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Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 5

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Lee and Kirby spin the classics with characters and concepts that remain among Marvel's mainstays today! After being lorded over in Latveria by Doctor Doom, the FF face a new level of grudge match when the Thing is tapped for the fighting arena of gangster Skrulls! Featuring the enigmatic inhumans, the Frightful Four, the Mad Thinker and other enduring opponents! Guest-sta Lee and Kirby spin the classics with characters and concepts that remain among Marvel's mainstays today! After being lorded over in Latveria by Doctor Doom, the FF face a new level of grudge match when the Thing is tapped for the fighting arena of gangster Skrulls! Featuring the enigmatic inhumans, the Frightful Four, the Mad Thinker and other enduring opponents! Guest-starring Magneto and the Sub-Mariner! Plus: classic invasions from under the earth and under the sea! COLLECTING: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) 84-110, ANNUAL 7-8


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Lee and Kirby spin the classics with characters and concepts that remain among Marvel's mainstays today! After being lorded over in Latveria by Doctor Doom, the FF face a new level of grudge match when the Thing is tapped for the fighting arena of gangster Skrulls! Featuring the enigmatic inhumans, the Frightful Four, the Mad Thinker and other enduring opponents! Guest-sta Lee and Kirby spin the classics with characters and concepts that remain among Marvel's mainstays today! After being lorded over in Latveria by Doctor Doom, the FF face a new level of grudge match when the Thing is tapped for the fighting arena of gangster Skrulls! Featuring the enigmatic inhumans, the Frightful Four, the Mad Thinker and other enduring opponents! Guest-starring Magneto and the Sub-Mariner! Plus: classic invasions from under the earth and under the sea! COLLECTING: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) 84-110, ANNUAL 7-8

30 review for Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 5

  1. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    After 102 issues the great Silver Age Lee/Kirby run on the Fantastic Four came to an end, with John Romita Sr., and then John Buscema picking up the artwork duties. Highlights included the Fantastic Four and S.H.I.E.L.D in Latveria; lowlights included the droll Magneto - Sub Mariner villain team-up! There was definitely a drop in story telling quality with Jack Kirby leaving. I read the Fantastic Four comic books and annuals covered by this volume. 6 out of 12. After 102 issues the great Silver Age Lee/Kirby run on the Fantastic Four came to an end, with John Romita Sr., and then John Buscema picking up the artwork duties. Highlights included the Fantastic Four and S.H.I.E.L.D in Latveria; lowlights included the droll Magneto - Sub Mariner villain team-up! There was definitely a drop in story telling quality with Jack Kirby leaving. I read the Fantastic Four comic books and annuals covered by this volume. 6 out of 12.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    This fifth Essential collection of the Fantastic Four comicbook contains a pivotal event in FF history: Jack Kirby leaves the book after first creating it (with shy Stan, natch) and then drawing it for over a decade! Kirby's departure from the Fantastic Four really provides the dividing line between the first epoch of Marvel Comics and the company it would be right up until the start of the 1990s. There's plenty to enjoy in this volume for a Fantastic Four fan and the quality is very high right up This fifth Essential collection of the Fantastic Four comicbook contains a pivotal event in FF history: Jack Kirby leaves the book after first creating it (with shy Stan, natch) and then drawing it for over a decade! Kirby's departure from the Fantastic Four really provides the dividing line between the first epoch of Marvel Comics and the company it would be right up until the start of the 1990s. There's plenty to enjoy in this volume for a Fantastic Four fan and the quality is very high right up until Kirby's swan song. To say there's a slight dip in quality after his departure would be like saying there's a slight dip in the ocean floor when you get to the Mariana Trench. It's not like Stan didn't bring in his Big Guns to replace Jack; he tapped John Romita Sr. for a few issues, followed by John Buscema! These two giants are masters of the craft and legends in their own right, but they were so obviously being told to ape Kirby's style as much as possible that the resulting work looked like none of the three Giants' distinctive styles. The handful of post-Kirby issues are also a huge mess story-wise. The three part story featuring Janus and the Negative Zone jumps about like a chinchilla on a hot stove and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Don't dismiss this collection based on the last few collected issues, though; the Lee and Kirby stuff that makes up the majority of the book is golden and must-read stuff for any fan of the FF.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    FACK!!!! I just deleted a whole DAY of review/summary on this. GODDAMNIT!!!! SHIT FUCK HELL BALLS! Anyhow...we see all the villains, from Doom to Annihilus. We see Inhumans. Space, Negative Zone, finally naming the baby. Thing gets turned back into Ben Grimm, but quits the team and breaks up with Alicia Masters!!!! Johnny loses Crystal, who has to return to the Inhumans or die from Earth pollution. There's a Magneto/Namor team up against the FF! 100th issue extravaganza! Kirby leaves after nearly 10 YEAR FACK!!!! I just deleted a whole DAY of review/summary on this. GODDAMNIT!!!! SHIT FUCK HELL BALLS! Anyhow...we see all the villains, from Doom to Annihilus. We see Inhumans. Space, Negative Zone, finally naming the baby. Thing gets turned back into Ben Grimm, but quits the team and breaks up with Alicia Masters!!!! Johnny loses Crystal, who has to return to the Inhumans or die from Earth pollution. There's a Magneto/Namor team up against the FF! 100th issue extravaganza! Kirby leaves after nearly 10 YEARS!!!!and over 100 issues. Romita Sr. and John Buscema take over, and I love what they do. Buscema's facial work is great! almost as good as Lono's at the Strip Club! BOOM! Lots of cliffhangers, the womenfolk gain a whole lot more respect, and the characters all grow. Most importantly, Reed transforms from a misogynyst bully dictator into a quasi-pacificst scientific genius family man. This means, I hope, that Stan Lee either grew up, or wrote Reed's character to change with the times, as the later we get in the FF, the more that Stan's writing reflects real life worries (space, Cold War, treatment of people who are different, Nuclear Apocalypse, Family life and concerns). Stan grew a lot between the 4 years covered here from Vol 4-5. This is truly essential. Worth it. Even if you only skim it Mike. Oh well, my other review was too long anyhow. Adding cool pics from the book to Shallow Reader's Group!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steve Sanderson

