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The Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1

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They were visionaries. Explorers. Imaginauts. They were Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. And like their creations - the Fantastic Four - they continually strove to overcome the impossible and achieve the extraordinary. Now, the first three years of their landmark run on Fantastic Four are collected in one oversized volume. Collecting: Fantastic Four 1-30, Annual 1


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They were visionaries. Explorers. Imaginauts. They were Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. And like their creations - the Fantastic Four - they continually strove to overcome the impossible and achieve the extraordinary. Now, the first three years of their landmark run on Fantastic Four are collected in one oversized volume. Collecting: Fantastic Four 1-30, Annual 1

30 review for The Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    The Fantastic Four Omnibus, Volume 1, contains issues 1-30 of the Fantastic Four, plus Annual 1. By now, most people know the story of the Fantastic Four. Scientist Reed Richards, his girlfriend Sue Storm, her brother Johnny, and Ben Grimm, a friend of Reed's from World War II, fly an experimental rocket into space, passing through a cosmic storm and gaining super powers in the process. Issues 1-4: The team encounters the Mole Man and his monstrous subjects, has Skrulls impersonate them, battles The Fantastic Four Omnibus, Volume 1, contains issues 1-30 of the Fantastic Four, plus Annual 1. By now, most people know the story of the Fantastic Four. Scientist Reed Richards, his girlfriend Sue Storm, her brother Johnny, and Ben Grimm, a friend of Reed's from World War II, fly an experimental rocket into space, passing through a cosmic storm and gaining super powers in the process. Issues 1-4: The team encounters the Mole Man and his monstrous subjects, has Skrulls impersonate them, battles a hypnotist called The Miracle Man, and face the wrath of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Things start off rough for the foursome. Lee and Kirby were laying the foundations of the Marvel Universe, whether they knew it at the time or not. Kirby's panels were already pretty spectacular, though that art wasn't as polished as it would become a couple issues later. Stan Lee's writing has a high cheese factor, however. Issues 5-8: The team battles Doctor Doom, confronts the combined might of Namor and Doctor Doom, encounter Kurrgo from Planet X, and thwart the Puppet Master for the first time. Both Lee and Kirby are finding their rhythm. Lee and Kirby are expanding the Marvel universe, although it's looking like they're going back to the Doom and Namor wells a little too early. After the issue with the Puppet Master, I have to wonder how much thought they actually put into Reed and Sue's powers at this point, and would they have went a different way if they knew the Fantastic Four was going to be successful. Things to ponder. Issues 9-12: The gang battle Namor again, Doom again, The Impossible Man, and The Hulk! Yeah, Namor and Doom again. The Namor/Hollywood thing was hokey but Doom swapping bodies with Reed was good. I'm not a fan of Impossible Man but he was tolerable in his first appearance. The Hulk fight was actually a little bit of a letdown. Let's hope Thing and Hulk get more time to duke it out next time. Issues 13-16: In these issues, the Fantastic Four battle the Red Ghost and his super apes, Namor, The Mad Thinker, and Doctor Doom in the Microverse. I felt like the FF turned a corner with the Red Ghost story and things started clicking more. The Mad Thinker and the Doom story were both also really good for the time period. Ant-Man shows up and the Marvel Universe is really starting to feel like a universe. Oh, and the Watcher is introduced. Issues 17-20: The gang battle Doctor Doom, The Super Skrull, Rama Tut, and the Molecule Man. The stories continue the momentum set by the previous four. The menaces are more inventive and I have to think this is the point that Kirby started contributing more to the plot. It's crazy how many books Lee and Kirby were working on at this point in Marvel comics history. Annual 1: Once again on the throne of Atlantis, Namor declares war on the surface world! The origins of Namor and Atlantis are told, and Namor goes to war. This was a much larger scale story than the Fantastic Four's adventures up to this point. It would probably be a title-spanning crossover in today's terms. It's also a damn good tale. Also, I love Namor's cheesy dialogue. For some reason, Stan Lee's ham-fisted dialogue fits Namor like a glove. There's also a pinup gallery and an expanded version of the story from Amazing Spider-Man #1 where he tried to join the Fantastic Four. Issues 21-24: The Fantastic Four battle The Hate Monger, The Mole Man, Doctor Doom, and an omnipotent alien child. The Fantastic Four continues rocketing forward. Sgt. Nick Fury makes his first appearance outside of World War II but before he starts wearing his trademark eye patch. Was it a sign of the times the way Sue Storm was portrayed or just a sign of Stan Lee's mediocre dialogue? Issues 25-30: The Fantastic 4 take on the rampaging Hulk, clash with the Avengers while battling the Hulk, take on Namor, battle the union of The Mad Thinker, the Awesome Android, the Puppet Master and The X_Men, tangle with the Red Ghost at the Blue Area of the Moon, and encounter Diablo! The Fantastic 4 ratchets up the pace yet again. The two-parter featuring The Hulk and The Avengers must have been the comic book equivalent of the summer blockbuster in its day. The battle between Namor and Mr. Fantastic was the only time I've ever thought Mr. Fantastic was a bad ass. The X-Men battle was decent but not in the same league as the Hulk or Reed vs. Namor. The Red Ghost encounter was a little better than the team's first encounter with him. The Diablo story was decent but how many mad scientists can the Fantastic Four encounter? Closing Thoughts: Volume 1 of The Fantastic Four Omnibus laid the groundwork for much of the Marvel Universe. Things really started clicking at the halfway mark and I have to think Kirby had something to do with that. Marvel's First Family's adventures have just begun. I'm looking forward to reading the next omnibus. 4.5 out of 5 stars, adjusted for inflation and the evolution of comic books as a medium.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    In terms of importance to the comics industry, these stories are easily five stars. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby established the Marvel Universe with an innovative take on the superhero genre. The pages are bursting with ideas and energy. Still, the stories reflect the sensibilities of the early 1960s and a time when comics were geared toward children (and under the Comics Code). To a modern reader, the dialogue, art style, and lack of concern for realism may be distracting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Roger Whitson

