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Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – May 25, 2005


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Paperback, May 25, 2005
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics; 2nd edition (May 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785118284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785118282
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to all comic book fans.
nino
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby launched the Marvel Age of comics with this series, and what a blast it is!
goldenrulecomics
The characters are interesting as individuals.
Adam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John DiBello on June 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Both Marvel and DC Comics have been reprinting their classic tales, making them affordable and accessible to modern collectors, but Marvel deserves an extra kudos for their exceptional "Essentials" series which reprint entire runs of 20-or-so comics from Marvel's Silver Age in a black-and-white "phone book" format (no doubt inspired by Dave Sim's massive collections of "Cerebus" comics). How innovative are these first FF comics? Picture the early 1960s, where a superhero team comic meant the rather whitebread "Justice League of America" from DC...classic stories, of course, but somewhat lacking in scope and character development. Enter Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's first Marvel Comic: the heroes don't wear costumes (not until the third issue, at least), squabble and fight (not unlike a real family) and face truly hideous and grotesque monsters of true nightmare quality. Reading these stories I'm often surprised at the sheer amount of plot and action that Lee and Kirby manage to squeeze into a couple dozen pages for each story...although this is slightly before the incredibly innovative period of Kirby's blockbuster, knock-you-out layouts, there's still, for want of a better phrase, "never a dull moment." This book, and others created by Lee and Kirby and the other great artists of early Marvel, created comics that inspired a whole new wave in the industry. This isn't the single greatest Fantastic Four period--Kirby's knock-out run beginning around FF #45 and including the mind-blowing Galactus Trilogy is yet to come--but it's an absolute must-have for anyone who professes to love comics.Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
My name is Joshua Doss I am 12 years old. I loved Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Essential Fantastic Four book. Every night I would read their book. Before I read their book I had a 3rd grade reading level and I was in the 6th gread. Now that I have read it my reading level has gone back to normal. P.S. I can't wait for volume 2# to come out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 30, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From a historical standpoint the first twenty issues of "The Fantastic Four" are important because they were Stan Lee's first steps in creating the Marvel Universe. Before there was Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and everybody else, there was the Thing, Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, and Invisible Girl. I love how the cover of issue #1 proclaims that these four characters are "together for the first time in one mighty magazine," which is interesting since none of them had appeared individually in any magazine, monthly or otherwise (since Johnny Storm is not the original Human Torch).
The whole point of "The Fantastic Four" was that Stan Lee was revitalizing the sorry state of superhero comic books in the early Sixties. While testing an experimental space craft Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, and Sue and Johnny Storm are exposed to a bombardment of mysterious cosmic rays. When they return to earth they discover that they have gained fantastic abilities, which they will use to fight evil. When compared to the competition at that particular point in time, these comics are pretty good, but I cannot help but compare them to the glory days of the Fantastic Four starting around year four when Galactus, the Silver Surfer, and the Inhumans first pop up. Lee's writing certainly improved over time, but not as much as Jack Kirby's artwork. Even within this collection, which covers the first twenty issues of "The Fantastic Four" along with the first annual, you can see a significant improvement in Kirby's artwork (just pay attention to how the Thing is drawn over this period), which I think goes beyond the work of Dick Ayers as the main inker on those later comics (Note: For FF#13 you have the rare combination of pencils by Kirby being inked by Steve Ditko).
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Hunter on August 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
The most enjoyable aspect of the Essential Fantastic Four Volume I is to watch what would become the Marvel Universe begin to slowly unfold. The endless bickering (often substituting for deeper characterization) and the constant defence of Invisible Girl's rather weak abilities can get a little monotonous when all the issues are read together but Stan Lee and Jack Kirby make up for it with a great host of wonderful villains (with a very low ratio of duds), including the Silver Age introduction of the Sub-Mariner, Dr. Doom, Red Skull, the Skrulls, Puppet Master, the Thinker, Molecule Man, and Impossible Man. Also evident is the cross-polination of series with both the Hulk and the Ant-Man making memorable appearances creating a feeling of an actual, specific universe. The dazzling depths of future adventures is only just glimpsed with a Dr. Doom's story expanding into two issues and the appearance of both the Watcher and the Super-Skrull. Still, even in this somewhat embryonic stage it is easy and very exciting to see where the Fantastic Four were heading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Veyera VINE VOICE on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every few decades, a comic emerges which changes everything in the medium. Action Comics #1 with the emergence of Superman. Frank Miller's "Batman: The Dark Night Returns". And bisecting these two milestones? Fantastic Four #1, the comic which gave birth to the Silver Age.
This legendary issue is included, along with the 19 issues of the title which followed it, and the 1st FF annual, in "Essential Fantastic Four vol. 1". Each issue is absolutely packed with some of the most innovative characters and writing ever seen in comics. Aside from the truly radical members of the FF (a superteam that bickers? This ain't the Justice League), readers are treated to the first appearances of the Sub-Mariner, the shapeshifting Skrulls, and Dr. Doom.
This is a top-drawer collection which every comics fan should own.
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