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Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at their peak,
This review is from: Essential Fantastic Four Volume 3 TPB: v. 3 (Essential (Marvel Comics)) (Paperback)
Rather surprisingly, there are as yet no other reviews of this collection of Fantastic Four issues 41-63. In these magazines, Lee and Kirby seem to throw off the idea that the comic book is a form of storytelling for children and instead use it as a medium to develop ideas and concepts unavailable to most other art forms. At the same time, stories and subplots are no longer confined to one magazine but continue over many issues, giving a more mature feel. All this really takes off with the introduction of the Inhumans in issue 45. The run of brilliant ideas continues with the introduction of Galactus and the Silver Surfer in issue 48 and the concept of the Negative Zone in issue 51. In addition, supporting characters such as the Black Panther, Wyatt Wingfoot and Quasimodo are much more interesting than similar characters in earlier magazines. I particularly like Lockjaw, the Inhumans' dog. If imagination alone were an art form, Lee and Kirby would be its masters.
This collection also includes the Fantastic Four annual where Reed Richards and Sue Storm get married. The story is a rather frenetic account of the FF's super villain opponents all trying to attack on the same day and is rather below the standard of the magazine stories, but I mention it because it represents a notable development in the Fantastic Four history.
As with the other editions in this series, the artwork is in black and white and loses something of the original atmosphere, but is still acceptable.
In summary, this volume represents a peak of 1960s creativity. Highly recommended.