    I really like some of the early issues of the FF: the introduction of the skrulls is appropriately funny, and all of the Namor and Dr. Doom issues are really interesting. But also feel that Lee and Kirby don't hit their stride in this first volume. I really like some of the early issues of the FF: the introduction of the skrulls is appropriately funny, and all of the Namor and Dr. Doom issues are really interesting. But also feel that Lee and Kirby don't hit their stride in this first volume.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Gab es ein Universum vor August ´61? Wir können es nicht wissen. Nur das relativ genaue Datum des Urknalls ist urkundlich belegt: der Rezensent wird geboren und wenig später erscheint das erste Heft der FF, das den Startschuß für ein immer weiter expandierendes, sich verzweigendes Marveluniversum gibt. Der größte mythische Kosmos des 20. Jahrhunderts ist geboren, bald werden Thor, Ant Man und Hulk folgen, etwas später Spider Man, Avengers und X-Men. Und erstmals in der Geschichte der Comics werd Gab es ein Universum vor August ´61? Wir können es nicht wissen. Nur das relativ genaue Datum des Urknalls ist urkundlich belegt: der Rezensent wird geboren und wenig später erscheint das erste Heft der FF, das den Startschuß für ein immer weiter expandierendes, sich verzweigendes Marveluniversum gibt. Der größte mythische Kosmos des 20. Jahrhunderts ist geboren, bald werden Thor, Ant Man und Hulk folgen, etwas später Spider Man, Avengers und X-Men. Und erstmals in der Geschichte der Comics werden die Helden in einer real existierenden Metropole (NY, wo sonst) ansässig sein, werden realistische menschliche Probleme und Kontakte zu ihren Kollegen aus den anderen Heftreihen haben. Wenn ich mich mit Bekannten unterhalte, die etwas älter als ich sind, kristallisiert sich als die alles entscheidende Frage der 60er und frühen 70er Jahre die folgende heraus: Wer ist besser, Beatles oder Stones? Mir aber stellte sich damals eine andere Frage: SPIDER MAN oder FANTASTIC FOUR, welches ist das beste Comic Magazin? Richtiger natürlich "Die Spinne" oder "Die fantastischen Vier", denn ihren Anfang fand meine Superheldenleidenschaft beim BSV-Verlag, wo die Hefte in nicht nachzuvollziehender Numerierung auf den deutschen Markt gebracht wurden und der Hulk noch Halk hieß. Lettering gab es nicht, die Sprechblasen wurden mit der Schreibmaschine gefüllt und die Übersetzungen waren stellenweise sehr eigenwillig, um es einmal gelinde auszudrücken. Zurück zu den FF. Als Team konkurrierten sie mit den X-MEN und den AVENGERS. Der große Unterschied war, dass die FF immer "familiär" waren. Susan und Johnny sind Geschwister und später würde Sue Mrs Richards werden. Dazu kam der grummelig-grimmige Außenseiter Ben Grimm, der für Auflockerung sorgte. Und auch wenn ich damals die X-MEN extrem spannend fand, waren die FF doch meinem Herzen näher. Sie waren menschlicher und somit eher mit Peter Parker als mit anderen Teams zu vergleichen. Welches Team musste in seiner Geschichte schon das Hauptquartier räumen, weil es die Miete nicht mehr zahlen konnte? Wer haderte mit seiner Andersartigkeit wie Ben Grimm? Und gerade dieses Team, das wie eine große Familie daher kommt, erlebte Abenteuer, die bald kosmische und intergalaktische Dimensionen annahmen. Während sie ihre Superkräfte noch bei einem vergleichsweise kurzen Trip in den Weltraum erlangten, wo sie kosmischer Strahlung ausgesetzt waren, stießen sie bald in entfernte Galaxien und sogar in andere Dimensionen vor. Und dieser Science Fiction-Aspekt war das zweite prägende Merkmal, das ich liebte. Der Wettlauf zwischen den USA und Russland war mit der Mondlandung entschieden worden, aber der Kalte Krieg dauerte an und das SF-Genre erlebte weiterhin Hochkonjunktur (siehe den zeitgleichen, andauernden Erfolg von Perry Rhodan). Rückblickend sind viele der im Genre herrschenden Vorstellungen von damals abwechselnd mal rührend, mal erheiternd. Aber dann: Wer konnte dynamischer zeichnen, wer kosmische Konflikte mit solcher Wucht darstellen wie der King of Comics, Jack Kirby? Schon bald waren seine Panels so visionär und bildgewaltig, dass es mich beim Lesen in den Sessel drückte. Die fremden Dimensionen rückten zum Greifen nahe, plötzlich konnte man sehen, was bisher der reinen Vorstellungskraft vorbehalten war. Unnötig zu sagen, dass meine an die eines Jack Kirby nicht ansatzweise heranreichte. Die Erstlektüre dieser Abenteuer liegt inzwischen weit über 40 Jahre zurück und meine einst umfangreiche Comicsammlung hatte ich vor gut drei Jahrzehnten verkauft, ein nicht wieder gut zu machender Fehler, vor allem, wenn ich sehe, was für Erstausgabenheute verlangt wird. Als Ersatz hatte ich mir vor längerer Zeit eine DVD gekauft, auf der alle Hefte der FF als PDF eingescannt waren. Allerdings hat mir das Lesen der Hefte am PC keinen Spaß gemacht, zumal die Bildqualität zwar durchaus gut, aber mir nicht gut genug war. Und so habe ich mich jüngst entschlossen, den FF Omnibus #1 zu kaufen. Dieser versammelt die ersten 30 Hefte sowie das erste Annual des Magazins, das Stan Lee bescheiden von Anfang an als das erfolgreichste Comic Magazin aller Zeiten titulierte, in einem Format von ca. A4. Damit sind die Seiten nicht nur deutlich größer abgedruckt, als sie es im Original waren, sondern überraschender Weise handelt es sich um brillante, knackig scharf Panels, wie sie zuvor in dieser Qualität nicht zu sehen waren. Und nicht nur der Druck ist hervorragend, der Omnibus-Band macht als ganzes einen hochwertigen Eindruck. Ein gut gebundenes Hardcover mit Schutzumschlag, was kann man sich mehr wünschen? Und nicht nur besser zu stellen als die einzelnen Hefte, findet man in Rekordzeit auch die einzelne Nummer, die man sucht. Last but not least gibt es auch einige Bonus-Seiten mit Kommentaren von Stan Lee und anderen Desiderata, die das Sammlerherz beglücken.

