4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A comic mile stone and the source material for the movie Rise of the Silver Surfer,
This review is from: Essential Fantastic Four Volume 3 TPB: v. 3 (Essential (Marvel Comics)) (Paperback)
There are a lot of reasons to buy this great black and white reprint of the mid 60's fantastic four comics.
If you liked any of the recent super heroes movies or cartoon series you'll find this interesting and entertaining.
If you are a fan of Marvel comics this is the ultimate historic 'must have' as it's where legendary comic creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's style really came into it's own. Vol 1 may be where they first began to expiriment with the 'Marvel style' but this volume features the issues where the stories and pictures became a cultural force to be reckoned with.
From an artistic point of view this is a fascinating work. Stripped of the cheap colour printing, Jack Kirby's drawings are even more striking then in the original comics. His way of drawing faces, figures and impossible machinary is grotesquely beautiful, awesome and even a little shocking a times.
The volume has at it's heart an incredible run of issues. Following the camp and silly 'marriage of Reed and Sue Richards', Stan and Jack introduced arguabley their most inspired creations, the inhumans, the silver sufer and finally Galactus (the ultimate comics bad guy). Each issue is increasingly bizare and imaginative.
The crowning glory is 'This Man, This Monster'. In my opinion the best Fantastic Four comic of all time, the best comic Stan Lee ever wrote and the best comic of the 1960's. It features very few 'super powers' and little of the camp associated with 60's Marvel.
The volume also features the two issue story in which Dr Doom steals the Silver Surfers board. This, along with the Galactus trilogy was the inspiration behind the recent Fantastic Four movie.
Like most science fiction, the stories themselves offer a fascinating insight into the times in which they were written. This is most evident when the Fantastic 4 resort to threatening 'mutually assured destruction' (goolge 'cuban missile crisis' kids!) inorder to defeat Galatus.
However, for all the creative highs in this volume it also has it's fair shared of hack work. Stan Lee wrote several 'humourous golf books' for the novelty market and that same 'written to order' out look is easy to see in some of the stories here. For example the two issue introduction of the Black Panther is pretty darn silly.
In conclusion, don't worry about reading vol 1 & 2 first. If you are interested in comics or the fantastic four put this volume in your shopping basket straight away.