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Fantastic Four Masterworks Vol. 1 Hardcover – Aug 2003


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Hardcover, Aug 2003
CDN$ 163.29 CDN$ 87.86

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics; Gph edition (August 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785111816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785111818
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.4 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #733,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 13 2004
Format: Hardcover
In 1961 Stan Lee had been writing comic books for twenty-two years while still writing television material, advertising copy, and newspaper features in his spare time, when his wife, Joan, asked him why he did not put as much creativity and effort into the comics as he seemed to be putting into his free-lance endeavors. Lee took her words to heart and when the publisher of Timely noticed that D.C.'s "Justice League of America" with its team of superheroes was selling better than most, Lee went to work creating a comic book featuring a new team of superheroes. Working with artist Jack Kirby, with whom he had been turning out monster stories like "Xom, the Creature Who Swallowed the Earth" and "Fin Fang Foom," Lee created a different type of team. This time the hero and heroine would actually be engaged, they would not have any secret identities or costumes, and they would have one member who not only had brute strength and a hair-trigger temper but would be ugly, morose, and totally antisocial. Thus was born "The Fantastic Four."
The first issue introduced the Thing (Ben Grimm), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), and the Invisible Girl (Sue Storm), and the cover proclaimed "TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ONE MIGHTY MAGAZINE," which is true since they had never been in any magazine before. But keep in mind that by issue #4 the words "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!" would appear over the title of "The Fantastic Four," so it is not like hyperbole and Stan Lee were strangers. "Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 1" collects the first 10 issues of this comic book in what passed for glorious color in the early Sixties.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby create "The Fantastic Four" Feb. 13 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In 1961 Stan Lee had been writing comic books for twenty-two years while still writing television material, advertising copy, and newspaper features in his spare time, when his wife, Joan, asked him why he did not put as much creativity and effort into the comics as he seemed to be putting into his free-lance endeavors. Lee took her words to heart and when the publisher of Timely noticed that D.C.'s "Justice League of America" with its team of superheroes was selling better than most, Lee went to work creating a comic book featuring a new team of superheroes. Working with artist Jack Kirby, with whom he had been turning out monster stories like "Xom, the Creature Who Swallowed the Earth" and "Fin Fang Foom," Lee created a different type of team. This time the hero and heroine would actually be engaged, they would not have any secret identities or costumes, and they would have one member who not only had brute strength and a hair-trigger temper but would be ugly, morose, and totally antisocial. Thus was born "The Fantastic Four."
The first issue introduced the Thing (Ben Grimm), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), and the Invisible Girl (Sue Storm), and the cover proclaimed "TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ONE MIGHTY MAGAZINE," which is true since they had never been in any magazine before. But keep in mind that by issue #4 the words "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!" would appear over the title of "The Fantastic Four," so it is not like hyperbole and Stan Lee were strangers. "Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 1" collects the first 10 issues of this comic book in what passed for glorious color in the early Sixties.
#1 "The Fantastic Four" has the group coming together for the first time so that we can learn about the cosmic rays that gave them their powers and their first fight with the Mole Man; #2 "The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space" has the first encounter against those aliens and with one of the strangest solutions to dealing with defeated aliens of all time; #3 "The Menace of the Miracle Man" presents the Fantasti-Car and the FF's new costumes; #4 "The Coming of...Sub-Mariner" is the classic story in which the Human Torch discovers Namor and reintroduces him into the new Marvel Universe; #5 "Prisoners of Doctor Doom" introduces the FF's greatest villain; #6 "Captives of the Deadly Duo" has the might Sub-Mariner and the evil Doctor Door team up up to take on our heroes; #7 "Prisoners of Kurrgo, Master of Planet X" offers another set of alien invaders, who turns the people of Earth against the FF; #8 "Prisoners of the Puppet Master" continues the bondage theme and introduces not only the Puppet Master but his blind step-daughter Alicia; #9 "The End of the Fantastic Four" brings back Namor, who has bought a Hollywood studio to make a picture about this arch foes; and #10 "The Return of Doctor Doom" has the Lord of Latvaria switching bodies with Reed Richards.
One of the keys to a successful comic book is coming up with good villains and clearly Lee and Kirby were very happy with both Namor and Dr. Doom, who show up in half of these stories. Namor was in love with Sue Storm and Victor Von Doom was jealous of Reed Richards, so there were all sorts of fun subtexts to their battles. Meanwhile the Thing keeps changing back and forth into Ben Grimm with more frequency than you would expect; nobody else has their powers coming and going, but then nobody else in the FF has the pathos of the Thing. Fortunately Alicia is around to make the big guy feel better.
If you have read any of the Lee and Kirby monster stories then you will recognize the same sort of format, with all of these stories divided into five chapters, and for several of the early stories the FF does end up fighting giant monsters. But with Namor and Dr. Doom everything changed and "The Fantastic Four" moved into the next gear. Those stories that are classics in this volume earned that status because of their historical value than the actual story telling, but you can still read these ten issues and appreciate how the groundwork was being set for not only this comic book (the world's greatest by its own admission), but the entire Marvel Universe as well. It is not until the very end of Volume 4 in the Marvel Masterworks series that the FF starts to earn that title, but this is where it all began and it is not hyperbole to say that issue #1 of "The Fantastic Four" is the most important comic book produced in my lifetime.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Early history of the mighty FF, well worth reading Oct. 23 2005
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The artwork and dialog is from early in the careers of Lee and Kirby, so it doesn't have the quality of the later issues. However, it does introduce some of the major villains that the FF will be doing battle with throughout the series. Dr. Doom (my favorite), the Puppet Master, the Mole Man, the Submariner and the Skrulls all make their first appearance against the FF.