  5. 4 out of 5

    The_Mad_Swede

    This big hard cover volume collects The Fantastic Four #1–30 and Annual #1, that is, not only the beginning of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's legendary run, but also the very beginning of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Age of Comics. The volume also includes the letter pages which is great fun, not only because it offers a view into the FF readership of the time, but also because that readership includes people who have subsequently made names for themselves, be it at Marvel (e.g. Roy Thomas) or elsewh This big hard cover volume collects The Fantastic Four #1–30 and Annual #1, that is, not only the beginning of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's legendary run, but also the very beginning of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Age of Comics. The volume also includes the letter pages which is great fun, not only because it offers a view into the FF readership of the time, but also because that readership includes people who have subsequently made names for themselves, be it at Marvel (e.g. Roy Thomas) or elsewhere (e.g. George Martin). The volume is all written by Lee and pencilled by Kirby, with an assortment of inkers; most primarily Dick Ayers (#6–12, 14–20 and the Annual) and George Roussos a.k.a George Bell (#21–27), but also worth mentioning are Chic Stone (#28–30), Joe Sinott (#5) and Steve Ditko (#13 and the Annual). As a foundational pillar for the Marvel universe this volume introduces the villainy of Mole Man, Skrulls, Doctor Doom, puppet Master, the Impossible Man, Red Ghost and his Super-Apes, the Mad Thinker and his awesome Android, the Super-Skrull, Molecule Man, the Hate-Monger, Diablo and reintroduces (as a villain of a kind) Namor the Sub-Mariner, Prince of Atlantis. It also features appearances by Spider-Man, Hulk, the Avengers, X-Men, Dr Strange and Nick Fury (working for C.I.A., prior to the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D.). All in all, this a volume highly recommended to fans of FF, Marvel, superhero comics or the history of comics in general. Because this is an historical milestone, ever so important for the development of both the comics field and the comics market.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    Big, big fun: and I mean big literally, as these Omnibus collections are each a brick tome. Thank you to my public library for keeping the copy circulating! Two of these stories, the first conflict between the FF and The Hulk and the first invasion of NYC by the Submariner, I read upon their reprinting in 1970. The comparison and apparent growth in characters and the Marvel style hooked me for life. Here are thirty complete stories, one extra-long great annual story, and a whole lot of editorial Big, big fun: and I mean big literally, as these Omnibus collections are each a brick tome. Thank you to my public library for keeping the copy circulating! Two of these stories, the first conflict between the FF and The Hulk and the first invasion of NYC by the Submariner, I read upon their reprinting in 1970. The comparison and apparent growth in characters and the Marvel style hooked me for life. Here are thirty complete stories, one extra-long great annual story, and a whole lot of editorial and introductory text: three of Stan's introductions from Marvel Masterworks, a relevant chapter from Origins of Marvel Comics, and all the letters pages from those issues! Of these, the editorial matter that stands out is Stan's two-page plot outline to Jack, all verve but no visuals: the first half of the first story. This is a big piece of why we celebrate Jack Kirby in his centennial year. Read on and watch how he comes on strong with the visual storytelling. Highest recommendation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julesreads

