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August 8, 2011


Modern Marvel Comics Turns 50 Years Old Today

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Mark Evanier says that Fantastic Four #1 hit the stands 50 years ago today, and I certainly believe him when he says things like that. The Stan Lee and Jack Kirby effort, distinguished by its blending of genres and Kirby's raw, powerful and accessible art, kick-started one of the great sustained creative efforts in comics history: the Marvel superhero books of the early to mid/late 1960s. Fantastic Four itself would become one of the line's twin flagships and the initial run featuring Lee and Kirby is frequently placed on Best-Of all-time lists. I personally think it the finest superhero comic of all time, particularly an astonishing run of creative energy, character creation and consistently powerful art the title enjoyed from 1965 to 1967.

While it's painful but necessary given events this summer to remember that Jack Kirby did not as fully participate as he might have in the eventual rewards that have been showered on Marvel-published creations he played a tremendous, crucial part breathing to life, I think it's also always a positive to take a moment and think of Marvel's best books not as eventual high-concepts in the making to be exploited by other media but as extremely well-executed, vibrant and flat-out fun comic books.
 
posted 12:45 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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