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  1. #1
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    Default World's Greatest Comic Magazine -- Fantastic Four Appreciation


    Marvel's First Family the Fantastic Four debuted in issue #1 of their self-titled comic in November of 1961 the same year that saw John F. Kennedy take the oath of office of President of the United States. Their origins are intricately tied to the birth of the Marvel Universe that we know today. From the depths of Atlantis to the Watcher's home on the Blue area of the Moon and to the fabled kingdoms of Latveria and Wakanda, the Inhuman's city fortress of Atillan and the antimatter universe of the Negative Zone, we saw the grand tapestry unfold through the eyes of these four adventurers, or Imaginauts as Mark Waid would later call them.

    When Stan and Jack weren't busy creating new characters for the FF to meet, they also made sure that any new Marvel character from another fledgling title had to make their acquaintance with Reed, Ben, Johnny and Sue. Spider-Man wanted to try out for the team. The founding members of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four joined forces to try and hunt down a wayward Hulk. Reed and Ben's former Empire State University classmate Victor Von Doom would become arguably one of Marvel's, if not comicdom's greatest villain. Johnny would have a chance meeting with a bearded stranger in a New York flop house that would lead to the return of the Golden Age anti-hero known as the Sub-Mariner. Cosmic entities like The Watcher and Galactus are on speaking terms with the Fantastic Four. Oh, and as for my mentioning JFK earlier, even President Kennedy made a cameo appearance in FF #17.

    Now on the eve of the publication of FF #587, we are told that the old order shall changeth. Not that it hasn't happened before...Ben was on the verge of giving up for good quite often before he became comfortable in his rocky skin. Reed was considered dead and was absent from the title for two years. Sue was estranged from Reed and left the team when Reed had to put power dampeners on their son Franklin. She Hulk, Luke Cage, Medusa were some of the more notable replacement members. But it always came back to the original four....until now. According to Marvel, one of them will die and the Fantastic Four title, dubbed by Stan Lee as "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine" will make way for the enigmatically titled "FF" in March of 2011. Roster changes are nothing new to titles like the Avengers or the X-Men but with the FF it's always different, more personal. It will be a loss of a family member.

    Well, I guess I will just end this opening post with a little contribution paying tribute to the work of Jack Kirby, who along with Stan Lee co-created the FF. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I think Kirby has about 10 thousand or so packed in to this ...





    -- Iron Maiden's first post of the original World's Greatest Comic Magazine thread.
    Last edited by Rheged; 04-30-2014 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    FABULOUS FANTASTIC FOUR RUNS!
    Chronologically

    Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

    John Byrne

    Mark Waid

    Jonathan Hickman
    Matt Fraction & Bagley and Allred
    James Robinson & Leonard Kirk


    FAVORITE FANTASTIC FOUR RUNS!
    According to 5717 voters


    1 John Byrne 28.0% 1599
    2 Jonathan Hickman 24.8% 1417
    3 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby 17.4% 995
    4 Mark Waid 10.1% 579
    5 Stan Lee 6.7% 383
    6 Mark Millar 2.5% 145
    7 Walt Simonson 2.1% 119
    8 Matt Fraction 1.8% 103
    9 Chris Claremont 1.2% 67
    10 Tom DeFalco 1.1% 65
    11 J. Michael Straczynski 0.9% 50
    12 Roy Thomas 0.7% 41
    13 Karl Kesel 0.6% 33
    14 Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Marin 0.5% 29
    15 Steve Englehart 0.4% 23
    16 Marv Wolfman 0.4% 21
    17 Gerry Conway 0.3% 16
    18 Carlos Pacheco and Jeph Loeb 0.3% 15
    19 Scott Lobdell 0.2% 14
    20 Doug Moench 0.1% 3




    COLLECTED EDITIONS

    Fantastic Four Omnibus v1 Lee & Kirby
    Fantastic Four Omnibus v2 Lee & Kirby

    Fantastic Four Omnibus v1 John Bryne
    Fantastic Four Omnibus v2 John Bryne

    Fantastic Four Omnibus v1 Jonathan Hickman

    Thing () by Dan Slott
    Thing Freakshow
    Fantastic Four Unstable Molecules
    Fantastic Four 1234
    Fantastic Four True Story

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Fantastic View Post
    John Byrne, who, in addition to helming unarguably one of my utmost favorite FF creative runs, also penned and illustrated what I, about 95% without hesitance, proclaim to be the FINEST FF issue and story ever conceived in FF #236/"Terror In A Tiny Town". I can't express this enough: Read FF #236 ASAP. You won't thank me enough when you do...it is THAT THOROUGHLY SPLENDID an issue/story.