    For anyone who is first getting into superhero comics and Marvel and DC and all that (as I currently am), The Fantastic Four is an important place to start. Comics are just so much fun to look at. It doesn’t really matter what the story is, to a degree. Though the first 30 or so issues of FF are pretty dumb, your eyes can easily glaze over them, and find the funny stuff along the way. And though I don’t know if I will go the route of the completist when it comes to my comics reading, I think it For anyone who is first getting into superhero comics and Marvel and DC and all that (as I currently am), The Fantastic Four is an important place to start. Comics are just so much fun to look at. It doesn’t really matter what the story is, to a degree. Though the first 30 or so issues of FF are pretty dumb, your eyes can easily glaze over them, and find the funny stuff along the way. And though I don’t know if I will go the route of the completist when it comes to my comics reading, I think it is a service to begin at the beginning when it comes to the family that started a lot of what we know to be superhero comics today. Plus, all the propagandistic, semi-fascistic, nationalist, patriotic, conservative bullshit that is the lifeblood of many superhero characters is all here within this massive omnibus. Yay! Comics! Comics! Comics! I likey cartoons!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    It's a lot of fun to see how so many classic Marvel characters started out, but I think the best stuff comes in the next volume (which really needs to be reprinted because I am not made of money). Also, despite how great Kirby's art is, some of his inkers did not complement his pencils well. It's a lot of fun to see how so many classic Marvel characters started out, but I think the best stuff comes in the next volume (which really needs to be reprinted because I am not made of money). Also, despite how great Kirby's art is, some of his inkers did not complement his pencils well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rajkumar Pagey

    A really good book and has some really good high points. But my suspension of disbelief was not working properly and I could not digest much of the pseudo-science in this one. Magnets to pull or push people, for example. But hey, this was a different era.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Emond