    This is really fun stuff, and though I wish it was in color the black and white works fine. Have to say reading 500 plus pages of Stan Lee's dialogue gets to feel a little sloggy, especially compared to the more modern spare writing style. Then again these issues were written over forty years ago and they're still fun to read! Recommended. This is really fun stuff, and though I wish it was in color the black and white works fine. Have to say reading 500 plus pages of Stan Lee's dialogue gets to feel a little sloggy, especially compared to the more modern spare writing style. Then again these issues were written over forty years ago and they're still fun to read! Recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    This book collects Issue 84-110 of the Fantastic Four and Issue 102 marks the end of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's partnership on the strip with Kirby's sudden departure at the start of a new story arch. The first 83 Issues and 6 Annuals collectively were some of the finest comic books ever written. However, the issues of this book represent a pretty steep creative decline following the birth of the Richards' baby at the end of the last book. Also, why the magazine would remain the Fantastic Four thr This book collects Issue 84-110 of the Fantastic Four and Issue 102 marks the end of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's partnership on the strip with Kirby's sudden departure at the start of a new story arch. The first 83 Issues and 6 Annuals collectively were some of the finest comic books ever written. However, the issues of this book represent a pretty steep creative decline following the birth of the Richards' baby at the end of the last book. Also, why the magazine would remain the Fantastic Four throughout most of the book, there would be five active with Crystal of the Inhumans remaining on after joining the group during the pregnancy of Sue Richards. First ten issues in the book collect three different story arcs. The first and third are among the worst that Marvel had ever put out. The first arc (84-87) saw the return of Doctor Doom after a long absence by the FF's biggest archrival. However, the plot crawls as Kirby uses full and half page panels to pad and draw out a two part story into four. There's a nice surprise at the end of the third issue, but the ending of the story is weak and the book was often to a disappointing start. Things got better when the FF went househunting in upstate in New York and were brought face to face with the Mole Man who had put a house on the market to trap them. (88-90). This is actually a fine action piece and while not at the level of Lee and Kirby's best, was quite enjoyable. However, the next story (91-93) was the worst of the Lee/Kirby era. It took a bit of the luster off the last story when Reed fatuously suggested that the Mole Man couldn't be prosecuted for anything despite his numerous attempts to murder the FF. Then the Thing was captured by Skrulls and taken to a planet where everyone looked like men from the 1930s. In some ways, it seemed like they were paying homage to the Star Trek episode, "A Piece of the Action," but the resulting story was just tedious. About this time, Marvel decided to stop doing multi-part stories and while this would have different effects on different magazines, the results were all positive for the FF as it forced them to tell a complete story and we saw the end of Jack Kirby's superflous splash pages. In the best FF stories, Kirby drew awe-inspiring full page splashes of space or Galactus or the Thing jumping into battle. In the early parts of the book, Kirby drew a full page splash of Doctor Doom standing at the dinner table with great detail on the food. The stories improved markedly. Issue 94 saw the return of the Frightful Four and the introduction of Baby Franklin Nanny Agnes Harkness (aka: The Human Plot device.) in a fun and intriguing story. Issue 95 sees the FF taking on the Monocle and thwarting his plants to ignoring World War III as the magazine seems to go back to basics with Crystal returning to the Inhumans at Black Bolt's command while Agnes watches the baby so Sue can remain in the FF. Issue 96 is a fun albeit a bit silly battle with the Mad Thinker who plans to incapacitate and then replace the FF with androids. In Issue 97, we get to see the FF take a day at the beach only to become involved in a mystery with a monster. Issue 98 is one of the best issues in the book as it tells how the FF thwarted the Kree's attempt to stop the moon landing. Issue 99 is a bad moment for Johnny Storm.