The powers of the FF are also not yet at the peak that they will achieve later in the series. Sue Storm is still only "The Invisible Girl", she has not yet reached the point where she can project a force field. Johnny Storm still flames out after using his powers, his final potential has not been achieved. I had forgotten that Ben Grimm's blind girlfriend Alicia is the daughter of the Puppet Master, and that there was a romantic entanglement between Sue Storm and the Submariner. The political reality of the cold war also appears early in the series. In the first issue the four who would become the mighty FF are debating the flight into space that gave them their powers. Ben Grimm expresses skepticism and Sue Storm replies, "Ben, we've got to take that chance ... unless we want the commies to beat us to it!"

I enjoyed reading this book, as someone who grew up reading the comic books of the sixties, it was a trip back to my youth. The modern comics are quite different and don't always project the qualities of the early ones.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful reprinting of Marvel's Fantastic Four! Jan. 3 1998
By Alan Earhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The latest printing (5th, just released 1/98) is a beautiful reprinting of the first ten issues of the Fanastic Four. While the introduction is in the typical Stan Lee manner (which I happen to like), ample credit is given to Jack Kirby's contributions without whom there may not have been a continuing and successful series.

If you are a fan of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, the Fantastic Four, comics, the 1960's, etc., then this would make a great addition to your collection or library.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Jack Kirby Made them Fantastic! April 4 2000
By nino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book has beautifully reprinted the first ten issues of the Fantastic Four. Credit is given to Jack Kirby but not enough. Though the book is a beautiful reprinting of classic MARVEL, it should tell the fans how the Fantastic Four really came to be. After all the concept of the super team was nothing new to Jack Kirby when he first penned the first issue of the Fantastic Four. Really the Fantastic Four are recycled characters of Jack Kirby's "Challengers of the unknown" comic book done for the D.C. Comics before Jack Kirby returned to Marvel. This book brings back the memories of the early Fantastic Four adventures. My favorite issue is the introduction of Dr. Doom. There's always something exciting going on in every Panel. Jack Kirby's artwork was and still is to this day awesome! The fact that the first ten issues are all compiled in this book is really something because if you were to go out and try to buy issue one to ten,you'd be in the poor house. If you don't own a copy of this book, What are you waiting for ? Kirby's comic book creations will clobber you. Jack Kirby really created something special when he re-worked the challengers of the unknown. Jack Kirby single handedly saved Marvel comics with this super team. This book is really worth your time. When you pick it up, you can't put it down. The Price is just right to. If you love comics, this book has to be in your collection. Thank's for the Fantastic Four Jack Kirby.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
And so it began Oct. 20 2005
By Reader from the North - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The artwork is early 1960s Kirby and Stan Lee hasn't hit his full stride yet, but this is classic early Marvel. Simply put: it was nothing like anything else in the drug store on the comic shelf. We all knew what to expect from a DC comic, but Stan Lee and Company surprised us issue after issue. DC comics all looked alike, but Marvel titles all had individual looks based on the artist--Kirby and Ditko and Heck and Wood and (later) Romita. Great stuff to look forward to each month. The colors reproduced here aren't the same, but today we wouldn't tolerate the crude printing we had then--rarely did colors stay within the "lines." If you want to see early comics at their best, pick this up.


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