    This is a three star because - we have to be honest - the stories are not written for an adult audience. But if you are a comic collector/historian you HAVE to buy this collection. This is where the new wave of comics all began. I don't have to rehash history but for those of you who are not comic book nerds the short story goes like this "Stan Lee was about to quit comics (he was bored, they weren't selling as well) but the publisher of Marvel comics (I think it was called Timely Comics then) t This is a three star because - we have to be honest - the stories are not written for an adult audience. But if you are a comic collector/historian you HAVE to buy this collection. This is where the new wave of comics all began. I don't have to rehash history but for those of you who are not comic book nerds the short story goes like this "Stan Lee was about to quit comics (he was bored, they weren't selling as well) but the publisher of Marvel comics (I think it was called Timely Comics then) told Stanley Leiber (Stan Lee to you and me) to give it one last try and Stan's wife told him to make it a comic he would enjoy. Meanwhile, the DC and Marvel publishers were playing golf and the DC publisher boasted how well his team up book "Justice League of America" was doing, so Stan Lee was instructed to write a team book". I am going from memory so any or all of those facts may be wrong :). But the reality is Stan Lee did write a fun team up book called the Fantastic Four and with the tremendous help and creativity of artist Jack Kirby (they were really co creators but Stan wrote the dialogue and helped plot out the stories), It was ground breaking because Stan Lee took the heroes personal lives as seriously as their adventure lives. Sure DC had Lois and Clark but we weren't seeing Clark as a human or seeing his day to day life struggles, we saw Clark so Lois could expose him as Superman. Sure we saw Bruce Wayne but he was a millionaire who never seemed to work. In DC the super heroes had real lives but it wasn't part of their story - just a set up to the adventure. In Fantastic Four (and later Spider-man, Daredevil, Hulk, Iron Man...) Stan Lee made the team's personal struggles as real as their struggles against super villains. The Thing was in love with a blind woman but never felt he was good enough for her, Mr. Fantastic was in love with Invisible Girl but she had a crush on Namor, Invisible Girl felt she wasn't good enough for the team, the Human Torch liked cars (okay - he needed more development). The art by Jack Kirby is rightly lauded as the greatest of its time (and he only got better in later issues - in fact, the SECOND omnibus is the one you REALLY should buy - it is the best of that era). But I will confess I loved Steve Ditko (artist of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange) better. Why only three stars? In terms of enjoyment these are still from an era when the stories felt rushed (they were - Stan was writing 6 comics at a time) and because of the way the stories were made (it was called The Marvel Way), the writer plotted out the basics of the story - the artist drew the whole issue based on that - then the writer filled in the dialogue, sometimes not understanding the intent of the artist's panel. Knowing how they were made you can see how the writing doesn't always fit the art or visa versa. In terms of creativity and comic history and setting the stage for the comics to come - five stars and more - but in terms of "I want to read these again and again" less so. There are some classics in there (the first Namor in the Silver age, Diablo, the fist annual with Namor invading the land world, Super Skrull) you have the birth of so many classic villains - Doctor Doom, the Mole Man, the Skrulls, the Puppet Master, Rama-Tut, The Thinker, the Red Ghost and the first appearances of The Watcher (a truly Kirby inspired character). But you have a lot of sweet but clunky issues - the time Namor set up a movie company to pay the FF a million dollars to try to kill them, the Molecule Man who is basically a god but a not very smart one, the Thinker being defeated because the FF mailman pressed a button. All in all - buy it if you are a comic lover but for a casual reader they are fun but the better stories are in later issues.