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Rich's Gulag

A test to see if Booklikes is really a viable website, or just a pipe dream of numerous Goodreads ex-pats.

Currently reading

The Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives, Vol. 3
Joe Samachson, Arthur Cazeneuve
Progress: 56 %
Satan Burger
Carlton Mellick III
Progress: 9 %
Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 - Stan Lee, Jack Kirby Well, this is it ... THE Essential volume of the entire Marvel Essentials series, and one of the few books that really lives up to that name. In the beginning, there was Spider-Man, the Hulk, Ant-Man and ... The Fantastic Four. The FF were really the progenitors of Marvel's entry into the Silver Age of Comics, being a "rip-off" of the competition's Justice League of America. High sales on that title, got The Powers That Be at Marvel interesting in doing a super-hero book again. And the rest, as they say, is history.This black-and-white reprint volume features the first 25 or so of those pioneering adventures. The FF slowly developed the family feel that would characterize the book for decades to come, with the friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) banter between them all. Unfortunately, the Invisible Girl is basically a kidnapping target in most of these stories, but starts to get her legs in the next volume of the series (when she starts being able to make force fields and becomes one of the most powerful people in New York City). You've also got the epic villains here: The Mole Man, the Skrulls, the Red Ghost, the Molecule Man, the Puppet Master, the Impossible Man, the Super-Skrull, and of course, Doctor Doom. Marvel's popular Golden Age anti-hero, the Sub-Mariner, joins the modern Marvel Universe in issue #4. The Watcher makes his first appearance as well. All of this, plus the incredible artwork of Jack Kirby. Chic Stone and Dick Ayers do most of the inks, but there's a gem of an issue with Steve Ditko applying finishes that has become one of my favorite art team-ups of all time.Just go buy it. If you'd rather, pay the $250+ and get the color Marvel Masterworks of the same. This art stands up to black-and-white. And the stories stand up to time with a resiliency that's missing from modern comics.