Fantastic Four documentary (Jack Kirby art)

Fantastic Four documentary (Jack Kirby art)


♪♪♪ [ Fanfare ] IN THE EARLY ’50s WE DID
A LOT OF WAR STORIES
ABOUT THE KOREAN WAR… AND THE HORROR TREND
WAS VERY BIG THEN. WHAT YOU’D DO IS
YOU’D GO IN THE OFFICE, AND STAN WOULD–
HE’D HAVE A STACK– HE TYPED ON YELLOW
LEGAL PAPER, AND HE WOULD TAKE A STORY
RIGHT OFF THE TOP, AND IT COULD BE
A ROMANCE STORY,
IT COULD BE SCIENCE FICTION, IT COULD BE A WAR STORY,
A WESTERN… AND HE’D GIVE IT TO YA
AND YOU WERE EXPECTED
TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE IT… BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
YOU’RE A PROFESSIONAL. IN THE BEGINNING,
I WAS DOING EVERYTHING… AS FAR AS EDITING
AND ART DIRECTING
AND MOST OF THE WRITING. IT WAS ALL
MY RESPONSIBILITY. I MEAN, I HAD NOBODY
TO BLAME IF A BOOK
DIDN’T SELL, I COULDN’T SAY,
“WELL, CHARLIE DID IT.”
THAT WAS ME. MAYBE THAT’S WHY
I HAD TO GIVE IT
SO MUCH ATTENTION. [ Sinnot ]
YOU’D GO IN AND STAN
WOULD LOOK AT THE WORK… AND HE WOULD TAKE
ANOTHER SCRIPT OFF THE TOP
OF THE PILE, HAND IT TO YOU… SAY, “SEE YOU NEXT FRIDAY,
JOE.” AND THAT’S HOW IT WORKED
ALL THE TIME, YOU KNOW. [ Lee ]
ONE DAY, MY PUBLISHER
AT THE TIME, MARTIN GOODMAN, SAID, “YOU KNOW, STAN,
I WAS PLAYING GOLF… WITH THE PUBLISHER
OF THE D.C. BOOKS”– ALTHOUGH IN THOSE DAYS
IT WAS CALLED “NATIONAL
COMICS”– “AND HE WAS TELLING ME
THAT THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
IS SELLING VERY WELL.” AND HE SAID TO ME,
“WHY DON’T WE DO A BOOK
ABOUT A TEAM OF SUPERHEROES?” AND I FIGURED, “OKAY.”
HOWEVER, AT THAT TIME, I WAS THINKING OF QUITTING
THE COMPANY… BECAUSE I HAD BEEN DOING
COMICS THERE FOR, I DON’T KNOW,
20 YEARS, WHATEVER IT WAS… AND I FELT I WASN’T
GETTING ANYWHERE. I WASN’T VERY PROUD
ABOUT WHAT I WAS WRITING. SO, I WAS ABOUT TO QUIT, AND MY WIFE SAID TO ME,
AFTER HE TOLD ME TO DO
THAT TEAM OF HEROES, SHE SAID, “YOU KNOW, STAN,
YOU’RE THINKING OF QUITTING
ANYWAY, “BEFORE YOU DO, WHY DON’T
YOU DO THE BOOK MARTIN WANTS, “BUT WHY DON’T YOU DO IT
YOUR WAY? THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN,
HE’LL FIRE YOU,
AND YOU WANNA QUIT.” SO, I FIGURED,
“WHY NOT?” ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT HAD ALWAYS BOTHERED ME
ABOUT THE NORMAL COMICS, BEFORE THE FANTASTIC FOUR
AND BEFORE WE BECAME MARVEL, I ALWAYS FELT MOST
OF THE CHARACTERS
ARE ONE-DIMENSIONAL. WHOEVER THE HERO WAS,
WHETHER IT WAS CAPTAIN
AMERICA OR ANYBODY, THEY’D SAY, “OH, THERE’S
SOMEBODY DOING SOMETHING WRONG. I’D BETTER STOP ‘EM
BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT.” I MEAN, IT WAS NOTHIN’. I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEIR
PERSONAL LIVES WERE. HOW DID THEY MAKE A LIVING?
HOW DID THEY FEEL
ABOUT LIFE IN GENERAL? WHAT WERE THEIR PHILOSOPHIES?
NOTHING. “HEY, THERE’S A BAD GUY.
I’D BETTER CATCH HIM.” THAT WAS THE EXTENT OF IT. [ Man ]
‘CAUSE STAN WAS NOT HIDING
WHAT HE WAS DOING. HE WAS GIVING HIS CHARACTERS
PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION. HE WAS MAKING THEM
ROUNDER AND ROUNDER PEOPLE. THESE WERE PEOPLE
WITH PROBLEMS,
WITH MISGIVINGS. LIKE, “I CAN RUN
THOROUGH A BRICK WALL,
BUT DO I WANT TO… AND, SO WHAT?” YOU KNOW, “SO, MY FRIEND
CAN’T RUN THROUGH A BRICK WALL,
BUT HE’S GOT A HAPPY MARRIAGE.” – THAT KIND OF STUFF.
– [ Lee ] I TRIED TO DO
A TEAM OF HEROES… THAT WOULD BE A LITTLE
DIFFERENT THAN WE EXPECTED. FIRST OF ALL, IT MADE THEM
MORE LIKE A FAMILY. I’M TRYIN’ TO MAKE THEM
SOUND LIKE GUYS… SITTIN’ AROUND
THE KITCHEN TABLE
HAVING BREAKFAST. INSTEAD OF HAVING
A FORMAL MEETING… IN A HUGE HALL
OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, HE’D HAVE THE GUYS
PUTTIN’ THEIR FEET UP… AND, YOU KNOW,
MAYBE SOMEBODY… SOAKING HIS FEET
IN A TUB OF HOT WATER. THERE HAD BEEN A COMIC BOOK
A MILLION YEARS AGO… CALLED PLASTIC MAN… AND THE CHARACTER
COULD STRETCH, BUT IT WAS A HUMOROUS
TYPE OF THING, BUT I ALWAYS FELT
THAT WOULD BE GREAT
FOR A SERIOUS HERO. SO, I THOUGHT I’D GIVE
OUR HERO THE ABILITY
TO STRETCH, BUT NOT WANTING HIM
JUST TO BE A COPY
OF SOMETHING, I FELT HE’LL ALSO BE
THE GREATEST,
SMARTEST SCIENTIST… ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, AND TO MAKE HIM, AGAIN,
NOT A CLICHÉ,
NOT A TYPICAL GUY, I FIGURED HE’LL BE
THE MOST BORING HUMAN BEING
IN THE WORLD. A LITTLE BIT LIKE ME–
HE TALKS TOO MUCH.
HE USES BIG WORDS, AND THE OTHERS,
ESPECIALLY THE THING, WILL ALWAYS BE SAYING,
“WILL YOU SHUT UP!” SO, I THOUGHT
THAT WOULD BE FUN. AND THE GIRL, AGAIN,
I DIDN’T MAKE HER
JUST A HELPLESS FEMALE, I TRIED TO GIVE HER
A SUPERPOWER. I MADE HER INVISIBLE–
SHE COULD TURN INVISIBLE– WHICH WAS REALLY AWFUL
‘CAUSE IN LATER YEARS… WHEN THE ARTISTS WERE
DRAWING HER SO SEXY-LOOKING, IT WAS A SHAME
TO MAKE HER INVISIBLE. AND I ALSO GAVE HER
A FORCE FIELD
THAT SHE COULD HAVE, SO I HAD FUN WITH THAT. THEN I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. SO INSTEAD OF ANOTHER
HANDSOME, COMPETENT,
GREAT GUY, I THOUGHT, “I’M GONNA DO
A SEMI-MONSTER.” I’LL GET A GUY
WHO’S REALLY UGLY– BUT HE’S GOOD, BUT HE’S ALWAYS FIGHTING
WITH THE OTHERS
OR ARGUING WITH THE OTHERS. YEARS AGO, WE HAD
A CHARACTER CALLED
THE HUMAN TORCH. IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST
OF MARTIN GOODMAN’S
SUPERHEROES. HE HAD BEEN AN ANDROID
AND AN ADULT, BUT I DECIDED TO USE THAT POWER,
SO TO SPEAK, THE FLAME POWER, AND LET THE HEROINE’S BROTHER,
YOUNGER BROTHER,
HAVE THAT POWER. SO HE BECAME
THE HUMAN TORCH, BUT, AGAIN, IN AN EFFORT
TO BE ORIGINAL, HE DIDN’T PARTICULARLY
WANT TO BE A HERO. HE WANTED TO DRIVE
HIS CORVETTE
AND GO OUT WITH GIRLS. HE WAS LIKE ME
AT A YOUNGER AGE. SO, I HAD NO TROUBLE
WRITING HIM. IN FACT, I HAD
NO TROUBLE WRITING ANY OF THEM. AFTER THE FIRST
FIVE MINUTES, I FELT I KNEW THEM AS WELL
AS I KNEW MY OWN FAMILY. I DON’T THINK MOST READERS
REALIZED WHAT THEY WERE
ACCEPTING, BUT STAN GAVE IT A PERSONALITY–
ALMOST EVERYTHING
GOT A PERSONALITY. HE KEPT EVERYTHING TO
A MINIMUM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. THAT WAS THE ONE GOOD THING