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    I’m not a big Marvel reader, but I’ve wanted to check out this book for a while now. I love Jack Kirby, and Fantastic Four is considered to be some of his best work. Plus, it’s the first Marvel comic, full of foundational characters and concepts, so what better series to jump in to? And I’m glad I did. It’s easy to see why Fantastic Four is so influential from its first 30 issues. The stories are very imaginative, and the characters feel fresh and grounded. I’ve read a number of DC Silver Age com I’m not a big Marvel reader, but I’ve wanted to check out this book for a while now. I love Jack Kirby, and Fantastic Four is considered to be some of his best work. Plus, it’s the first Marvel comic, full of foundational characters and concepts, so what better series to jump in to? And I’m glad I did. It’s easy to see why Fantastic Four is so influential from its first 30 issues. The stories are very imaginative, and the characters feel fresh and grounded. I’ve read a number of DC Silver Age comics, and nearly every hero in those is an interchangeable do-gooder with virtually no personality. The Fantastic Four actually have personalities, and we spend a lot of down time with them, even if much of that down time they spend arguing. Some fan letters (generously included in this omnibus*) allude to this fact, pointing out that the characters act like real people with real, human problems. Reed feels guilt over Ben’s condition; Ben’s brash personality is undercut by his big heart and love for Alicia; Sue is caught between her love for Reed and Namor; and Johnny is a fun-loving, slightly insecure, teenager. Of course, the characterization and dialogue are cheesy by modern standards. But for the time, the FF stands out from the crowd. As for the stories themselves, they feel creative and vital, though some are better than others. I think Lee and Kirby improved as they went on. Unsurprisingly, I liked the Namor and Doctor Doom stories the best, because they’re the most interesting and nuanced villains. I was particularly impressed with Namor - the annual, "Sub-Mariner vs. the Human Race", is probably my favorite story here. The two-parter featuring Hulk and the Avengers is pretty fun, too, and a terrific look at continuity in Marvel’s early years. Kirby’s art generally looks great. I tend to believe – and it’s been well-documented – that Kirby’s imagination, rather than Lee's plotting and dialogue, was the driving force behind these stories. From that lens, he brings some crazy concepts to the table and rarely runs out of steam. I do find it amusing that the Fantastic Four are basically an update of Kirby’s Challengers of the Unknown. So, this is a fascinating historical read, and an entertaining one if you can forgive the dated style. Knowing what comes next, I anticipate enjoying the second omnibus even more. *I spotted letters from Roy Thomas and George R.R. Martin.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Fantastic Four #1 - 30 and Annual #1. I enjoy going back and reading the original Marvel titles every so often. It is interesting to see what the culture of the early 1960's was back then and how all these heroes started off their careers. An interesting fact, Sue discovers her force shield ability with Reed's help around issue #24. She didn't have it all along. LOTS of reading involved here. Reading them all in a row it did get quite repetitive how every four or five issues Namor would capture S Fantastic Four #1 - 30 and Annual #1. I enjoy going back and reading the original Marvel titles every so often. It is interesting to see what the culture of the early 1960's was back then and how all these heroes started off their careers. An interesting fact, Sue discovers her force shield ability with Reed's help around issue #24. She didn't have it all along. LOTS of reading involved here. Reading them all in a row it did get quite repetitive how every four or five issues Namor would capture Sue Storm and the team would go rescue her, but I guess if you read them one every month like they were released you may not realize it as much. Really enjoyed the crossover issues with X-Men, the Hulk, and The Avengers. I like Sue's evolution from a female who gets captured and saved to one that finds her own strength and saves the day on her own sometimes. It was nice to see that changing mentality from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jake Nap

