Amazing Fantasy Omnibus HC Hardcover – Sep 5 2007
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Amazing Fantasy THE TERROR of TIM BOO BA Omnibus vol.1 beautifully reprints in their entirety: Amazing Adventures #1-6, Amazing Adult Fantasy #7-14 and Amazing Fantasy #15 -- that's 416 pages (scripted and executed by Marvel's A-list talent: Lee, Ditko, and Kirby) brimming with evil alien invaders, rampaging giant monsters, and the creation of Marvel's greatest and most influential superhero -- Spider-man! This collection is a must have for vintage monster comic book fans who have enjoyed Dick Briefer's The Monster of Frankenstein, Monster Masterworks and Zombie Factory.
The first six issues were Amazing Adventures, which was a fairly typical early 1960s Marvel fantasy comic book. It featured a Jack Kirby cover story about a giant monster, back up "weird" stories by Steve Ditko, and a Dr. Droom story by Kirby. Dr. Droom was technically the first Marvel superhero of the Silver Age. He was kind of a precursor to Dr. Strange, but he never caught on. His name was later changed to Dr. Druid, which is a much better name.
With issue number 7, the title was changed to Amazing Adult Fantasy. Steve Ditko started drawing all the artwork and the giant monsters disappeared (for the most part). Stan Lee wrote the scripts for five short stories per issue, which were Twilight Zone like tales with twist endings. These are excellent comic books that were among the best of the time period.
With issue number 15, the title was shortened to Amazing Fantasy. A superhero called Spider-Man was given the lead feature in the comic, in an attempt to help boost sales of the magazine, which had been low. Unfortunately, the comic book was canceled immediately after that issue and Spider-Man was never heard from again.
The scripts were mostly by (or credited to) Stan Lee, and illustrators Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were his main collaborators. A couple of leftovers from the 1950s genre books were also on board, notably Paul Reinman, but the real sizzle is with Ditko and Kirby, who were developing a truly new, explosively expressive style that burst away from the stale, cramped design work of the Atlas era.
The stories, generally speaking, are pretty flat and formulaic: the six-pages-and-a-zinger-ending format did not, in all honesty, leave a lot of room for brilliance. Nonetheless, something was bubbling up under the surface of the moribund genre... There were plenty of hints of things to come: professors named Storm, rocky-skinned monsters, a skinny kid with big, round glasses who discovers he has superpowers, and of course, the proto-Dr. Strange, Dr. Droom, one of the few recurrent characters of the era. In one of the most fascinating later stories, the Ditko-penned teenage hero looks a LOT like Peter Parker, but what's even more amazing is the script, about how the boy is a mutant, and how he must hide his powers due to the prejudice of normal humans -- the entire "X-Men" mythology was laid out in '62: it really should be anthologized along with the early X-books from now on.
The book really hit its stride in the last half-dozen issues, when Steve Ditko basically took over and was given full reign on the creative end. The book developed a strong signature style, and Ditko came into his own. Some of the best surprises come with the famous Spidey issue: the one-page editorial about how they planned to change the look and format of the book (and, boy, did they! they canceled it and started up "The Amazing Spider-Man" instead) and also the fact that the book *still* had back-up features full of aliens and things that go bump in the night.
This is a fascinating look back at the history of Marvel Comics. Probably best appreciated for the dynamic, colorful artwork (which looks fabulous in the glossy archival format) but also good, goofy fun in its own right. Face Forward, True Believers! (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue)