Friday, February 27, 2015

Fantastic Four #109 (Pt 4) Reed Richards, Wide-Eyed and Bushy-Haired

Fantastic Four Annual 6-LetThereBeLife
              Fantastic Four 109 (1971) Buscema      Fantastic Four Annual 6 (1968) Kirby              
Yep, still in the Negative Zone...           

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fantastic Four #109 (Pt 1) Annihilus and the Negative Zone

Fantastic Four 109-DeathInNegativeZone
Fantastic Four #109 (1971) John Buscema
Fantastic Four Annual 6-LetThereBeLife
Fantastic Four Annual #6 (1968) Jack Kirby

Thor 434 Annihilus Warriors Three
Ron Frenz's Kirby-inspired Annihilus in Thor #434 (1991)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fantastic Four #107 (Pt 12) The Final Page

Fantastic Four 78-ThingNoMore
Fantastic Four 107 (1971) Buscema             Fantastic Four 78 (1968) Kirby   

Fantastic Four 78 Lee-Kirby
FF 107 (1971) Buscema                        FF 78 (1968) Kirby 
Fantastic Four 78-ThingNoMore
FF 107 (1971) Buscema                        FF 78 (1968) Kirby    

The last sequence in Fantastic Four #107: 
Fantastic Four 107-Lee-JohnBuscema
Last page of Fantastic Four #107 (1971) Buscema

The Kirby panels from Fantastic Four #78: 
Fantastic Four 78-LeeKirby
Two-panel sequence on page 7,  Fantastic Four 78 (1968) Kirby
Fantastic Four 78-BenGrimm-Thing
Last panel in FF 78 (1968) Kirby
Click here to see more of the Fantastic Four #78 and #107 connection. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fantastic Four #107 (Pt 4) Ben's Expression

Fantastic Four 107-AndNowTheThing-BenGrimm
Fantastic Four #107 (1971) Buscema/Sinnott

Fantastic Four 11-VisitWithFantasticFour-Sue
Fantastic Four #11 (1963) Kirby/Ayers

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fantastic Four #107 (Pt 3) Johnny Misses Crystal

Fantastic Four 107-AndNowTheThing
Fantastic Four #107 (1971) John Buscema
Fantastic Four Annual 4-TorchThatWas
Fantastic Four Annual #4 (1966) Jack Kirby

Okay, it's mostly the angle--and of course the inimitable Sinnott touch 😁. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fantastic Four #107 (Pt 2) Sue Storms Off

Fantastic Four 56-Klaw-LeeKirby
Fanatstic Four 107 (1971) Buscema                                Fantastic Four 56 (1966) Kirby

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fantastic Four #107 (Pt 1) John Buscema's Fantastic Four

Surprise! Betcha expected to see more Giant-Size Avengers #1 here. Well, I do have more Buckler queued up--boy, do I ever--but for some time now I've been itching to post a sampling of John Buscema's Fantastic Four. (I also have some John Romita Sr. FF in the hopper, but frankly I don't find it as interesting as Buscema's--or Buckler's--so it'll have to wait.)  

You probably already know that Jack Kirby's last Fantastic Four issue was #102 (1970). Romita Sr. stepped in to fill the void and penciled issues #103-106. In John Romita...And All That Jazz, the Jazzy One noted he was "raised in the syndicated artists ghost period." That is, there was a time-honored tradition of keeping characters, especially well-known or longtime ones, "on model." And for the FF specifically, there was the need to adhere to the established versions of the Baxter Building...Reed's lab and equipment...the Negative Zone...and so on. Accordingly, it seems that both Romita and Buscema--who took over as the FF's regular penciler with #107--used the Kirby issues as their Bible.  
Fantastic Four 107-JohnBuscema
FF 107 (1971) Buscema                               FF 78 (1968) Kirby 
Also, during this post-Kirby period it wasn't just the art that evoked the Lee-Kirby era-FF. It was a time of transition for Marvel; not only was Kirby gone, but there were new owners, Marvel was in the throes of expansion, and Stan Lee was in the process of becoming publisher. With so many responsibilities--and without Kirby--it appears that when Lee put his writer hat on, he turned to what had worked in the past: Reed trying to change Ben back to his former appearance; Ben turning against the rest of the team; Thing versus Hulk; Reed trapped in the Negative Zone; Johnny brooding over Crystal; battles against all-powerful antagonists like get the idea. All this may have seemed fresh and exciting for readers brand new to the FF; but as someone who'd been reading the mag for a few years, this mining-the-past approach struck me as stale and uninspired--it was déjà vu all over again...and again...and again...

Okay, let's take a look at Reed trying to change the Thing back to his Ben Grimm appearance, from both FF #107 (Big John's first issue) and FF #78. Looks like Reed's using the same equipment both times, so chalk up one for consistency!
Fantastic Four 107 Buscema
Fantastic Four #107 (1971) J. Buscema
Fantastic Four 78 LeeKirby
Fantastic Four #78 (1968) Kirby

Fantastic Four 107-AndNowTheThing
Fantastic Four #107 (1971) J. Buscema
Fantastic Four 78-ThingBenGrimm
Fantastic Four #78 (1968) Kirby

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Giant-Size Avengers #1 (Pt 32) Thor Stands Firm

1974 GiantSizeAvengers 1-Nuklo-Invaders
Giant-Size Avengers #1 (1974) Buckler

   Thor 172-ImmortlaandMindSlave
Thor #172 (1970) Jack Kirby

And later on, in Avengers #211,  here's Gene Colan's Thor:  
Avengers 211-ByForceofMind
Avengers #211 (1981) Gene Colan

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Giant-Size Avengers #1 (Pt 31) Captain America, Mantis, Reed and Sue

Giant Size Avengers 1-NukloInvaderTimeForgot
Giant-Size Avengers #1 (1974) Rich Buckler
Fantastic Four 41-BrutalBetrayalBenGrimm
Fantastic Four 41 (1965) Kirby
Reed and Sue are from this Kirby cover: 
Fantastic Four 41 Brutal BetrayalBenGrimm
Fantastic Four #41 (1965) Jack Kirby
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