ABOUT DOING A STORY
THAT STAN DID. AND A LOT OF WRITERS, YOU KNOW, NOT THAT
I’M CRITICIZING THEM, BUT THEY THINK THEY’RE
WRITING WAR AND PEACE
OR SOMETHING. WHEREAS STAN KNEW IT WAS
A COMIC BOOK, AND HE WANTED
TO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE. THE MARVEL STYLE
OF WORKING WITH THE ARTIST, IS, I THINK, WHAT MADE
THE BOOKS AS GOOD AS THE WERE. YOU SEE, I WAS
INCREDIBLY LUCKY. I WAS WORKING WITH ARTISTS
WHO WERE GENIUSES. I MEAN, JACK KIRBY,
STEVE DITKO, JOHN ROMITA, JOHN BUSCEMA,
GIL KANE, GENE COLAN– AND I’M
FORGETTING A DOZEN MORE. THESE GUYS, NOT ONLY
WERE GREAT ARTISTS, BUT THEY WERE GREAT
STORYTELLERS. [ Sinnot ]
JACK WAS THE BEST CARTOONIST. LIKE, WE TALKED BEFORE
ABOUT BUSCEMA AND COLAN,
ROMITA AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT– I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT
MARVEL GUYS, NOW, THAT REALLY WERE
GREAT DRAFTSMAN. SOMEONE LIKE JACK KIRBY
COULD NOT DRAW
AN UNINTERESTING PANEL. IF IT WAS JUST A PERSON
LOOKING OFF INTO SPACE, HE WOULD MAKE HIS EXPRESSION
SO DRAMATIC, THAT YOU ENJOYED
LOOKING AT HIS FACE. BUT MORE THAN THAT, JACK–
AND ALL OF THE GUYS– JACK HAD A GREAT
INNATE SENSE OF STORY. SO, I DIDN’T HAVE TO WRITE
A COMPLETE SCRIPT. IN THE BEGINNING,
AND ALL THE TIME, REALLY, I COULD SAY TO JACK,
“YOU KNOW, I WANT THIS NEXT
STORY TO FEATURE DOCTOR DOOM. “IN THE BEGINNING, I WANT
TO START WITH DOCTOR DOOM… “AND HE’S LOOKIN’ AT PICTURES
OF SUE STORM… “AND HE’S FALLING
IN LOVE WITH HER… “AND HE FIGURES, ‘REED RICHARDS
DOESN’T DESERVE HER! “I’M GONNA GET HER
FOR MY OWN.’ I WANT HIM TO COME
TO NEW YORK, KIDNAP
SUE STORM, TAKE–” AND, YOU KNOW, I WOULD
JUST TELL HIM WHAT I WANTED
THE STORY TO BE, BUT I WOULDN’T
WRITE IT OUT FOR HIM. JACK WOULD GO HOME AND DRAW
WHAT I HAD TOLD HIM, IN ABOUT 20 OR 22 PAGES–
WHATEVER THE LENGTH
WAS THEN– BUT HE WOULD ADD
MANY, MANY IDEAS
OF HIS OWN… THAT I HAD NEVER MENTIONED
AND THEY WERE ALWAYS GOOD. JACK REALLY INTERPRETED IT
THE WAY IT SHOULD HAVE
BEEN DONE, YOU KNOW? IT WAS– THAT’S WHAT
MADE THE STORIES. I’D LIKE TO SEE THE NOTES,
THE SCRIPT, ON THIS– SEE, I DON’T HAVE THE SCRIPT–
WHAT THAT ONE PAGE SAID. NOW DID STAN SAY, “JACK, SHOW
THE THING HOLDING UP AN OLD
APARTMENT BUILDING IN NEW YORK, AND HAVE THE PEOPLE
CHEERING HIM ON.” THAT’S ALL STAN
HAD TO SAY TO JACK,
YOU KNOW? AND TO KNOCK HIMSELF OUT
WITH A PAGE LIKE THAT. HE COULD’VE DONE IT
A HUNDRED DIFFERENT WAYS
A LOT SIMPLER, BUT THAT’S GREAT. OF COURSE, THEY ARE STAN’S
CAPTIONS, SO YOU GOTTA GIVE
STAN CREDIT THERE. THEY’RE FUNNY. I’D GET THE PAGES BACK, AND IT MADE IT
SO INTERESTING FOR ME, ‘CAUSE A LOT OF THE STUFF,
I ALMOST DIDN’T KNOW
WHAT WAS HAPPENING, ‘CAUSE I HADN’T
SUGGESTED IT, BUT I HAD TO FIGURE IT OUT… AND I HAD TO WRITE COPY TO
INCORPORATE IT PERFECTLY, AND IT WAS ALWAYS SO GOOD,
THAT I LOVED WRITING THE COPY. IT WAS A WONDERFUL
WAY OF WORKING, AND I HONESTLY FEEL– GETTING BACK, LET’S SAY,
JUST TO THE FANTASTIC FOUR– I DON’T THINK
THE FANTASTIC FOUR… WOULD’VE BEEN QUITE
AS POPULAR… IF JACK HADN’T
BEEN THE GUY DRAWING IT, BECAUSE COMICS ARE
A TWO-WAY THING, THEY’RE STORY
AND THEY’RE ARTWORK. I DID STORY.
JACK DID ARTWORK, AND THEY JUST FIT
SO BEAUTIFULLY TOGETHER… THAT IT WAS GREAT. IN FACT, I THINK I STAYED
WITH THE BOOK FOR MORE
THAN A HUNDRED ISSUES. SO DID JACK. I REALLY THINK
WE WERE A TERRIFIC TEAM. IT WAS AN AMAZING PERIOD
BECAUSE EVERY MONTH– WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD
THINK OF A GUY TRAVELING
THROUGH SPACE ON A SURFBOARD? IF I’D HAVE HAD THE THOUGHT.
IF I’D HAVE HAD… THE IMAGINATION TO THINK OF IT,
I WOULD’VE DISCOUNTED IT
IMMEDIATELY. I WOULDN’T HAVE SAID,
“NO. THAT’S SILLY.” HE MADE IT NOT ONLY NOT SILLY,
HE MADE IT BELIEVABLE,
HE MADE IT– AND THEY BUILT A CHARACTER
OUT OF WHAT I CONSIDER
A THROWAWAY THOUGHT– A THOUGHT YOU SHOULD DISMISS. I CAME UP WITH THIS CHARACTER,
“GALACTUS.” I WANTED SOMEBODY WHO WAS
LIKE A DEMIGOD… AND WHO ACTUALLY
DESTROYED PLANETS. THEN I WAS GONNA BRING HIM
TO EARTH AND THE FANTASTIC FOUR
WOULD HAVE TO FIGHT HIM. I TOLD JACK, ROUGHLY,
WHAT I WANTED THE STORY
TO BE. WHEN JACK BROUGHT
THE DRAWINGS IN TO ME, THERE WAS SOME NUT
ON A FLYING SURFBOARD– IT LOOKED LIKE A NAKED GUY
ON A FLYING SURFBOARD. I SAID, “WHO’S THAT?”
AND JACK SAID, “WELL, I FIGURED SOMEBODY
AS POWERFUL AS YOU WANT
GALACTUS TO BE, “HE SHOULD HAVE A HERALD
WHO FLIES AHEAD OF HIM, TO FIND THE PLANETS.” I THOUGHT THAT WAS
A WONDERFUL IDEA, AND THAT WAS A PERFECT INSTANCE
OF JACK ADDING SOMETHING,
AND I LOVED IT WHEN HE DID. I’LL GIVE YOU A THOUSAND
EDITORS FOR THE LAST
HUNDRED YEARS, AND YOU TELL ME HOW MANY
OF THEM WOULD HAVE
ACCEPTED THE SILVER SURFER– NOT ONLY ACCEPTED IT,
BUT FLOURISHED WITH IT, BUT RAN WITH THE BALL,
RAN INTERFERENCE FOR IT, WROTE THE DAMNEDEST DIALOGUE
AND CAPTIONS BASED
ON THAT CRAZY PREMISE. JACK ONLY THOUGHT OF HIM
AS A HERALD, AND WE’D USE HIM
ONCE OR TWICE AND LET HIM GO, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING
ABOUT THE WAY JACK
DREW THIS CHARACTER, WHO I ENDED UP CALLING
“THE SILVER SURFER,” THAT LOOKED SO NOBLE
AND SO HEROIC, AND ALMOST TRAGIC. I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM… AND I SAID,
“I WANNA USE THIS GUY.
I WANNA USE HIM A LOT.” AND THEY DID FIVE YEARS… OF THAT STUFF
BASED ON A CRAZY IDEA… AND STAN NOT ONLY WAS
ALLOWING IT,
HE WAS COMPLICIT IN IT. HE ACCEPTED IT.
IT WAS JUST TO ME– IT WAS LIKE THE “GOLDEN AGE.”
IT WAS LIKE I WAS ALIVE
WITH MICHELANGELO AND LEONARDO. THESE GUYS WERE COMIN’
UP WITH STUFF THAT WAS
WAY, WAY OUT OF THE NORMAL. [ Romita ] WE HAD HEARD
RUMBLINGS ABOUT THE FACT
THAT JACK WAS NOT HAPPY. WE WERE HOPIN’ IT WOULDN’T
HAPPEN, BUT WE SORT OF
KNEW IT WAS COMIN’. AND IT WAS TERRIBLE,
BECAUSE WHEN THAT HAPPENED, I JUST– I DIDN’T KNOW
WHAT THE HELL WAS GONNA HAPPEN
WITH MARVEL. I WAS SAYIN’, “THIS IS CRAZY.”
IT’S LIKE LOSING YOUR– YOU’VE GOT AN EIGHT-CYLINDER
CAR AND YOU’VE LOST SIX
CYLINDERS. [ Laughs ]
“HOW ARE WE GONNA GET UPHILL?”
