Saturday 17 July 2010


Published cover.  Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

As most readers will know, there are two FF #1 covers; the cover that was published in 1961 (above) and the cover as it was originally drawn (below - known as the "missing man" cover - though that should really be in the plural), which was the version most often utilized in MARVEL reprints right up until the recent MASTERWORKS, OMNIBUS and Trade Paperback editions.

The published version featured the addition of a policeman at the end of the street - and some alterations and additions to the passers-by on the right-hand side of the cover.  Exactly who was responsible for the amendments is, at present, unknown.

Stat of original art by Jack Kirby & George Klein

Was it JACK KIRBY or DICK AYERS who drew them?  Perhaps Ayers inked over Kirby pencils, which would explain why he was credited as inker of the complete cover for many years, until GEORGE KLEIN came to be regarded as the man behind the embellishment duties. Perhaps one day we'll find out for certain.
What most fans don't realize however, is that there is also a third, hybrid, version (below).  This was the reprint of FF #1 used for the GOLDEN BOOK & RECORD Set in the mid or late '60s. This cover had the original, unaltered passers-by as originally drawn by Kirby, but the policeman (a redrawn version) had been added to make it look like the original printed version from 1961. (The price, number and date had been removed though.)  Interestingly, considering the debate about who inked the first issue, Dick Ayers is credited as inker on the back of the record sleeve - although his surname is misspelled as "Ayres".)
Golden Book & Record FF #1 reprint

Side-by-side comparison


Kid said...

What? No comments after over a dozen years? What's wrong with you guys?!

mikelake1 said...

Many many moons ago I asked Jack Kirby.... and Roz....who 'the mystery' inker was.....

They didn't know. I asked Stan Lee in the mid-70's who inked FF*1.... he assumed it was Ayers !

Funny old world

And lets get it right.... George Klein inked ! and 2


Kid said...

That certainly seems to be the consensus of opinion these days, ML. And when are you going to relate those 'few stories' you mentioned on your blog?

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