Monday, March 30, 2015

Fantastic Four #116 (Pt 5) The Silver Surfer Sneaks In

I immediately recognized a few shots of #116's Stranger and the Overmind as quite obviously based the Silver Surfer and Quasimodo from the Surfer's solo tale in Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967). This type of wholesale character substitution was unusual for John Buscema during his FF stint. His use of Kirby was pretty straightforward; he'd typically refer to a Kirby Reed as a model for his own Reed, a Kirby Sue for Sue, etc.

FF #116 was among the Marvel comics on sale in August 1971 that had an increased page count from 32 to 48 pages (along with a price increase from 15 cents to 25 cents). I'm guessing that #116's additional pages induced Buscema to rely on Kirby reference more than he normally would have, as he now had to produce 34 pages of art--instead of the usual 19 or 20!  
Fantastic Four #116 (1971) John Buscema
Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967) Jack Kirby

Fantastic Four #116 (1971) Buscema
Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967) Jack Kirby
And then I saw these panels: 
FF 116 (1971) Buscema             FF Annual 5 (1967) Kirby

The pages in question:
Page 31, Fantastic Four #116 (1971) Buscema
Also, the last panel here was likely inspired by Annual #5's page 5 splash below

Pages 4 and 5, Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967) Kirby
Pages 6 and 7, Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967) Kirby

Fun Fact! Marvel's books reverted to their previous page count the very next month, only now with a 20 cent cover price--all part of Martin Goodman's master plan. 


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