    This volume lays down the groundwork for the extremely influential run Kirby and Lee would craft over their 102 issue long partnership. There is also groundwork laid down for the ENTIRE Marvel universe. FF #1 alone is in the second most important single issue of all time behind Action Comics #1. Kirby and Lee introduce Doctor Doom, Mole Man, The Skrulls, the seed for Kang and much more. Not to mention the creation of the FF themselves. A team like this never existed in mainstream comics. They bi This volume lays down the groundwork for the extremely influential run Kirby and Lee would craft over their 102 issue long partnership. There is also groundwork laid down for the ENTIRE Marvel universe. FF #1 alone is in the second most important single issue of all time behind Action Comics #1. Kirby and Lee introduce Doctor Doom, Mole Man, The Skrulls, the seed for Kang and much more. Not to mention the creation of the FF themselves. A team like this never existed in mainstream comics. They bickered like a family, they all had their own problems but they all also brought something unique to the table. In other words, they were complex characters. Yes, the stories in both volume 2 and 3 are better, but this volume matches those in creativity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Errrrrrick

    In all fairness, I didn't finish this. It's like Clash of the Titans (1981) for me. I can totally agree that at the time they were both ground-breaking, laid the foundation for a lot of future stuff, and if you saw it when it was new and fresh it was probably amazing. But. I did that and have that sentimental attachment for Clash of the Titans. I don't have it for The Fantastic Four. And I totally get people rating it higher because they have that view of it, but compared to current stuff, it's da In all fairness, I didn't finish this. It's like Clash of the Titans (1981) for me. I can totally agree that at the time they were both ground-breaking, laid the foundation for a lot of future stuff, and if you saw it when it was new and fresh it was probably amazing. But. I did that and have that sentimental attachment for Clash of the Titans. I don't have it for The Fantastic Four. And I totally get people rating it higher because they have that view of it, but compared to current stuff, it's dated and just not as evolved or as good. Read it if you're into it for the nostalgia factor or comic book history, but if you just want a good comic you can find a lot better.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kirby Davis

    A wonderful compilation of the first 30 FF issues, including the first annual, with Stan's intros (written for when these were published in 10-issue volumes) and a few other extras. Even though the stories now seem tame, for those of us who grew up in Marvel's golden age, this is enthralling material - and once you're through the first year or so, the writing quality improves with each issue. By Omnibus Volume 2, the stories become memorable, the art stellar. Can't wait! A wonderful compilation of the first 30 FF issues, including the first annual, with Stan's intros (written for when these were published in 10-issue volumes) and a few other extras. Even though the stories now seem tame, for those of us who grew up in Marvel's golden age, this is enthralling material - and once you're through the first year or so, the writing quality improves with each issue. By Omnibus Volume 2, the stories become memorable, the art stellar. Can't wait!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Weaver

    The early issues of Fantastic Four have a lot if silly/clunky dialogue and not the best art from Kirby, but these comics laid the groundwork for creators to play with for decades, something precious few comicbook runs can claim.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Simon Farrow

    A slog to get though at times as the writing in the silver age of comics was so different to how it is today. But while reading it, it did feel I was reading something of historical importance to the world of comics.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    Five stars for the beginning of The Marvel Age of comics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelly McCubbin

