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Fantastic Four Masterworks - FF #51-60
on January 22, 2001
This book reprints a grand run of Lee-Kirby FF covering the period immediately after the first Galactus saga. It contains the great "This Man, This Monster" (the greatest Thing story, in my opinion) as well as stories featuring the Dr Doom, the Silver Surfer, the Inhumans, and the introduction of the Black Panther. Lee and Kirby were literally bursting with new ideas at this point in time and the stories seemed to be getting bigger and more grand. Jack Kirby was the most important comic book artist ever and this volume contains some of his finest work.
Another reviewer has complained about the computer enhancement of the artwork. There will always be problems in upgrading artwork meant for newsprint to artwork for the higher quality paper. The colors will always seem brighter and more garish. However, if you use the original printing process on the higher quality paper, the colors would look like a bunch of dots. You can't go back to the original newsprint and I feel that Marvel had to do what it could with what it had. I have many issues of this run of FF and the "touched-up" artwork did not bother me or distract me too much. I enjoyed seeing these stories again and I am glad they are collected in one place. I wonder if it would be too much to ask that they do Marvel Masterworks versions of other great runs: Barry Windsor-Smith Conan, Frank Miller Daredevil....
Lee and Kirby at the peak of their powers were a formidable combination. These stories were taken from the time that you literally couldn't wait the month-long interval between issues. The artwork is unmatched, particularly the definitive version of the Thing by Kirby and Sinnott. This book should be given to all new comics writers and artists as the ultimate example of the "Marvel House Style". Easy to read, yet every panel is exciting, dyanamic, and has a purpose. Despite its inherent flaws in the upgrade process, it still deserves the highest recommendation.