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Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) 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: #778,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 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 Lawrance Bernabo 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).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JON STRICKLAND on March 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Essential Fantastic Four, Volume I is possibly the greatest bound volume of the Marvel Essentials. Included is the origin storyline of perhaps the greatest villain of all time, namely the brilliant and psychologically complex Doctor Doom. Prevalent throughout this work are displays of top-notch science fiction along with great characters who display unending moments of unpredictability, thus leaving the readers at the edge of their seats.

Of course, the characters that make each issue come to life are the Fantastic Four members themselves. Leading the pack is Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, who is esteemed as the most ingenious scientific mind on Earth and who possesses the ability to stretch his body over vast distances. Next in line is Ben Grimm, who comes to be known as the Thing, since his once natural, human body becomes, on the positive side, an entity that can lift heavy objects in a way comporable to the Hulk's feats, but on the negative side, has his flesh already transformed to a hideous, multilayered composition of rocks. Third is Sue Storm, who is known as the Invisible Girl and is the girlfriend (and would years down the road become the wife) of Mr. Fantastic; she possesses the power to turn invisible and in these early issues has not discovered or honed her abilities to project forcefields to protect her and her loved ones from various oncoming invaders and their weapons. And then there is Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch and brother of the Invisible Girl; he is the only member who can fly and who can turn his body into flame and project his elevated body heat to burn, melt and vaporize various objects, to say the least.

As a unit, the Fantastic Four are the most interconnected fighting team in the comic book universe.
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