(aka the Human Torch) as he decides that he wants Crystal to come back with him and when she refuses, he nearly destroys the Inhumans when he tries to seal them underground. Really, not a good moment for a "hero." The story also see Crystal return as a regular. Issue 100 is a celebration of the Fantastic Four and as a commemorative story, it does a nice job. The Mad Thinker and Puppet Master team up to create Androids based on the FF's rogue's gallery throughout series. So many appear that the FF dispatches them with ease, but seeing all these characters calls to mind all the great stories of the past 99 issues and how much the FF was. Issue 101 is an intriguing story that has the FF battling the Maggia who have purchased the Baxter building. The story is fun and it's great to see the FF taking on a different type of villain. Issue 102 saw the departure of Jack Kirby (replaced by John Romita for issues 103-106 and John Buscema for Issues 107-10 110) and the return of continued stories. Issues 102-104 is actually a great concept as it's a story that guest stars both Namor and Magneto with Magneto manipulating Namor only to betray him and try to subvert Atlantis as part of his quest for world dominance. It's a great story worthy of both the FF and the two guest stars. Issue 105-110 represents a solid story arc surrounding the negative zone with a man named Janus determined to tap into its power even at the risk of awakening the power of Annihilus. This is actually one of the best stories in the book. We see a flash back to a story that we weren't told before, and a great voyage into the Negative Zone. There are also some sub-plots: Baby Franklin and Agnes have some mysterious things happen and in mid-arc, Ben Grimm gets the power to change back and forth to the Thing but his personality's been warped. While that concept isn't new. There's a different twist with the Thing not becoming full on evil but instead very self-centered leading to some interesting problems wit Reed in the negative zone. The bottom line: The first 35% of the book has a lot of problems, but after Issue 94, it gets better with some great stories that are joy for any FF fan. Issue 98, as well as Issues 101-110 are the highlights of the book, and Issues 84-87, and 91-93 being the lowlights for both the book and the Lee/Kirby era.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I love this stuff. There's just so much energy and passion behind the work. I mean, all the female characters are treated horribly and some of the plots (an alien world that models itself on old gangster films?!) defy reason, but the adventures are terrifically imaginative, the art is amazing, and the pathos of the characters is palpable and believable. Stan and Jack rock the casbah. I love this stuff. There's just so much energy and passion behind the work. I mean, all the female characters are treated horribly and some of the plots (an alien world that models itself on old gangster films?!) defy reason, but the adventures are terrifically imaginative, the art is amazing, and the pathos of the characters is palpable and believable. Stan and Jack rock the casbah.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Achievement Unlocked! With this volume I have read all of the Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four stories and they were all awesome, even some of the earlier ones that weren't. THIS volume though is awesome and Kirby kept putting his all into it, even the few issues before he knew he was leaving. Romita was not a bad choice to fill in for Jack though it seemed the stories got very busy very quickly BUT in all fairness they didn't miss a beat. Achievement Unlocked! With this volume I have read all of the Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four stories and they were all awesome, even some of the earlier ones that weren't. THIS volume though is awesome and Kirby kept putting his all into it, even the few issues before he knew he was leaving. Romita was not a bad choice to fill in for Jack though it seemed the stories got very busy very quickly BUT in all fairness they didn't miss a beat.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Kazimer