I THOUGHT AFTER THAT. I RAN INTO STAN AND SAID,
“WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO
WITH FANTASTIC FOUR… AND WHO CAN EVEN
THINK THAT WAY?” WHEN I WENT IN AND ASKED HIM
“ARE WE GONNA DROP
FANTASTIC FOUR?” HE SAID, “NO, YOU’LL DO IT.”
AND I SAID, “WHAT ARE YOU
CRAZY?” I SAID, “I’M TELLIN’ YOU I THINK
NOBODY CAN DO IT, AND YOU’RE
TELLIN’ ME I’M GONNA DO IT. I’M THE WRONG GUY
TO GO TO.” AND HE SAID, “OF COURSE
YOU CAN DO IT. DON’T WORRY
ABOUT IT.” AND, SO, I STRUGGLED
THROUGH FOUR ISSUES,
BUT I WAS PRAYING. JOHN BUSCEMA WAS THE ANSWER
TO MY PRAYERS. I DIDN’T START OUT
SUDDENLY ON A HIT SERIES, I STARTED OUT DOING
BACKUP STORIES FOR… “WEIRD-MYSTERY-PSYCHO TALES,” OR WHATEVER–
I DON’T REMEMBER THE TITLE– BUT I WANTED TO BE LIKE
JACK KIRBY. I WANTED
TO DO IT ALL. SO, I DIDN’T CARE IF IT
WAS THE LIVING MUMMY
OR A VAMPIRE, I WAS GONNA DO IT UP,
WHATEVER IT IS. [ Wolfman ]
I HAD WANTED DESPERATELY
TO DO THE FANTASTIC FOUR, BECAUSE IT WAS
MY FAVORITE COMIC. I KEPT THINKING,
“I GOTTA DO THIS BOOK.” THEN I GOT IT AND REALIZED
I COULDN’T BE JACK, YOU KNOW? [ Laughter ] AS A WRITER, I DIDN’T–
I ENJOYED IT. I TRIED TO KEEP IT, UM,
GOING. I TRIED TO COME UP
WITH AS MANY DIFFERENT
THINGS AS I COULD, BUT IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT. I REMEMBER CONSCIOUSLY,
SINCE I HAD WORKED… WITH ANOTHER ARTIST,
RICH BUCKLER, WHO WAS
TRYING TO EMULATE KIRBY, I WAS TRYING TO AVOID
DOING JACK KIRBY, BUT YOU CAN’T DO
FANTASTIC FOUR WITHOUT
DOING IT JACK KIRBY’S WAY. THAT’S AN INCREDIBLY
HARD BOOK TO DO
WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO… FOLLOW, AS WE HAD TO
BACK THEN,
THE STYLE OF A BOOK. WE WEREN’T GIVEN THE LEEWAY
THAT PEOPLE HAVE TODAY TO DO
SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT. I’M NOT EVEN SURE
I COULD HAVE. I WANTED THAT FEEL
OF JACK KIRBY.
I WANTED THAT EXCITEMENT, BECAUSE, SEE, FOR ME,
THIS WAS A CHANCE
TO BE A SUPER FAN. OKAY? AND RELIVE WHAT MADE ME
WANT TO GET INTO COMICS
IN THE FIRST PLACE. [ Perez ] WITH INKER,
JOE SINNOT, NOT ONLY DID IT
KEEP A JACK KIRBY FEEL, DESPITE, SOMETIMES,
MY EFFORTS NOT TO, UH, WHEN STAN LEE
SAW MY ISSUE, HE CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE
‘CAUSE HE HAD ASSUMED… THAT IT WAS EITHER JOHN BUSCEMA
OR JOHN ROMITA, THE TWO ARTISTS
WHO FOLLOWED JACK KIRBY,
DRAWING THE BOOK, AND SEEING THIS STRANGE,
UNKNOWN NAME DRAWING THE BOOK, HE WAS HAPPY WITH WHAT I DID. THANKFULLY, WITH INKER,
JOE SINNOT, MAKING ME LOOK
EVEN BETTER, I ENDED UP DOING A FEW MORE
ISSUES OF FANTASTIC FOUR
AND HAD A TIME. THE F.F. IS STILL THE F.F.
IT’S THE BEGINNING. THIS IS THE REASON
THERE’S A MARVEL UNIVERSE. IT’S ALWAYS FUN,
BECAUSE WE ALL GREW UP– IF YOU ASK ANYBODY FROM
OUR GENERATION AND PROBABLY
THE GENERATION AFTER OURS, NAME THE BEST COMIC BOOK
RUN IN HISTORY, IT’S THAT
MIDDLE-’60’s F.F. IT’S THE COMING OF GALACTUS
AND THE SILVER SURFER
AND THE INHUMANS… [ Wolfman ] ABSOLUTELY. AND THE BLACK PANTHER… AND “THIS MAN, THIS MONSTER,”
A SIMPLE ONE-STORY ISSUE THAT
TORE EVERYBODY’S HEART OUT. THIS IS THE BEST RUN
OF COMICS EVER. A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE ASK,
“DID THEY TELL YOU
TO DRAW LIKE JACK KIRBY?” WELL, IN A WAY.
SEE, JACK WAS THE STANDARD. HE HAD ALL THOSE
STORYTELLING PRINCIPLES
WORKED OUT. WORK WITH THE OPPOSITES.
VARY THE SIZES OF THE FIGURES. KEEP THE EXCITEMENT
ON THE PAGE.
KEEP THE STORY ROLLING. AND, SO, ALL OF US
WERE INFLUENCED AND AFFECTED
AND INTIMIDATED… BY TRYING TO WORK
ON THAT KIND OF STUFF. WHICH IS, ACTUALLY,
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM, I THINK WE WERE
ALL TOO INTIMIDATED
BY IT… ‘CAUSE IT WAS SO
BRILLIANTLY CONCEIVED. NOBODY HAD EVER DONE
COMICS LIKE THAT BEFORE. THERE WAS NOT THAT MUCH
IMAGINATION IN SUPERHERO
COMICS BEFORE. THE TYPICAL STORY WAS
LOIS LANE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
WHO SUPERMAN WAS. THERE WEREN’T THESE
BIG, COSMIC EVENTS
WITH CHARACTERS… THAT NOBODY COULD HAVE
DREAMED EVER EXISTED. AND THEY KEPT COMING,
AND THEY KEPT COMING, AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE
IN THIS INCREDIBLE BOOK, AND THEY WERE
SO CHARACTER-DRIVEN
AT THE SAME TIME, MM-HMM. AS OPPOSED TO THE STANDARD
COMICS YOU HAD SEEN. SINCE JACK’S PASSING,
STYLES CHANGING, FANTASTIC FOUR ITSELF
HAS DEVELOPED A DIFFERENT
STYLISTIC APPEARANCE, BUT, IN THOSE DAYS, NO MATTER WHO DID
THE FANTASTIC FOUR, WE WERE DOING JACK’S
CHARACTERS. [ Wolfman ]
I REALLY LOVE THE CHARACTERS.
BEN IS JUST A GREAT CHARACTER. SUB-MARINER, ALL OF THOSE
CHARACTERS, ARE REALLY GOOD. SOME OF THE F.F.
ARE A LITTLE BORING
ON THEIR OWN, BUT WHEN YOU MIX THEM
TOGETHER, THEY COME ALIVE, WHICH IS, BY THE WAY,
THE BEST THING ABOUT
A GROUP BOOK. EACH CHARACTER MAY NOT
BE ABLE TO EXIST ON THEIR OWN, BUT AS A TEAM,
THEY’RE UNBEATABLE. THE ONLY THING MISSING
WAS STAN LEE WRITING IT. BUT WE’RE GONNA ROCK.
IT’S GONNA BE COOL. I’M
GONNA DRAW LIKE JACK KIRBY– MAYBE, NOT EXACTLY–
I DON’T THINK LIKE HIM
EXACTLY. I COULD PLAY. I COULD
PRETEND I’M JACK KIRBY. – I HAD SO MUCH FUN WITH IT.
– WHEN I WAS YOUNG,
I FAKED A LOT. I WAS SO EXCITED
TO BE DRAWING COMICS. MY GOD, I WAS GETTING
MY CHILDHOOD DREAM
AT A VERY YOUNG AGE. I WOULD PRODUCE EVERYTHING
THAT THEY HANDED TO ME. I WAS DOING THREE-AND-A-HALF
BOOKS A MONTH. BUT IN DOING THAT,
A LOT OF SHORTCUTS
WERE TAKEN. SINCE I HAD NO FORMAL
ART TRAINING, THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS
THAT I LOOK AT NOW AND SAY, “I SHOULD’VE BEEN ABLE
TO DRAW THAT BETTER.” PEOPLE OVERLOOK THIS.
YOU DON’T START OUT
IN A BUSINESS LIKE THIS. YOU’RE IN YOUR EARLY 20’s.
YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. YOU DON’T KNOW HARDLY
ANYTHING. YOU’RE LEARNING. AND YOU’RE LEARNING
AT A TREMENDOUSLY FAST RATE. YOU LEARN BY IMITATION. HOPEFULLY, YOU TRANSCEND
AS YOU GO ALONG. ONE OF THE DIFFERENCES
IN COMIC ART THAN
ANY OTHER ART FORM, IS STORYTELLING. EVEN THOUGH MY BASIC
DRAWING SKILLS
STILL NEEDED DEVELOPMENT, ONE OF THINGS I LEARNED
FROM READING COMICS,
PARTICULARLY THE MARVEL COMICS, AS DONE BY JACK, IS STORYTELLING AND POWER. IF YOU CAN TELL A STORY
WITH A HEAVY DOSE
OF DYNAMISM, THE DRAWING WILL COME. MARV WOLFMAN USED TO
ALWAYS SAY THAT.