    LINKS

    Jason Young's Fantastic Four 9 Project

    The Science of Reed Richards


    The Ever-Lovin Blued-Eyed Thing Appreciation


    Dr. Doom Appreciation
    Last edited by Rheged; 07-10-2014 at 10:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    Just the thread I was looking for.

    The Fantastic Four are my favorite team and comic book in general, the few titles I'll stick with till the end.
    Currently re-reading Byrne's run and loving Robinson's.
    Not much else to say... for now at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvarez View Post
    Just the thread I was looking for.

    The Fantastic Four are my favorite team and comic book in general, the few titles I'll stick with till the end.
    Currently re-reading Byrne's run and loving Robinson's.
    Not much else to say... for now at least.
    I've got the two Bryne omnibus, but haven't read those stories in a while. I'm glad to hear another fan of Robinson's run.

    From your avatar, can I assume you are a Thing fan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rheged View Post
    I've got the two Bryne omnibus, but haven't read those stories in a while. I'm glad to hear another fan of Robinson's run.

    From your avatar, can I assume you are a Thing fan?
    Reading from the old Visionaries, I've been meaning to pick up the Omnibuses though.
    Robinson has been getting a lot of flack for his few issues, but I like it. He's always been a slow builder.

    Heh, yeah. If it has The Thing in it, I'm buying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvarez View Post
    Reading from the old Visionaries, I've been meaning to pick up the Omnibuses though.
    Robinson has been getting a lot of flack for his few issues, but I like it. He's always been a slow builder.

    Heh, yeah. If it has The Thing in it, I'm buying it.
    I LOVED Marvel Two In One back in the day. I think that's out in Marvel Masterworks ... I should look into that.

    I've been enjoying Robinson and Kirk on Fantastic Four so far. I hope they both stay for a long run.

    The Omnibus have their pluses and minus. They ARE heavy, and not scan friendly at all. But BIG pictures. Plus some of them have been re-mastered. I'll have to see if I can find that post where someone compared the MMW and the Omnibus.

  7. #7
    Member zlbenson's Avatar
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    I randomly decided to try the first issue of Hickman's run proper (570) and have been hooked in the First Family since. I've gone back and picked up the entire Byrne run and really enjoyed that, grabbed Essentials Vol 3 and want to get more of those so I can read more of the classic Lee/Kirby issues. Plus I've read a smattering of other runs including a good chunk of Simonson's. I especially love the F4 for their supporting cast, most especially the children of the Future Foundation (including Franklin and Val).

    So I'm a relatively new fan.

    Robinson's run has been ok, but I thought #3 was the best so far. Leonard Kirk has been above average for your standard super hero fare, so that's good. Criticism's would be Val seems a bit too emotionally mature (though I don't really hold on to a particular age for her) and Reed and Sue letting her stay with Doom rings false. The colorist keeps coloring Artie green, and I don't care for the new costumes. But beyond that, its been solid.

  8. #8
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    Favorite team of all time. One day I hope to have the complete Epic Fantastic Four set. I might even go past the Heroes Reborn issues if the line decides to go that far. I have trouble getting into modern takes on the FF and was wondering how Robinson writes the 4 personality wise. I really don't want to see Johnny as a childish brat, or reed as basically emotionally clueless. I prefer reed as a strong alpha male type and Johnny as a responsible person who can let his emotions get the better of him, but not a clown.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zlbenson View Post
    I randomly decided to try the first issue of Hickman's run proper (570) and have been hooked in the First Family since. I've gone back and picked up the entire Byrne run and really enjoyed that, grabbed Essentials Vol 3 and want to get more of those so I can read more of the classic Lee/Kirby issues. Plus I've read a smattering of other runs including a good chunk of Simonson's. I especially love the F4 for their supporting cast, most especially the children of the Future Foundation (including Franklin and Val).

    So I'm a relatively new fan.
    Awesome!

    I agree, FF has a great supporting cast and Hickman did wonders with the Future Foundation.

    They seem a bit pricey, but I think the price per issue works out fairly reasonable, if you pick up the FF Omnibus for reading the early Stan and Jack issues, which are too expensive to pick up in floppy. They are like two of the Marvel Masterworks in each omnibus. Of course, they have been releasing the MMW in trade now, also.

    Marvel has recently started putting out a, for lack of a better term, color Essentials line, and FF is part of it. They are trying to fill in the runs that haven't been collected yet. I got the first one, which collects FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #296-307 and ANNUAL #20, and FANTASTIC FOUR VS. THE X-MEN #1-4.