    This was alright. There weren't a ton of interesting arcs, but I did enjoy most of it. However, more so as a passive reading experience than something engaging. Overall, a 3/5. This was alright. There weren't a ton of interesting arcs, but I did enjoy most of it. However, more so as a passive reading experience than something engaging. Overall, a 3/5.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul Black

    Lots of fun stories. After reading about half, I realized that I already have the volume! I read it several years ago. Clearly, it is not very memorable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    On the whole a pretty average collection, with a couple of good stories. The Stan Lee and Jack Kirby era comes to an end in issue #102 with the departure of Kirby.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Devero

    Si tratta di un volume che contiene un passaggio epocale nella storia della Marvel: l'arrivederci di Jack "The King" Kirby che, lasciata la casa delle Idee per la DC, viene sostituito su Fantastic Four prima da John Romita e poi da John Buscema. Le vicenda della prima Famiglia della Marvel proseguono entusiasmanti per la prima metà del volume. Nella seconda metà si inizia a notare che qualcosa sta cambiando, e le ultime due storie della coppia Lee/Kirby mostrano, a chi le legga attentamente e le Si tratta di un volume che contiene un passaggio epocale nella storia della Marvel: l'arrivederci di Jack "The King" Kirby che, lasciata la casa delle Idee per la DC, viene sostituito su Fantastic Four prima da John Romita e poi da John Buscema. Le vicenda della prima Famiglia della Marvel proseguono entusiasmanti per la prima metà del volume. Nella seconda metà si inizia a notare che qualcosa sta cambiando, e le ultime due storie della coppia Lee/Kirby mostrano, a chi le legga attentamente e le confronti con la precedente produzione, un chiaro scostamento qualitativo. Le ultime storie del volume sono abbastanza insignificanti: dapprima Romita, grande su Spider-Man, fallisce nel disegnare il quartetto. Poi arriva Buscema, e le cose iniziano a migliorare.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holden Attradies

    One of the things I always notice reading older Marvel stuff is how little the characters or the set up of their world changes, especially compared to the last decade of big universe changing marvel events. But see, that's the thing about FF from the very beginning: their characters and their world changes and progresses. there was a lot of that here. And even though the dialog is still FAR too wordy and the art very old school I could feel all of that changing and growing and advancing in this v One of the things I always notice reading older Marvel stuff is how little the characters or the set up of their world changes, especially compared to the last decade of big universe changing marvel events. But see, that's the thing about FF from the very beginning: their characters and their world changes and progresses. there was a lot of that here. And even though the dialog is still FAR too wordy and the art very old school I could feel all of that changing and growing and advancing in this volume. I've read a LOT of FF recently and might need a break, but once I have I look forward to to reading the next volume.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Juan Jose

    Awesome adventures written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby. This was my first time reading these comics.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Tucker

  15. 5 out of 5

    Valmor

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anj2099

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Horton

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gonzalo Battaglia

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tero Kaukonen

  20. 5 out of 5

    MAH Hinton

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  22. 4 out of 5

    Richard Harrison

  23. 5 out of 5

    Arielle88

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Pardoe

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joe Crawford

  26. 4 out of 5

    Richard Rich

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Rodriguez

  29. 4 out of 5

    Derek Moreland

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

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