“THE DRAWING WILL COME.” STORYTELLING IS SOMETHING
THAT MAKES OR BREAKS
A COMIC BOOK ARTIST. YOU HAD TO KNOW, REALLY, BECAUSE THE MARVEL UNIVERSE,
THE STORY LINES, THEY DIDN’T ALL HAVE TO
INTEGRATE SO CLOSELY, BUT IT SEEMED LIKE
WHAT HAPPENED
TO ONE CHARACTER… AFFECTED A LOT
OF THE OTHER CHARACTERS. YOU HAD TO KNOW
ALL OF THE CHARACTERS. MOST OF THE OTHER WRITERS
I WORKED WITH, UM, LEN WEIN WAS THE ONE
I WORKED WITH THE LONGEST. I ALSO WORKED WITH JERRY CONWAY,
BUT LEN WAS ALWAYS GREAT
WITH NEW IDEAS, NEW CHARACTERS PLAYING OFF
CONCEPTS THAT ALREADY
EXISTED. ONE OF THE THINGS
I FINALLY GOT TO, AFTER
ABOUT SIX OR SEVEN ISSUES, WAS TO BREAK UP
THE TEAM FOR AWHILE. I ACTUALLY WAS GOING TO DO
A YEAR OF, “WELL, LET’S SEE
HOW THEY OPERATE”… WHEN THEY’RE NOT SUPPORTING
EACH OTHER, WHEN THEY DON’T
HAVE THAT SUPPORT GROUP. [ Pérez ]
WHEN WE DID THE RESIGNATION
OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR, OF COURSE IT WAS A BIG STORY
AT THE TIME. IT WAS DARING. OBVIOUSLY,
LEN WEIN WANTED TO EXPERIMENT… WITH WHAT THE DYNAMICS
OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR
WAS LIKE… WHEN THESE CHARACTERS
HAD TO BE ON THEIR OWN. [ Wein ]
JUST TO PLAY
WITH THE DYNAMIC… TO MAKE THEM REALIZE
THEY NEEDED TO LIVE TOGETHER
AND BE TOGETHER. I DON’T RECALL WHAT CAUSED
THE FRICTION, BUT THEY
GOT TO THE POINT… WHERE, “THAT’S IT. I’M TIRED
OF WORKING WITH YOU.” IT GAVE US A CHANCE TO TRY
STORIES THAT COULD JUST FOCUS
ON ONE CHARACTER. I WAS GONNA DO SOAP OPERAS,
IN ESSENCE. I WAS GOING TO DO ISSUES
WHERE EVERY ISSUE STARRED
ONE OF THE FOUR. I WAS PROBABLY GONNA DO EIGHT,
NINE ISSUES– A COUPLE EACH. BUT THIS IDEA OF HAVING THEM
SPLITTING UP, HAVING THEM
RESIGN, WAS A VERY DARING MOVE
ON LEN’S PART. EACH ISSUE YOU WOULD CUT TO
THE OTHERS AND START SETTING UP
WHAT THEIR NEXT STORY WOULD BE. EACH ONE REALIZING
THEY WERE NOT COMPLETE
WITHOUT THE OTHERS. WHEN I DID THE FANTASTIC FOUR,
THE CHALLENGE WAS– WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS
OF MY ABILITY AT THE TIME– HOW TO MAKE THEM
INDIVIDUAL FROM EACH OTHER. WHAT ABOUT JOHNNY STORM’S
FACE WAS DIFFERENT
FROM REED’S FACE… OTHER THAN THEIR HAIR? IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO GET
THE KNACK OF THAT, SO THAT’S
PROBABLY WHY– I APPRECIATE THAT JOE SINNOT
TOOK CARE OF A LOT OF THAT
AFTERWARDS– IT MADE IT A BOOK THAT WASN’T
QUITE AS SATISFYING
IN THE BEGINNING, MORE BECAUSE OF MY FLAWS… AND LACKING… AND MY ARTISTIC ABILITIES
AT THE TIME. I LOOK AT IT NOW SAYING,
“I GAVE IT THE BEST
I COULD DO AT THE TIME.” I’M NOT ASHAMED OF MY OLDER
WORK, BUT THERE WERE THINGS
THAT WERE BEYOND ME AT THE TIME. MY LIMITATIONS WERE STILL
MY BIGGEST DOWNFALL. OF COURSE, I WAS 20 YEARS OLD
WHEN I STARTED DRAWING
FANTASTIC FOUR. IT’S A REALLY DIFFICULT BOOK
AND I’M SO HAPPY I WROTE IT, BUT IT’S MORE FUN
TO READ. WHAT I REMEMBER
ABOUT THE F.F., OR
MY RUN ON THE F.F.– FIRST, I SAID, “NO,”
WHEN I WAS ASKED. I SAID, “I DON’T FEEL
MY STUFF IS RIGHT.” BECAUSE WHEN SHOOTER ASKED ME
IT WAS SORT OF VERY SUDDENLY. I THINK THAT… BUSCEMA WAS TAKEN OFF IT
OR SOMETHING HAPPENED. I DON’T REALLY REMEMBER,
BUT IT WAS PRETTY MUCH, LIKE,
IN THE MOMENT. IT WAS LIKE, “YOU WANNA
DO THE F.F.?” I SAID, “NO.”
I SAID, “NO.” HE SAID, “MAYBE YOU DIDN’T
HEAR ME. LET ME ASK YOU
THIS AGAIN.” HE WAS LIKE,
“YOU WANNA DO THE F.F.?” I SAID, “OH! OF COURSE.
OF COURSE I DO, JIM.” IT WAS LIKE, “LOOK, WE’LL
COVER ALL THE BASES. “DON’T WORRY ABOUT DOING
THE THING’S BLOCKS
OR HIS SHAPES. WE GOT ALL THAT COVERED.” ‘CAUSE I SAID, “HOW ARE WE
GONNA DEAL WITH THIS
STYLISTICALLY?” THIS WAS BEFORE I MADE
ANY KIND OF STYLISTIC CHANGES. IT WAS STILL IN THAT SORT OF
NEAL ADAMS PHASE. SO, THE CHARACTER–
MY CHOICES… WERE NOT WHAT I CONSIDERED
THE FANTASTIC FOUR TO BE… BUT IT WAS INTERESTING TRYING
‘CAUSE JOE SINNOT… HAD SO MUCH TO DO
WITH SORT OF… THE SEAMLESS LOOK
OF THE SERIES
THROUGH THE YEARS. THE ONE THING THAT REALLY
HELPED, THOUGH, IS THAT… IT FORCED ME TO GET FAST… AND IT FORCED ME TO BE REALLY
VERY ECONOMICAL… WITH THE LINES I PUT DOWN. THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS
I LEARNED FROM JOHN BUSCEMA
AS WELL. BUT THE ISSUES THAT I DID,
I KIND OF SEE THEM
AS ALMOST A BLIP… ON THE SORT OF BIG SCREEN
OF THE F.F. I MEAN, I’M PROUD
TO HAVE BEEN PART OF THAT, IN TERMS OF ANY KIND
OF RUN AT ALL, BUT I WISH… UM, WE HAD BEEN ABLE TO DO
THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. I MEAN, UM, IF I WERE TO CHOOSE
A RUN TO DO, LIKE, THAT WOULD NOT
BE MY IDEA OF THE RUN
TO THINK OF. I MEAN, I WOULD’VE LOVED
TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DEAL… WITH SOME OF THE ACTUAL
REAL CHARACTERS. I FEEL LIKE–
YOU KNOW WHAT IT WAS? IT WAS ALMOST LIKE MY ARTISTIC
RUN ON THAT– I FELT LIKE OUR WORK,
WE WERE A PLACEHOLDER
UNTIL JOHN CAME ON. [ Englehart ]
JOHN BYRNE HAD FINISHED
HIS LONG RUN, AND, THEN, I THINK,
ROGER STERN HAD TAKEN IT OVER
FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME, BUT THEY WANTED TO GET
SOMEBODY ON IT LONG-TERM… AND THERE WERE A NUMBER OF US
WHO WERE ASKED, “WHAT WOULD
YOU DO WITH THE CHARACTER?” AND THEY PICKED ME,
AND, YOU KNOW, SO THAT’S IT. BACK IN THE ’70’s
WHEN I WAS DOIN’ THE HULK, ROY THOMAS WAS WRITING
THE F.F., AND HE CAME TO ME
ONE DAY AND HE SAID, “I’D REALLY LIKE
TO WRITE THE HULK, SO,
YOU WANNA TRADE?” I SAID,
“NO. ACTUALLY, I DON’T.” I MEAN, ‘CAUSE I WAS WORKIN’
WITH HERB TRIMPE… AND I REALLY LIKED
DOING THE HULK
WITH HERB TRIMPE. I SAID, “THE F.F., YOU KNOW,
IT’S LIKE THE KING OF THE BOOKS, BUT I’M HAPPY
DOIN’ THE HULK.” SO, I’D HAD MY OPPORTUNITY
BACK IN THE ’70’s
AND PASSED IT BY, BUT THIS TIME I DID
WANNA DO IT. I DID FEEL I HAD THINGS
I WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH
WITH THE F.F. THEY ARE REED AND SUE
AND BEN AND JOHNNY, BUT, AT THE SAME TIME,
THERE’S ONLY SO MANY
PERMUTATIONS YOU CAN DO… WITH THOSE FOUR PEOPLE,
AND I REALLY FELT… THAT BY THE TIME I WAS COMIN’
IN THEN IN THE ’80’s,
THAT THEY’D GOTTEN STALE. THAT THEY, YOU KNOW,
HAD LOST THAT SPONTANEITY… BECAUSE THEY’D BECOME
THIS SORT OF BRAND NAME
IN A SENSE. NOT IN A COMMERCIAL
MARVEL MARKETING SENSE, BUT WITHIN THE UNIVERSE,
THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, THEY’D BECOME
THIS SET OF ICONS… RATHER THAN THE HUMAN BEINGS
THAT THEY STARTED OUT TO DO. SO THE FIRST THING
I DID– REED AND SUE
HAD BEEN SAYING
FOR A LONG TIME… THAT THEY WERE GONNA
TAKE TIME OFF
AND RAISE THEIR KID, WHICH SEEMED LIKE
A HUMAN THING TO DO, BUT IT ALSO SEEMED LIKE
THE THING TO DO
FOR THAT SCRIPT. SO, I MEAN, I TOOK
REED AND SUE OUT,
MADE BEN THE LEADER, RECRUITED TWO MORE PEOPLE
TO COME IN BECAUSE
YOU HAVE TO HAVE FOUR. IT PUT THEM BACK.
