapster, Sandman, and Medusa not only gave the Fantastic Four a run for their money, but they managed to beat them. This collection of stories pits the FF against their evil counterparts once again along with more exciting conflicts. This is a really good TPB. This book collects Fantastic Four issues 41 - 50.
The story begins with the Thing being captured by the Frightful Four, which quickly puts the Wizard's plan into action. This begins a multi-issue arc where things really look bad for the Fantastic Four. These issues are comic book writing at its best; full of suspense, great character interactions, and plenty of action. I will also point out that this was a great change of pace for the Sandman, because this bolstered his arch-enemies gallery as he was constantly fighting Spider-Man at this point. His powers were a true threat against the FF. He would later go on to battle the Hulk as well.
These issues are also very important and memorable since they debut the Inhumans, in which this managed to provide some background for Medusa. Although I was never completely sold on this group; they did have some interesting members with Black Bolt at the top of that list, plus he and Crystal would enjoy some spotlight over the years. There's also a really good confrontation with Dragon Man, and finally Galactus and The Silver Surfer would make their first appearances, with Galactus' intentions set on devouring the Earth.
These stories are too good if one can get over the aged feel of them; and Kirby's artwork showed some nice improvement. The action panels were very intense, with the Thing going at it with Black Bolt and also Dragon Man. The Frightful Four confrontation was a joy to watch, plus Kirby's character designs overall had a nice bit of imagination.
These issues were fun for me to read, and I would recommend this TPB to any hardcore Marvel fans. It also isn't a bad place to start but I would also advise to pick up the previous volume as well. This era is indeed one of Marvel's highlights.
Pros: Some good storytelling, artwork, notable first appearances
Cons: Slight cliffhanger at the end arousing curiosity for next book