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Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 (Marvel Masterworks) Paperback – March 11, 2009


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Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 (Marvel Masterworks) + X-Men, Vol. 1 (Marvel Masterworks) + The Avengers, Vol. 1, No. 1-10
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; First Printing edition (March 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785137106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785137108
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Marvel’s welcome initiative to put their Masterworks collections into affordable paperback format follows up a beautiful new edition of Amazing Spider-Man, v.1 with this collection of their very first foray into the superhero genre. Squabbling over each other’s personal foibles while facing a breathless barrage of B-movie, sf concepts, the Fantastic Four flew in the face of Silver Age industry-leader DC’s shiny, no-nonsense authority figures. Lee’s subversively revolutionary concept of the superhero as regular Joe was typified in the pathos of the monstrous Thing, whose dark emotions are direct progenitors of the modern-day realism found in the likes of Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns. Kirby’s art was still evolving toward his more angular, bombastic style, but the clay-like forms and textures here give a sense of raw power that make it easy to miss Kirby’s mastery of expressive faces and heightened emotion. These first 10 issues present mainstays Doctor Doom, the Sub-Mariner, and the Skrulls (pivotal to Marvel’s recent Secret Invasion event), and display for the jaded and uninitiated readers alike that they are among the most historically significant examples of the form (highlighted by an array of historical back matter) and some of the most engaging and thrilling comics ever produced. Grades 4-12. --Jesse Karp

More About the Author

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. Nevertheless: Having begun his career with wartime Timely Comics and staying the course throughout the Atlas era, Stan the Man made comic-book history with Fantastic Four #1, harbinger of a bold new perspective in story writing that endures to this day. With some of the industry's greatest artists, he introduced hero after hero in Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men and more -- forming a shared universe for rival publishers to measure themselves against. After an almost literal lifetime of writing and editing, Lee entered new entertainment fields and earned Marvel one opportunity after another. He remains one of Marvel's best-known public representatives.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Good stories told well.
BedBugK9
The Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four is this creative team's greatest collaboration, and together they changed superhero comics forever.
FloridaComicsDude
Great way to read the first comics in the series.
Robert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Zach D. L. Story on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marvel's reprints of their old stuff under the Marvel Masterworks title are major proof not only of the timelessness of the story telling, but it is a testament to the consistency found in Marvel. With DC comics continuity has been changed so many times it's not funny. With Marvel, much of the events that happen in this collection of the Fantastic Four have lasting effects on the Marvel Universe. Specifically the second issue which not only introduces the Skrulls, but establishes events referred to much later in the Kree/Skrull war which plays a role in leading up to the recent Secret Invasion.

Stan Lee's story telling and Jack Kirby's art are great, classic work any hard core fan of the Fantastic Four shouldn't go without!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cozzster on February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pleased to see the new masterworks released in a paperback format as this was. I really don't want to pay $50-$60 just to read old stories everytime I get a craving, so these fit well for me.

These serve as a point of nostalgia for me, not that I was a kid when these were originally in stores (I'm only 25), but nostalgia in the form that it reminds me of the days when I was a kid first reading comics as I'm sure many people felt reading these very issues when they were kids.

To me, the stories are good old Stan Lee style storytelling, full of action and cosmic adventures. I'll admit, there seemed to be a need (as with all the older marvel works) to have each character say a paragraph and fill each panel full of word balloons. This detracts a bit from the story, but not to the extent that you would not want to continue reading. Just try reading issue by issue and pacing yourself if you feel overburdened with word balloons.

Overall, having never read the old fantastic four stories, I enjoyed them very much. I still like the old Spidey stories better, but these are the next best in my opinion.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By João Paulo Hammes on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well friends, I've just got this TPB yesterday and I was amused and bemused at the same time. I had never seen Jack Kirby's pencils before, it's wonderful, he desires really to be called "King". Fantastic Four is the only old material I will colect from these new reprints of Marvel Masterworks, i'ts the best comic produced in 60's!!! The paper is very good, and I love softcovers, I prefer than to the Hardcovers. Man, profit of this time to buy it, you won't regret.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Correa on December 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
You know I’m a True Believer by now, so it was inevitable that I would be checking out the original comics that started it all. And that's exactly what the Fantastic Four did, they started what remains t this day the greatest comic universe ever. The Fantastic Four aren’t my favorite Marvel characters, but they are the most consistent in terms of quality. I have yet to read an issue I do not like this side of #357 (see my review of The Animated Series for why I loathe that issue & everything after it). But my 3 favorite writers are definitely Stan lee, John Byrne & Walt Simonson. The ones in between them were good, but they churned out most of my favorite stories. But enough about the series in general, what about these stories? They were all good. Most of them were great, but a couple were just good. My least favorites were “The Skrulls from Outer Space!” because it was that old “Frame the heroes to make them look bad” plot but to be honest it was most likely the best example of it I’ve seen since the heroes in question hadn’t been around very long at this time, and the last story for a similar reason since it uses the old body-swapping plot. But the other stories were gold. I find it amazing that some of these stories were adapted for the first season of the Animated Series with most of the dialogue & story intact, but the production & execution was just horrible compared to the comics. My favorites were the first issue, #s 4-6 (the return of the Sub-Mariner, the debut of Doctor Doom & a team-up between them) & issue #8 (the debut of the Puppet Master & Ben Grimm’s I mean Johnny Storm’s true love Alicia). The extras (especially the introduction & afterword) are just icing on the cake. If you enjoy any incarnation of these characters, this is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BedBugK9 on October 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good stories told well. Ben Grimm gets a little tiresome with his bitching and moaning but it's not a deal killer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elvin Ortiz on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A collector will find value in this tome. First of all, the origins of the famous FF. Also, readers will witness the return of the Sub-Mariner, and the beginning of the infamous Dr. Doom. The very first issue narrates how cosmic rays affected the bodies and abilities of four scientists: Dr. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Ben Grimm (the Thing), Susan Storm (Invisible Girl), and Johnny Storm (the Human Torch); and later they would use these powers to fight against evil, most of the time villains who want to conquer or destroy the world. Dr. Doom, the Mole Man, the Krulls (aliens), the Miracle Man, and the Puppet-Master are dangerous villains who attempt to be masters of the world, although there is the FF to impede this from happening. The Sub-Mariner also becomes their enemy albeit his anger against the human race is justified because of the destruction of his own people.

The FF's struggle with their villains is characterized by fast-paced action; humor (the Thing and the Human Torch taunt each other, and where the Invisible Girl causes an accident); and perhaps, a little bit of romance (strong feelings going on between Susan Storm and the Sub-Mariner, and a romance between the The Thing and a blind girl named Alicia). Lee does attempt to add realism to the FF stories by creating inner-conflicts within the heroes: Ben Grimm's inability to control his temper leads him into many fights with the Human Torch; and at one point the FF is pursued by debt collectors because the team can't pay their bills (see The End of the Fantastic Four, December 1962). Yet, there are many encounters with funny-looking aliens (the Krulls and Kurrgo) technologies that reduce beings into nothingness and allow people to switch into other bodies (see The Return of Dr.
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