BY PUTTING BEN IN CHARGE,
PARTICULARLY, IT REALLY PUT THEM BACK
TO BEING… “WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING”
NOW, YOU KNOW? I MEAN, THIS IS ALL NEW,
YOU KNOW? I STILL HAD BEN
AND I STILL HAD THE TORCH, SO IT WAS RECOGNIZABLY
THE FANTASTIC FOUR, BUT IT SHOOK ‘EM OUT
OF THEIR COMPLACENCY
I THOUGHT. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT’S WHAT
I THOUGHT THEY NEEDED,
THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO DO. BUT FROM THE MARKETING PEOPLE’S
STANDPOINT, AND– AND, YOU KNOW,
EDITORIAL AND SO FORTH, THE IDEA WAS,
YOU CAN’T SHAKE THESE
GUYS UP. THEY ARE A BRAND NAME. HOW CAN
WE PUT THEM ON LUNCH BOXES
IF THEY’RE NOT IN THE COMIC? ALL THAT STUFF CAME INTO PLAY.
SO, AFTER A WHILE, I STARTED
BEING TOLD… THAT I NEEDED
TO BRING BACK REED AND SUE. YOU KNOW, IF SOMEBODY
HAD TOLD ME FROM THE START, “YOU MUST DO IT
A CERTAIN WAY,” I THINK I MIGHT
HAVE FOUND THAT DIFFICULT. BUT THE WAY I DID IT,
IT WASN’T DIFFICULT AT ALL. I MEAN, THE F.F. HAVE GOT
THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE
IN THEIR BOOK. WITH THE BLACK PANTHER
AND THE INHUMANS AND– YOU KNOW, THEY’VE GOT
ALL THIS STUFF. I MEAN, YOU COULD PLAY
IN THE F.F. PLAYGROUND FOREVER, IF YOU CAN PLAY WITH IT. I CAME ON WHEN
STEVE WAS ALREADY
ON THE BOOK. AND THE BOOK HAD BEEN
GIVEN TO ME AT THAT TIME. AND, UH, I THINK
TOWARDS THE END, WE BEGAN TO THINK
DIFFERENTLY CREATIVELY
ABOUT THE BOOK. AND SO I LET HIM
FINISH UP ONE STORY LINE… AND WE KIND OF
WENT OUR OWN WAYS. AND I WANTED WALT SIMONSON
BECAUSE ALTHOUGH I DID NOT
PUT HIM ON THOR, I WORKED WITH HIM
FOR A GOOD LONG TIME
ON THOR… WHEN I TOOK OVER
AS EDITOR FROM
MARK GRUENWALD. AND I REALLY RESPECTED
WHAT HE BROUGHT
TO THE COMIC. I HAD DONE A LOT OF WORK
FOR MARVEL BY THAT TIME,
INCLUDING THE WORK ON THOR. AND SOMEWHERE AFTER THAT,
I WAS OFFERED THE AVENGERS. ONE OF THE THINGS I HAD DONE
ON THE AVENGERS WAS… I PUT REED AND SUE, MUCH TO THE HORROR OF
MANY AVENGERS FANS EVERYWHERE,
INTO THE AVENGERS. I HAD DONE IT
BECAUSE AT THAT TIME, THEY
WEREN’T IN THE FANTASTIC FOUR. AND THE WRITER
OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR,
AND I CHECKED WITH HIM, HAD NO PLANS
TO BRING THEM BACK IN. AND I THOUGHT,
THESE ARE GREAT CHARACTERS. THIS WILL MAKE A REALLY
DIFFERENT AVENGERS STORY, GOOD OR BAD, I DON’T KNOW,
BUT I THOUGHT IT WOULD
BE REALLY INTERESTING… TO HAVE CAPTAIN AMERICA
AND MR. FANTASTIC. BOTH ACCUSTOMED TO COMMAND,
BOTH ACCUSTOMED TO
LEADING TEAMS. THEY’RE IN THE SAME TEAM.
HOW IS THAT DOING TO WORK OUT
WITH THE OTHER GUYS? AND WITH SUE, HOW IS THAT
ALL GONNA WORK OUT?
I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE NEAT. I GOT PERMISSION
SIX MONTHS IN ADVANCE
BEFORE I DID MY STORY. GOT TO MY STORY,
AND SUDDENLY THE EDITORIAL
FIAT CAME IN, “OH, BY THE WAY,
WE’RE PUTTING REED AND SUE
BACK IN THE F.F. YOU CAN USE THEM
FOR AN ISSUE.” I SPENT SIX MONTHS
BUILDING UP, AND I THOUGHT, “OKAY, I’M DONE.”
THAT WAS THE STRAW
THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK. I SAID, “I’M THROUGH. I CAN’T
DO THIS AND MAKE ANY SENSE
OUT OF THIS BOOK IN THIS WAY.” THAT WAS FINE.
I WASN’T– THAT WAS
JUST THE WAY IT WAS. AND HE TOLD ME ABOUT
IDEAS HE HAD FOR
THE FANTASTIC FOUR, AND I PUT A LITTLE NOTE
IN THE BACK OF MY MIND
THAT IF IT EVER CAME OPEN, HE WAS A GUY
I WAS DEFINITELY GONNA ASK. THE SECOND I GOT
OFF THE BOOK, OR WITHIN
THREE SECONDS EITHER WAY, THE WRITER ON
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
LEFT THAT BOOK. SO THE MINUTE I WAS OFF
THE AVENGERS, TOLD I
COULDN’T USE REED AND SUE, I WAS OFFERED,
“WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE
AND DRAW THE FANTASTIC FOUR?” WITH REED
AND SUE IN THE BOOK. I SAID,
“OKAY, FINE.” HE BRINGS A CERTAIN
INTELLIGENCE TO ANYTHING
HE WRITES. I DON’T THINK HE EVER
HAS WRITTEN DOWN TO ANYBODY
WHEN HE WRITES A COMIC BOOK. SO, WITH SOME MINOR
REARRANGING AND SOME
CUTTING AND PASTING, AND SOME MAJOR STUFF AS WELL, I STARTED THE FANTASTIC FOUR
WITH A TWO-YEAR PLAN. [ Ralph ]
HE CAME ON THREE ISSUES BEFORE
HE TOOK OVER AS ARTIST-WRITER, HE TOOK OVER AS WRITER. AND, UM, WE WANTED
TO HAVE HIM TAKE OVER
AS ARTIST-WRITER… ON THE VERY SAME ISSUE
THAT HE’D TAKEN OVER THOR. SEE, I DID ABOUT–
I DID IT FOR ABOUT 18 MONTHS,
MAYBE A LITTLE LONGER. BUT THAT’S– I DID THREE ISSUES
THAT I WROTE THAT
OTHER ARTISTS DREW, AND THEN I TOOK
OVER AS THE ARTIST AFTER THAT,
AS WELL AS WRITING IT. SO, I HAD THESE STORIES,
AND I WAS ABLE TO DO THEM,
AND IT WORKED OUT WELL. [ Ralph ] HE KNEW EXACTLY
WHAT HE WANTED TO DO WITH THOSE
CHARACTERS AND WITH THE BOOK. AND IT WAS JUST A PLEASURE
TO LISTEN TO HIM, AND THEN JUST SAY, “GO OFF
AN TAKE CARE OF IT, WALT.
HAVE A GREAT, GREAT TIME.” THE ONLY THING ABOUT THAT BOOK
TO ME, BESIDES JUST BEING FUN– WHEN I DID THOR, TO ME, BECAUSE IT WAS
MYTHOLOGICAL BACKGROUND, THOR KINDA LOOKS
BACK TO THE PAST. IT LOOKS BACK TO
THE MYTHIC PAST. AND THAT’S WHERE
IT DRAWS ITS STRENGTH FROM.