    Well, this is it. This is that stuff that you think of as comics these days. Them there Avengers and Iron Mans and Hulks and such, that starts right here. Stan Lee may have seemed to have been talking out his kiester when he called this the "World's Greatest Comics Magazine" and the era "The Marvel Age of Comics", but damn if he wasn't right. Everything changes and begins again right here. Having been in the business for over two decades already, Lee and Jack "The King" Kirby seem to be almost st Well, this is it. This is that stuff that you think of as comics these days. Them there Avengers and Iron Mans and Hulks and such, that starts right here. Stan Lee may have seemed to have been talking out his kiester when he called this the "World's Greatest Comics Magazine" and the era "The Marvel Age of Comics", but damn if he wasn't right. Everything changes and begins again right here. Having been in the business for over two decades already, Lee and Jack "The King" Kirby seem to be almost stumbling into a new model of superhero. Angry and brooding, filled with self-loathing and self-righteousness in equal parts, these were not your granpapy's Supermans. Seemingly inspired by Bill Everett's 40s creation "The Sub-Mariner" (who makes ENDLESS appearances here), these guys started out like full fledged anti-heroes. And it works! These guys are so anti that at one point they lash out at the READER for not showing the Invisible Girl enough respect! (It's a loopy argument that goes back and forth between the letter pages, reprinted here, and the narrative.) Kirby, in some ways actually more conservative than he was in the 40s, occasionally explodes with full page splashes that are truly breathtaking. Lee hops between keeping the fans entertained with colorful characters and action (while keeping them placated in the letter pages) to trying to draw the characters more realistically and amp up the internal drama. Occasionally hamfisted (enough with the who will Sue choose love story!), but often surprisingly touching, whatever you may think of Lee, he's doing something entirely new here and it must've been a terrifying leap of faith that the fans would go with him, which they did. Is it a little clunky and repetative at times? (It's Dr. Doom! It's the Sub-Mariner! It's Dr. Doom AND the Sub-Mariner! Now more Doom...) Sure. But that's part of it's charm. And you can see, just reading the letter pages, how Lee, Kirby, Ditko and the rest of the Marvel team were suddenly inspired by this book's success and started pushing even further. The Hulk, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man (all of whom appear in this volume) are all created in the wake of this comic's success. It all starts right here.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Hayes

    A beautiful look into the primal origins of the Marvel Universe and, in many ways, superhero comics as we know them today; and just as important as that, fun! We see the rise and evolution of characters we know and love, from the FF themselves to Alicia Masters to the inimitable Doctor Doom and the rest of the early Marvel rogue's gallery; we see the interweaving of emotional conflict and superheroic action as Marvel debuts its first "superheroes with problems"; and we see the first blooming see A beautiful look into the primal origins of the Marvel Universe and, in many ways, superhero comics as we know them today; and just as important as that, fun! We see the rise and evolution of characters we know and love, from the FF themselves to Alicia Masters to the inimitable Doctor Doom and the rest of the early Marvel rogue's gallery; we see the interweaving of emotional conflict and superheroic action as Marvel debuts its first "superheroes with problems"; and we see the first blooming seeds of Stan Lee's hyperkinetic prose and Jack Kirby's gorgeous and mind-stretching artwork. Beyond recommended for comics fans.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily Matview

    This is why Jack Kirby is called “The King.” His pencils in the book that launched Marvel Comics are so gorgeous I could stare at them all day. The dialogue from Lee, like a lot of older comics, is very silted and dated but Lee does a good job infusing the book with a lot of heart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zachary

    Stan and Jack's run on Fantastic Four is the best run in the history of comics. The Lennon / McCartney of comic books. Just about perfect. Stan and Jack's run on Fantastic Four is the best run in the history of comics. The Lennon / McCartney of comic books. Just about perfect.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gerard Pairó vinardell

    Un clásico...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Freyja Quinn

    This was one of the most pleasurable reads I've had, I even read all the letters. Seeing modern comics unfold in 800 pages was inspiring and kept me coming back. This was one of the most pleasurable reads I've had, I even read all the letters. Seeing modern comics unfold in 800 pages was inspiring and kept me coming back.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    the best comics ever done. really. no bullshit. this is it. this is why stan is the man and kirby is king.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    The boyfriend bought me this to introduce me to classic Marvel. Now they're my favorite of the superhero teams. The boyfriend bought me this to introduce me to classic Marvel. Now they're my favorite of the superhero teams.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Juan Jose

    I love the FF Classics!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Juho Salo

    Beautiful art. But the story is nothing to write home about and if not for what came after these would be forgotten.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sgr

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