    Quote Originally Posted by zlbenson View Post
    Robinson's run has been ok, but I thought #3 was the best so far. Leonard Kirk has been above average for your standard super hero fare, so that's good. Criticism's would be Val seems a bit too emotionally mature (though I don't really hold on to a particular age for her) and Reed and Sue letting her stay with Doom rings false. The colorist keeps coloring Artie green, and I don't care for the new costumes. But beyond that, its been solid.
    I get the feeling that Robinson's run will get better and better as each issue comes out.

    I think Hickman wrote Val as too mature also. But I agree, about Reed and Sue letting her go live with Doom seems strange to me.

  10. #10
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    The current run is my favorite comic out right now!

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    About the Val comments.
    When Hickman first introduced the whole "Smarter than Reed and mature beyond her years" thing, I was kind of irked by it.
    Now though, I don't know. It seems kind of awesome.

    Here's this little girl who has in her the DNA of arguably the smartest man in Marvel AND whose life is owed to his sworn yet equally intelligent enemy.
    She's like a ball of great expectations waiting to happen.

    She has the mind of Reed, the heart of Sue and the spirit of Doom.

    As for Reed and Sue allowing her to live with Victor?
    I guess we'll see how that plays out.

  12. #12
    Member zlbenson's Avatar
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    I love that she is genius level. It's one of my favorite things about her, but I thought Hickman balanced it out by having her still very emotionally immature, and lacking in wisdom. Hence you get her calling her brother a "retard" (not condoning the word, but shows emotional immaturity) or getting excited about sandwiches occasionally, or being cute with Bentley. So the well thought out note to her family about going to Doom's seemed odd. Now if she said "I HATE YOU! I'm going to live Uncle Doom!" and just left - it would have felt more "realistic" (for a super genius child). But still It's odd that Reed and Sue would let it continue once they discovered her gone.

    That said! I am very excited to have Val and Doom hang out and interact more. Hell, I'd go for a mini series that was just the two of them.

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    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Valeria seems to be a hot button topic with a lot of FF fans....you love her or you hate her. I have to admit I didn't care for Millar's idea of her suddenly talking and building multi dimensional structures like Pym's Infinite Avengers Mansion. I think Hickman was stuck with that scenario and for me he made it work. I figure the reason why Hickman has struck up this oddly touching relationship with Val and her Uncle Doom is because there is the possibility she may have the soul of the older Valeria von Doom (another character many didn't like!) from Claremont's run. And she grew up thinking Doom was her father.

    i think it would be a compromise if the followed the myth of Persephone in that she spends part of her time in Latveria (as Persephone spent part of the year in the Underworld with Pluto) and part of the year with Reed and Sue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    Valeria seems to be a hot button topic with a lot of FF fans....you love her or you hate her. I have to admit I didn't care for Millar's idea of her suddenly talking and building multi dimensional structures like Pym's Infinite Avengers Mansion. I think Hickman was stuck with that scenario and for me he made it work. I figure the reason why Hickman has struck up this oddly touching relationship with Val and her Uncle Doom is because there is the possibility she may have the soul of the older Valeria von Doom (another character many didn't like!) from Claremont's run. And she grew up thinking Doom was her father.

    i think it would be a compromise if the followed the myth of Persephone in that she spends part of her time in Latveria (as Persephone spent part of the year in the Underworld with Pluto) and part of the year with Reed and Sue.
    Hmmmm, that makes a lot of sense now that I think about it.

  15. #15
    Fantastic Member Rimmer's Avatar
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    I busted out my FF omnibus vol. 1 last night and started reading it. I'd gotten through most of it in the past, but never completed it, because I didn't have vol. 2, which is what I'm really anxious to read. Now that I have both volumes, thanks to the omnibus reprints, I'm starting to read through Vol. 1 again.

    One thing I noticed right away was how after the accident, everyone refers to Ben as "Thing". I mean, c'mon, that's a little harsh. He's still your old friend Ben, albeit insanely grumpy and nasty, but for obvious reasons.

    But the more I thought about it, Stan & Jack were writing FOR KIDS at that time, and I'm betting they wanted the kids to know the superhero names of these folks, hence them always calling him "Thing", even when it was just the 4 of them. Reed called Johnny "Torch" a lot, too.

    I realize the writing is insanely dated, corny, sometimes sexist, etc... but I'm really inspired to read these issues, to get the first glimpses of the famous villains we know now - Doom, Puppet Master, etc... Like I said, I really can't wait to get to omnibus v. 2 where we get Inhumans, Galactus, etc... but for now I'm enjoying these stories for what they are.

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