IT ALSO DRAWS IT… BECAUSE STAN AND JACK
DID A LOT OF VERY
WONDERFUL THINGS… PUTTING THE MYTH
AND SCIENCE FICTION TOGETHER. AND IT WAS A NICE, NICE
CONFLICT AND TENSION
BETWEEN… THE SCIENCE FICTION
ON THE ONE HAND
AND THE MYTHOLOGY IN THE OTHER. FANTASTIC FOUR TO ME,
GOES THE OTHER WAY… BECAUSE IT HAS THIS PULP
SCIENCE FICTION BACKGROUND
IN A SENSE. IT LOOKS FORWARD
TO THE FUTURE. AND AT TIME WHEN
THE FUTURE WAS HOPEFUL,
BY AND LARGE. KINDA BEFORE, MAYBE,
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY… WHERE HAL CAN
BUMP OFF AN ASTRONAUT. YOU KNOW, THE OLD
ASIMOV RULES
WHEN THEY STILL APPLIED. AND I TRIED TO REFLECT THAT
IN THE DRAWING… BY USING A LOT
HARDER-EDGED LINES,
A LOT OF CHROMIUM, A LOT OF RULE-STRAIGHT
EDGES I NEVER DID IN THOR. THOR HAS ALL FUR
AND WOOD TEXTURES
AND GRITTY– YOU KNOW, STUFF YOU GET
SPLINTERS TOUCHING.
AND THE FANTASTIC FOUR, YOU COULD SLIDE A FRICTIONLESS
PUCK RIGHT DOWN THAT STUFF
AND IT WOULDN’T GO ANYWHERE. IT WOULD JUST
SHOOT DOWN TO THE END. EVERYBODY THAT COMES
IN TO MARVEL WANTS TO
WRITE THOSE VILLAINS, WANTS TO WRITE
THOSE CHARACTERS, AND STILL FINDS OTHER WAYS
TO, UM– TO SHOW THEM. STILL FINDS POTENTIAL THERE.
THINGS TO MINE. MARVELS WAS A BASIC
ANTHOLOGY-TYPE PROJECT… I WANTED TO CREATE
FOR PAINTERS LIKE MYSELF… TO GET TO DO SHORT STORIES
WITH, UH, THE MARVEL HEROES. IT TRANSFORMED INTO BEING
A LIMITED SERIES… WITH A SPECIFIC SCOPE
AND INTENT… AND THAT WASN’T SHORT STORIES
AS MUCH AS CHAPTERS
TO A LARGE… PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
OF ONE CHARACTER
STANDING IN THE OUTSIDE… VIEWING THE SUPERHEROES
WITH A WAY OF SEEING THEM… WITH FRESH EYES,
THINKING, “IF THEY ARE REAL OR WERE REAL, HOW MIGHT THEY LOOK
IN REALITY?” AND THAT WITH A KIND OF
PAINTED “REINVISIONIST”
VIEW I HAD, I WANTED TO MAKE, SAY,
THE HUMAN TORCH’S FLAMES
SEEM REAL. I WANTED TO MAKE
THE THING LOOK LIKE
THAT CERTAIN KIND OF ROCK. HE’S GOT THIS
SORT OF GRIT TO HIM, AND HE LOOKS LIKE
A THREE-DIMENSIONAL OBJECT–
HE LOOKS REAL. A PROJECT LIKE MARVELS
AND MY CAREER IN COMICS… CAME IN WITH A SENSE OF,
I WAS READY TO DO STORYTELLING, AND I HAS A LOVE FOR
DOING THE NUTS AND BOLTS
OF THE CRAFT. I WASN’T NECESSARILY JUST ABOUT
BEING A COVER ARTIST. AND IT WASN’T ABOUT
JUST DOING A FLY-BY-NIGHT
ONE-OFF PROJECT. ANYTHING THAT I’VE DONE
HAS ONLY BEEN A PART OF
THE LARGER NUMBER… OF BOOKS I’VE LIKED
TO HAVE DONE AND STORIES
I’D LIKE TO TELL WITHIN COMICS. THE JOURNEY OF DOING
ISSUE THREE FOR MARVELS
WAS MORE EXCITING FOR ME… BECAUSE I WAS
GOING TO TOWN… WITH MY OWN
ABILITY TO DO… DRAMATIC LAYOUTS
REINTERPRETING THESE
CLASSIC MOMENTS… FROM THE GALACTUS
STORY WITH THE F.F. THERE WAS THIS SENSE
OF JOURNEYING THROUGH
JACK’S SKIN… THAT I FELT LIKE
I WAS DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT. I FELT LIKE
DURING THAT TIME… THAT EVEN THOUGH
I FIGURED HE MAY NEVER
SEE THIS AND APPRECIATE IT– AND JACK WAS STILL
ALIVE AT THE TIME
I WAS DOING THE SERIES– I HAD SOMEWHAT
OF A BURDEN ON MY SHOULDERS
TO DO THIS JOB WELL. BUT IT WAS A BURDEN
I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT
I WAS JUST LOOKING TO… IMPRESS ANYBODY
AND EVERYBODY WITH HOW MUCH
I COULD SHOW THEM… I’D PAID CLOSE ATTENTION
TO EVERY LITTLE DETAIL
OF THAT STORY. BACK IN ’95,
UH, MARVEL MANAGEMENT
ACTUALLY… CONTACTED ME
AND ROB LIEFELD. UH, WE USED TO
WORK AT MARVEL… AND WE LEFT TO START
OUR OWN COMPANY
CALLED IMAGE COMICS. THEY WANTED US TO COME BACK
AND SORT OF REINVENT SOME
OF THE CLASSIC CHARACTERS. SO, UH, THEY CALLED US
IN FOR A MEETING. THEY SAID, “LOOK, THESE
ARE THE CHARACTERS. ARE YOU INTERESTED
IN REINVENTING THESE?” AND ON THE LIST
WERE THE FANTASTIC FOUR.
AND I SAID, “OF COURSE. THESE ARE FANTASTIC CHARACTERS.
I WOULD LOVE TO WORK ON IT.” AND THAT REALLY STARTED
THE WHOLE HEROES REBORN:
FANTASTIC FOUR PROJECT. THE REALLY COOL THING
ABOUT THE HEROES REBORN:
FANTASTIC FOUR PROJECT WAS… THEY GAVE US
CARTE BLANCHE AND SAID,
“YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.” THE SALES ARE REALLY
NOT WHERE THEY SHOULD BE. AND THE FANTASTIC FOUR
WAS ALWAYS THE FLAGSHIP TITLE
FOR MARVEL COMICS… IN THAT IT WAS
THE FIRST SUPERHERO GROUP. IT, ARGUABLY, WERE SOME OF
THE BEST CHARACTERS. THE CONCEPT IS SO STRONG,
THAT IT’S ALMOST
KIND OF WAITING. THERE HAVE BEEN PERIODS
OF TIME, AS WITH ANY OTHER
COMIC OR ALMOST ANY OTHER
CREATIVE ENDEAVOR… THAT GOES ON
FOR A LONG TIME, IT HAS BEEN STALE. AND THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS.
THE RIGHT GUY COMES ON
WITH THE RIGHT VOICE. AND IT TAKES OFF AGAIN. AND THAT’S TRUE WITH
ANY OF THE MAINSTREAM
MARVEL BOOKS. WHY ARE THEY STILL,
AFTER 40-SOMETHING YEARS– WHY ARE THE MAINSTREAM
MARVEL CHARACTERS,
CREATED DURING THE ’60s, STILL THE MAINSTAY
OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. WHY HAVE THEY NOT DIED
AND BEEN REPLACED? BECAUSE THEY ARE WORKS
OF GENIUS, AND THERE STILL
IS SO MUCH IN THEM. AND THEY STILL HAVE
SUCH A LURE
TO ANY CREATIVE PERSON. EVEN THOSE WHO DIDN’T
GROW UP WITH THEM. THERE’S STILL
A LURE TO THOSE CHARACTERS. ‘CAUSE ONCE PEOPLE START
TO WORK IN THEM, THEY BEGIN
TO SEE THE POTENTIAL. AND I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS
LIKE IN SECOND GRADE, READING STAN LEE’S
ORIGIN OF MARVEL COMICS… AND JUST HOW ENTHRALLED I WAS
READING THE ORIGIN OF
THE FANTASTIC FOUR. SO, YOU KNOW, IT’S A GREAT
OPPORTUNITY AS A CREATOR… TO GO BACK IN
AND RETELL THE CLASSIC STORY, BUT IN A CONTEMPORARY WAY. I’VE ALWAYS LOVED THE F.F.
THE F.F., UH, ARE SUCH
AN ODDBALL SET OF CHARACTERS. THEY’RE CREATED TO BE
A RESPONSE AGAINST
THE OVERWHELMING… SUPER GROUP THAT D.C. HAD
OF ALL THEIR MAIN TITLE GUYS… TOGETHER IN ONE GROUPING
IN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. AND IT’S SUCH A CREATIVE
RESPONSE TO SAY, “OKAY, WE’RE GONNA COME UP
WITH A TEAM BOOK, “BUT IT’S GONNA BE
THIS ONE SCIENTIST GUY… “AND THE SORT OF TOKEN FEMALE
GIRLFRIEND CHARACTER THERE… AND THEN THESE TWO FREAKS.” [ Ralph ] IT IS CERTAINLY
THE FAMILY IDEA. BUT THERE IS
SOMETHING ABOUT THE FACT THAT… THEY REALLY ARE– THEY HAVE
IDENTIFIABLE CHARACTERISTICS,
EACH ONE OF THEM. THE TRAGEDY OF THE THING
IS SOMETHING THAT IS ALMOST
UNPRECEDENTED IN COMICS. NOW, REED RICHARDS,
WHO’S THE WORLD’S SMARTEST MAN, BUT HE MADE ONE MISTAKE
AND BECAUSE OF THAT, HIS FRIEND HAS GOT TO SUFFER
FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. THESE KIND OF THINGS,
UM, GIVE THE BOOK
A UNIQUENESS. AND ALSO, AT THE SAME TIME,
IT WAS JUST GREAT FUN… BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT
CRIME FIGHTERS. THEY WERE ADVENTURERS. THEY WENT OFF
AND EXPLORED THE UNKNOWN.
