Saturday, 6 May 2017


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I couldn't swear to it after all this time, but I
have a notion I saw The FANTASTIC FOUR #90
while living in our old house, but didn't buy it 'til after
moving into our new abode some time later.  Perhaps I
should clarify that;  I definitely purchased it while in my
new home, but maybe first saw it while living in the old
one.  Anyway, regardless of where I lived when I first
saw it, I bought it in the same shop some weeks or
months later.  I know it was the selfsame issue
as they only had one copy.

That was sometime in 1972.  In 1973 or '74,
I got the next three issues in a shop (perhaps on
one of the piers) in Blackpool while on holiday.  Yes,
that's right, late '60s issues of the FF (and other titles)
were still on sale, brand-new, several years after publi-
cation.  Anyway, I also bought some other issues of the
cosmic quartet, so now's as good a time as any to show
them.  So because I know you care about the details,
remember that #90 wasn't bought in Blackpool,
but in a local shop called CORSON'S, which
yet survives to this very day.

Okay, having refreshed my memory with the
above preamble, let's move on to the good part - the
covers themselves.  I'm sure you'll find having had to
wade through my personal reminiscences a small price
to pay for such cataclysmic classics, but if not, then too
bad.  Tell you what, why not get your own back on me
by sharing your memories of these MARVEL mags
in our captivating comments section?  After all,
turnabout is fair play, so they say.

And now, the splash pages...



spirit of '64 said...

These comics are often overlooked but still amazing stuff from 2 of comics' greats. US Comics is a young man's game; best work from creators is normally done in their 20s and within 5 years of entry; yet marvel revolutionised the industry through the imagination and humanity of 2 middle-aged men. Great choice of comics. Now I need to search out your previous 51 favourite comcs. Thanks.

Kid said...

Nae bother '64, glad you enjoyed the post. The combination of Lee & Kirby produced some eminently readable comics, that's for sure. I wonder what we would have had if Kirby had got what he wanted at Marvel and never left for DC. Makes you think, eh?

Colin Jones said...

I fondly remember those covers in the re-drawn versions for The Titans in 1976.

Kid said...

And no doubt your fond memory of those Titans covers was reignited by seeing them on this very blog a while back, eh, CJ? Crivens! - the best blog in the bizness! (H'mm, sounds like a catchphrase.)

spirit of 64 said...

Kirby not leaving Marvel...who knows? But Kirby's influence stayed at Marvel after he had gone, at least in the dynamism of the art, and storywise through Starlin doing the New Gods in his Captain Marvel opus. Marvel eventually moved on, with I feel Stan stepping back having an even more profound effect than Kirby's departure, with Stan's writing absence allowing Englehart, Gerber, McGregor amongst others to come in under Thomas and make the 70s a really strong character and plot driven era for Marvel. Almost all of Marvel's output, whether on established characters, on trend (horror, kung-fu) or on experimental comics, became really interesting and challenging. I am thinking of the Avengers and Captain America under Englehart, Man-Thing and the Defenders under Gerber; Master of Kung Fu under Moench; Starlin's Captain Marvel and warlock; FF and Spidey under Thomas and Conway; Killraven and the Black Panther under McGregor; Tomb of Dracula under Wolfman; Conan under Thomas...and I could go on!
But I also think of all those lost years without Kirby/Sinnott art......
Interstingly Marvel became more writer driven as DC became more artist driven. Infantino's strategy was to hire the best artist/storytellers and unleash them. Think Kirby/ Kubert/ Adams/ Toth. Amazing stuff was done by Wrightson, Kaluta and Redondo. Even Robbins and Sekowsky make notable impressions. Yet DC's ouput remained fundamentally dull and boring (they neither learnt not took on board the dynamism of Kirby), and Marvel won out commercially....
Sorry for the long reply. Apologies if I have contradicted myself, I writte more with feeling than with applied logic!

Kid said...

Don't apologise, '64, I love long replies so feel free to indulge yourself. I've sometimes wondered if DC lured Kirby away from Marvel thinking the latter would crumble without him, but his departure didn't seem to have any effect at all. Surprisingly, it was years later before Jack's creations were fully woven into the fabric of the DCU, and I suspect that happened mainly because new writers wanted to play with the characters from their childhood - making it a nostalgia-driven thing, in effect. And despite all the great things to happen at Marvel in the '70s, I can't help but feel that something was lost after Stan stepped back a bit. A few of the mags seem a bit pretentious and verbose under some of the new writers, 'though that's something that's only really noticeable in retrospect. That's how it appears to me anyway.

spirit of 64 said...

I've just noticed my spelling on my last comment...atrocious! Many apologies.
I missed naming one of my favourite 70s comics:DR STRANGE, under Englehart, Brunner and Colan.
As for Stan stepping back....he was still there in the background, coming up or helping shape new ideas. He only became fully absent in the Shooter era.

Kid said...

As you say, '64, he was still there in the background (which is why I said he 'stepped back a bit'), but he wasn't writing them anymore, which was a great loss in my view.

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