Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 4

Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 4

by Stan Lee

Re-live more of the FF's classic exploits as they stand united against Dr. Doom, Annihilus and Galactus! Featuring the first appearances of the Kree and the microversal Psycho-Man! Guest starring Spider-Man, Daredevil, Thor and the Warlock formerly known as Him! Lee and Kirby were the ones who started it all, and they keep it going in these cosmic tales! COLLECTING: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) 64-83, ANNUAL 5-6

What People Think about "Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 4"

Good: It's fun to see Lee/Kirby original work. Women's rights were happening, music, love, revolution, counter-culture, and Reed Richards seems to be written as the old fuddy duddy who knows best for everyone, including keeping his wife in check. I'm going to hope that it's just the character of Reed Richards who's supposed to be a Hank Pym-level asshole here...otherwise I think it makes you wonder about ole' Stan the Man... Fun things: Black Panther's first meeting of Black Bolt (all 3 Illuminati together for the first time) and the rest of the Inhumans. We see classic villains, like Galactus, the Mad Thinker, Wizard, Annihilus, and for the first time, Psycho-Man. We get to visit the microverse for the first time. I'd give this 4 stars for retro fun, icons of the business, and big events in FF history...I'd take away at least 1 star for the borderline misogynistic abuse that Reed throws at Sue (funny part being, Johnny isn't that way towards Crystal, and Ben sure isn't that way towards Alicia, so I suppose that would give more credibility to the theory that Stan wrote Reed as a gigantic douche-hole on purpose, and that he himself isn't a terrible woman-hater).

I mean, in these stories, the FF is largely the Reed and Ben Show, but Johnny at least shows up to do things occasionally. Sue was always a faint presence in the early FF stories, and as she spends almost all of this book pregnant, her role is further reduced to cameos (mostly being ordered by Reed not to get involved in their latest adventure, AND SHE LISTENS TO HIM!) in her own book! Ben Grimm gets some of the best lines, including a joke about the Torch that annoys Crystal during her first adventure with the team. Reed is great in these books (when he's not ordered his wife around!) - very pro-active, adventurous.

Stan Lee at the height of his powers: plotting and scripting.

This volume collects Issues 64-83, and Annuals #5 and #6 of Marvel's first family. The book has some good issues, some odd ones, but overall comes out ahead. After Issue 71, Reed and Sue decide to cut out on the FF but that's cut short when the Watcher has to summon them as the Silver Surfer has decided to start blowing things up to start world peace and the FF has stop in Issue 72. The nearly fifty page story is really an epic with emotion, awesome action, some fantastic splash pages, and one of Lee's greatest stories as we truly expand the Richards family. It had fewer of the epic stories like Doctor Doom taking over the Silver Surfer's power and there were a few stories that were lame. And there's this great sense of love and loyalty as Reed and Johnny go into the breach, risking their lives in the Negative Zone. The full spread picture of Sue and Reed is perhaps the most emotional, but some of them are also beautiful action spots like Reed, Johnny, and Ben travelling through the Negative Zone and several thrilling battle shots.

Klopperei und ein frohes Ereignis In diesem vierten Sammelband der Comics aus den Sechziger Jahren dreht sich viel um ein frohes Ereignis: Das Kind der Eheleute Richards. Und was kann die Jugend von heute nun von den F4 aus diesem Band lernen?

Both Crystal's joining the team and Sue's pregnancy shined a light on the sexism of the time. There were a lot of groan inducing moments when Sue was basically held prisoner away from the world so she not see a single thing that upset her, less the pregnancy go wrong.

Although there isn't a real stand out story, all of the stories are solid entertainment, and they all have the sense of wonder and humor that helped make the FF so popular in the first place.

Jack is getting really close to what his art what be when he was penciling the forth world saga.

That being said, it's still amazing how well these old FF stories hold up after all these years.