AND YOU NEVER KNEW… WHAT THEY WERE GONNA
COME BACK WITH OR WHAT
THE ADVENTURE WAS GONNA BE. SO, ANY CREATOR THAT WANTED
TO TEST THE LIMITS
OF HIS CREATIVITY… WOULD FIND THIS WOULD BE
THE BOOK THAT YOU COULD
DO IT IN. AND THE WHOLE THING WAS,
I DON’T WANNA REALLY
TINKER WITH IT… BECAUSE IT WAS
FANTASTIC ALREADY. IT’S A CLASSIC STORY.
I DIDN’T REALLY FEEL
IT NEEDED A LOT. MAYBE A SORT OF
VISUAL TWEAKING… TO MAKE IT LOOK
A LITTLE SLICKER,
A LITTLE MORE MODERN. UH, MAYBE CLEAN UP
A LOT OF THE SCIENCE
BEHIND IT. YOU KNOW, COSMIC RADIATION.
I THINK PEOPLE– KIDS TODAY,
READERS TODAY… ARE A LITTLE MORE
SAVVY ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE EFFECTS OF RADIATION,
SPACE TRAVEL,
THAT KIND OF THING. SO WE WANTED TO KIND OF
UPDATE THAT KIND OF
SCIENCE JARGON, SCIENCE TECH. BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
KEEP THE CORE OF THE PREMISE, WHICH IS,
IT’S A FAMILY OF SUPERHEROES. AND HOW THE POWERS
UNITE THEM AND ALSO
DIVIDE THEM AT THE SAME TIME. [ Ralph ]
WHEN I EXAMINED IT MYSELF
AND I THOUGHT ABOUT THE F.F., WHAT CAME TO MIND
WAS THAT ALMOST EVERY TYPE
OF RELATIONSHIP… THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE
BETWEEN FOUR PEOPLE… YOU HAVE
WITH THOSE FOUR PEOPLE. THE HUSBAND AND WIFE.
THE CHILDREN. THE BROTHER AND SISTER.
THE FRIENDS. THE COMPETITORS.
THE RIVALS. IT’S ALL THERE. ALMOST EVERY
TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP
YOU CAN TAP IN TO… INVOLVES THOSE
FOUR CHARACTERS. THEY CAN BE MOVED AROUND
IN ALMOST ANY WAY IMAGINABLE, AND YOU CREATE A DIFFERENT
RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM THAT
YOU CAN EXPLORE AS A WRITER. I WANTED TO PLAY WITH REED,
THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN REED AND SUE. I WANTED TO DO
A MARRIED COUPLE. I WANTED TO DO THEM
DEALING WITH BEING
A MARRIED COUPLE. GOOD, BAD
AND INDIFFERENT–
WITH RAISING THEIR KID. WITH THE SENSE
OF RESPONSIBILITY
TO THEIR CHILD, ONCE WE FIGURED OUT
HOW OLD FRANKLIN
WAS SUPPOSED TO BE. THE FACT THAT
THEY ARE LIVING
IN A COMMUNITY. I MEAN, I THINK
THE THING THAT I’VE ALWAYS
LOVED ABOUT MARVEL… AND I LOVED
ABOUT THE F.F.– THE THING WITH THE F.F.–
UNDERSTAND, THEY LIVED
IN THE BAXTER BUILDING. WHICH MEANT THEY
WERE IN A PENTHOUSE
FAR ABOVE THE CITY. WELL, WE BLEW UP
THE BAXTER BUILDING,
OR IT GOT BLOWN UP… IN THE COURSE OF THE EVENTS
LEADING UP TO MY
TAKING OVER THE BOOK. I THOUGHT, “NOW THEY’RE LIVING
DOWN ON THE STREET
WITH EVERYBODY ELSE. WHY CAN’T THEY
BE PART OF A COMMUNITY?” I HAD VISIONS OF– I PUT
THEM ON THIS PIER THAT
WAS NEXT TO STUYVESANT. WHAT WOULD BE THE NEW SITE
OF STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL, WHICH WAS BEING BUILT
AT THE TIME. AND I THOUGHT,
WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF… REED TAUGHT AN ADJUNCT COURSE
AT THE HIGH SCHOOL? IF SUE WENT MARKETING
IN TRIBECA? IF THEY ACTUALLY
WERE PART OF A COMMUNITY
THAT WAS DOWNTOWN, THAT THEY INTERACTED
WITH NORMAL FOLKS,
THAT THEY HAD… QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS
AND CONCERNS OF NORMAL FOLKS… WRAPPED UP IN THEIR LIVES
AS THE WORLD’S PREMIER
SUPERHERO FAMILY. WE WANTED TO COME UP
WITH A MORE LOGICAL REASON
FOR THEM ALL TO BE TOGETHER. ‘CAUSE IN THE ORIGINAL
COMIC BOOK, I THINK, UH, THEY JUST– I CAN’T REMEMBER,
BUT IT WAS VERY– THERE’S A LOT OF
SERENDIPITY. IT’S LIKE,
“THERE’S A ROCKET SHIP. LET’S ALL GET ON IT.
YOU’RE MY BEST BUDDY.
YOU’RE MY SISTER’S BROTHER.” THERE’S NO REASON
FOR THEM TO ALL BE TOGETHER… AND GO ON THE SHIP
AND BE DOUSED
IN COSMIC RADIATION. UH, AND WE ALSO WANTED TO MAKE
SUE STORM MORE OF A, UH– YOU KNOW, NOT THE HAPLESS
GIRLFRIEND IN NEED
OF RESCUE. SHE WAS THE PERSON
IN CHARGE OF THIS PROJECT, IN CHARGE OF THIS
SCIENCE PROJECT TO SEND
THIS SPACESHIP UP INTO SPACE. AND JOHNNY STORM WAS
IN CHARGE OF SECURITY. SO THEY’RE BROTHER AND SISTER,
BUT THERE ARE ALSO A REASON… FOR THEM TO BE WORKING TOGETHER
ON THIS PROJECT. AND REED RICHARDS
WAS THE HEAD SCIENTIST. AND THEN BEN GRIMM
WAS THE TEST PILOT.
SO, NOW, THERE’S A REASON
FOR THEM ALL TO BE
INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT… AND FOR THEM TO GO UP
INTO SPACE. I THINK WE EVEN
SET IT UP THAT THEY WEREN’T
ALL GONNA GO UP ORIGINALLY. BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE
TIED TO THIS PROJECT,
THEY ENDED UP… TAKING THIS SORT OF
BACKUP SHIP WHEN
THEIR FIRST SHIP… WAS TAKEN– YOU KNOW,
STOLEN BY THE GOVERNMENT… FOR THEIR OWN
NEFARIOUS PURPOSES. THE THING ABOUT THE F.F.,
AS WITH ALL GOOD COMICS, IS, YES, YOU CAN DEAL
WITH THEM AS A– AS A VERY SURFACE
ADVENTURE STORY, BUT IF YOU’RE WILLING
TO ASK THE WHO, WHAT, WHERE,
WHEN, WHY AND HOW QUESTIONS… TO TRY AND GO
BENEATH THE SURFACE TO SEE
WHAT THERE IS TO PLAY WITH… FROM A MORE
NOVELISTIC STANDPOINT,
FROM AN AUTHORIAL STANDPOINT, THERE’S A LOT OF
FUN TO BE HAD. WE HAVE THE STANDARD
FANTASTIC FOUR COMIC, WHICH IS REALLY
SORT OF OUR
BIG ADVENTURE, SORT OF WIDE-SCREEN,
BLOW IT OUT. THIS IS LIKE OUR– YOU KNOW,
OUR BIG, EXPENSIVE,
$200-MILLION MOVIE COMIC… WHERE ALL THE GRANDIOSE
ADVENTURE HAPPENS. WE HAVE THE MARVEL KNIGHTS:
FANTASTIC FOUR BOOK… WHICH “DELVES” MORE
WITH THE FAMILY ASPECT
OF THE COMIC, SO IT DEALS WITH
SMALLER EVENTS. AND EVEN THOUGH
THE GRANDIOSE STUFF MAY BE
HAPPENING IN THE BACKGROUND, IT REALLY DEALS WITH THE FAMILY:
SUE, REED, THE KIDS,
JOHNNY, BEN. THEN WE HAVE
THE ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, WHICH IS SORT OF A REINVENTION
OF THE IDEA OF THE F.F…. AS THOUGH THEY HAD
TAKEN OFF ON THAT
FATEFUL TRIP TODAY. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR
IS AN ATTEMPT, AS MOST OF THE ULTIMATE
BOOKS ARE, TO REINVENT,
REINVIGORATE,
RECREATE… THE CORE, ESSENTIAL
IDEAS AND PHILOSOPHIES… OF FANTASTIC FOUR
IN A MODERN CONTEXT. IN ESSENCE, WHAT IF
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
WERE CREATED IN THE YEAR 2000… RATHER THAN
IN THE YEAR 1961. [ Joe ]
YOU KNOW, REED AND SUE
AREN’T MARRIED YET. THEY BARELY EVEN
STARTED COURTING.
