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Tandra Page 1738, The FF

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I’m sitting on my back porch looking out over the yard as the rising sun brightens the Eastern sky.

I bought the first issue of “The Fantastic Four” comic book off the rack and I was not much impressed. I had been purchasing comic books from the same publisher for several years, primarily Western comics written by Stan Lee. A favourite of mine was a comic titled “Kid Colt, Outlaw”. This was essentially the television series “The Fugitive” done as a Western. Writer/Editor Stan Lee was fond of full length stories divided into chapters. He called his tales “Movie Length Epics”. They were fun to read!

About the same time the company that published “Kid Colt” was releasing “monster” comics inspired by “King Kong” and “Godzilla”. Stan Lee provided the words and Jack Kirby provided the drawings. I liked Jack Kirby from way back and I was known to buy a comic only because it was drawn by Kirby. Kirby did not always sign his work, but his style was distinctive enough I could easily pick it from a stack of comics. The company was not called “Marvel” back then, The company identified itself as “Atlas”.

Whatever the company name, Stan Lee was the editor in charge and he produced, with various artists, a run of comics that were fun to read. I bought a bunch of them.

Like I wrote above, I bought the first “Fantastic Four” and I was not much impressed. Stan Lee provided the words and Jack Kirby drew the pictures. I did not purchase another “Fantastic Four” until the over-sized “Fantastic Four” annual was released about a year later. This was an impressive piece of work. In the story, the Sub-mariner invaded New York City with his under-sea army. This was a departure for sure! Over at the Superman company, no army ever invaded Metropolis. Every super-character over at Superman’s company had their own made-up city. The fact that Stan Lee set his stories in New York City was a major departure. The very idea of a super-hero is absurd on the face of it. Even so, the setting of the “Fantastic Four” in New York City placed Stan Lee’s super group in the “Real World”. Stan Lee’s dialogue was more naturalistic.

After the first Fantastic Four Annual, I was a confirmed “FF” fan. Stan took early on to identifying his super group as “The FF”. For the next quarter century, The FF was in a class by itself. No other comic book came even close! Recently hard back full colour collections of the “Fantastic Four” have become available. These volumes reproduce the first hundred issues of The FF faithfully, including the letters pages from each issue. “Letters Pages published letters sent in by fans along with replies by the editorial staff.

I purchased four of these collections and, even at my advanced age, it is fun to look over these early issues of The FF. Though I am far past comic book age, I can still appreciate the ground-breaking work Stan and Jack were turning out month after month. I’m having a blast looking through these issues collected, so much so I have to force myself to put these volumes own and return to work on my own stuff.

I am delighted to have the work of these two men preserved in hard cover editions. I’ll come back and look at these collections numerous times in the near future. I recommend them for examples of two men who were giants in their field producing at the height of their abilities.

“In the fight for Liberty, you will discover the most intense opposition coming at you from slaves who are comfortable in their chains!”

“They’ll know where to find me,” -Rick Blaine, “Casablanca”

A Mythology For Our Time! Join the Tandra Brigade today for access to over 1000 Tandra Pages at a cost of only $9.95 USD.

Hanther



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