SO IT GIVES YOU A SORT OF… A GROUND ROOTS
APPROACH TO THE F.F. A VERY FRESH
SORT OF TAKE. WHAT WE DID
WAS WE THREW OUT… 30 YEARS
OF CONTINUITY… AND REDESIGNED
THE CHARACTERS FROM
THE GROUND UP, MADE THEM YOUNGER, UM, AND… TOLD OUR OWN STORIES
USING THE MARVEL
CLASSIC CHARACTERS. [ Ralph ]
WHAT I’VE TOLD
THE WRITERS ON THE BOOK, AND I THINK THEY UNDERSTOOD
THIS EVEN WITHOUT ME
TELLING THEM… WAS THAT IF WE’RE GONNA DO
THE CLASSIC CHARACTERS,
THE CLASSIC VILLAINS, LET’S NOT JUST DO
REPLAYS OF THEM. LET’S MAKE
OUR VERSION DIFFERENT. LET’S CHALLENGE OURSELVES
TO TAKE THE GREATEST MYTHOLOGY
IN COMICS… AND DO SOMETHING
DIFFERENT WITH IT. WE HAVE THIS PLAYGROUND
THAT NO OTHER CREATOR HAS. WE HAVE THE ENTIRE
F.F. MYTHOLOGY TO PLAY WITH. AND WE CAN START IT OVER
AND DO WHAT WE WANT WITH IT. AND TAKE WHATEVER ELEMENTS
WE THINK ARE IMPORTANT,
AND DISCARD THE REST… AND JUST HAVE
A GREAT TIME WITH IT. IN TERMS OF ATTRACTING PEOPLE
AND MAKING THE CHARACTERS
SEEM FRESH… AND SEEM LIKE CHARACTERS
YOU CAN GET INTO
WITHOUT THE PREREQUISITE… OF KNOWING
40 YEARS’ WORTH OF STORIES,
IT’S BEEN A BIG SUCCESS. WHAT DICTATES TO ME
HOW I TELL THE STORY… IS WHAT’S WRITTEN FOR ME. YOU KNOW, THE WRITTEN STORY–
THE WRITER DICTATES HOW I
APPROACH MY STORYTELLING. UM, I DON’T
NECESSARILY THINK, PER SE, WHAT STYLE
I’M GONNA USE… OR WHAT APPROACH
I’M GONNA TAKE. I’LL READ WHAT’S GIVEN
TO ME AND THINK ABOUT
WHAT THE BEST WAY… IS TO TELL
THIS PARTICULAR STORY. THIS IS A SEQUENCE–
YOU KNOW, THE F.F.
ARE IN THEIR SPACESHIP… AND, UM– AND THIS
WAS AN ACCIDENT THAT HAPPENED. I INTENDED THIS TO BE
AT FIRST TO BE ONE PANEL… WHERE THE SHIP–
THE ENGINES LIGHT UP
AND THE SHIP TAKES OFF. SO I WAS GONNA DO
ONE SHOT OF THE LITTLE SHIP… WITH THIS BACKGROUND
BEHIND IT… AND I DECIDED I’LL HAVE
ONE SHOT– YOU KNOW, I’LL DO
ONE BACKGROUND AND HAVE THE SHIP
AS IT TAKES OFF THIS WAY… JUST, YOU KNOW–
IT JUST WORKED OUT. THIS IS THE KIND
OF THING I LOVE TO DO, WHERE SOMETHING IS HAPPENING
BEHIND THE THING. THE SHIP IS RISING
UP THROUGH THE TOP
OF THIS BIG SPACE STATION. YOU KNOW, HE’S LOOKING
AT US SAYING SOMETHING, HE LOOKS OVER
A CORNER OF HIS EYE,
NOTICES SOMETHING, HE LOOKS AT THIS THING,
THEN HE LOOKS BACK AT US
AND EXPLAINS SOMETHING TO REED. AND IT– I JUST, YOU KNOW–
IT’S FUN. I– I LIKE
DOIN’ THAT. THE BEAUTY OF
THE FANTASTIC FOUR IS THAT… YOU CAN TELL
ANY KIND OF STORY
YOU WANT TO WITH THEM. YOU CAN TELL A MURDER MYSTERY.
YOU CAN TELL A SPACE ADVENTURE. YOU CAN TELL A ROMANCE STORY.
YOU CAN TELL FLAT-OUT COMEDY… BECAUSE THE CHARACTERS
ARE SO FLEXIBLE… AND THE FAMILY,
BEING AT THE CORE
OF EVERYTHING, YOU CAN EXPLORE
ANY KIND OF HUMAN DYNAMIC
THAT YOU WANT TO WITH THAT. AND SO THAT’S WHY, TO ME,
THE CHAR– THAT’S WHY THE CHARACTERS WORK,
THAT’S WHY THE BOOK IS SUCH
A LONG-LIVED PROPERTY. AND WHY PEOPLE WHO COME AND WORK
WITH THE FANTASTIC FOUR
ON THE FANTASTIC FOUR… ARE OFTEN ABLE TO FIND
SOME SORT OF ALCHEMICAL CREATIVE
MAGIC WITH THESE CHARACTERS. IF YOU JUST KEEP TRUE TO
THE CHARACTERS AND YOU JUST… LOOK AT HOW MUCH
FUN IT IS JUST TO, SAY, PUT SUE AND BEN
TOGETHER IN A SCENE… WHEN YOU DON’T NORMALLY
SEE THOSE TWO. IT’S ALWAYS REED AND BEN.
THEY’RE THE TWO PALS. AND SUE AND JOHNNY,
BROTHER AND SISTER. AND THOSE ARE
THE TWO DYNAMICS.
YOU KNOW WHAT? START MIXIN’ AND
MATCHIN’ A LITTLE BIT.
GIVE ME SOME OF THIS. AND THEN THE CHARACTERS
LITERALLY– I KNOW IT’S A CLICHÉ,
BUT IT’S TRUE.
THEY JUST WRITE THEMSELVES. I THINK THE TEAM,
THE THREE OF US– MARK AND MIKE AND I,
ARE IDEALLY SUITED
TO EACH OTHER. AND I THINK
WE’RE REALLY WELL SUITED
FOR THE FANTASTIC FOUR. YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I THINK,
TOGETHER WE’RE A REAL
HOPEFUL TEAM. AND I THINK THE BOOKS
ARE A HOPEFUL BOOK. KARL KESEL,
WHO IS OUR INKER– THAT’S ACTUALLY NOT
HIS PRIMARY SERVICE
TO THE BOOK. THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF IT.
YES, HE INKS THE BOOK. BUT REALLY HE’S THERE
BECAUSE HE’S THE ONLY GUY
ON THE TEAM… WHO’S READ EVERY SINGLE
FANTASTIC FOUR BOOK… AND IS A SUCH A HUGE FAN
OF THE F.F…. THAT IT’S HIM
WHO BACKSTOPS ME. EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, IF
I’LL WRITE A LINE OF DIALOGUE
THAT ISN’T QUITE RIGHT… FOR THE CHARACTER
OR MANAGE TO DO SOMETHING… THAT MAY BE
TOO SIMILAR TO SOMETHING
THAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST, AND IT’S KARL WHO
EVERY TIME WILL
RIGHT UP AND GO, “YOU KNOW, I DON’T MEAN TO BE
A BOTHER, BUT THIS DOESN’T
QUITE SOUND LIKE JOHNNY.” – YOU KNOW, HE’S RIGHT.
– AN INKER, LIKE A CINEMATOGRAPHER,
A GOOD CINEMATOGRAPHER, HELPS ENHANCE THE VISION
OF THE PERSON HE’S
WORKING WITH. SO, A GOOD INKER
WILL ENHANCE THE VISION OF
THE PENCILLER HE’S WORKING WITH. AND HOPEFULLY,
NOT WORK AGAINST THAT VISION. I WRITE DIFFERENTLY
FOR MY COLLABORATOR,
MICHAEL RINGO, THAN FOR ANY
OTHER ARTIST I WRITE WITH
OR WORK WITH… BECAUSE HE’S– HE HAS
THIS AMAZING GIFT FOR
BRINGING HUMANITY… TO HIS DRAWINGS,
INTO THESE CHARACTERS. THE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
ARE JUST SPOT-ON. AND THERE’S NOTHING
HE CAN’T DRAW. THE WAY MIKE AND I WORK,
IS I GET MIKE’S PENCILS– MIKE ACTUALLY NOW
SCANS HIS PENCILS
AND SENDS THEM IN. BUT I CONVERT THEM
TO BLUE LINE
AND PRINT THEM OUT. AND THEN I INK THEM.
SO THERE’S THE PENCILS, AN THERE’S THE FINISHED INKS
TO THIS PAGE. IF THE PENCILLER
OR THE PROJECT NEEDS
A SLICK LINE, HOPEFULLY YOU GET AN INKER
WHO GIVES A SLICK LINE… AND YOU DON’T GET
SOMEONE WHO PUTS
A SCRATCHY LINE ON. YOU KNOW, A SCRATCHY LINE
MIGHT BE GOOD FOR
A FILM NOIR SORT OF THING, BUT YOU MIGHT WANT
A SLICKER LINE… FOR A MORE SCIENCE FICTIONY
SORT OF THING. THIS IS FROM THE STORY
WHERE THE FANTASTIC FOUR
MET GOD, WHO HAPPENED
TO BE JACK KIRBY. AND THIS IS THE ONLY PAGE
I’VE KEPT OF IT WHERE
JACK IS ACTUALLY… DRAWING THE ROCKS
BACK ONTO BEN. AND I REALLY THOUGHT
THAT THIS WAS AN INSPIRED MOMENT
IN THE WHOLE SERIES. SO I COULDN’T PART
WITH THIS PAGE. [ Mark ]
WHEN I TOOK THE BOOK OVER,
EVERYBODY KIND OF KNEW… WHO THE FANTASTIC FOUR WERE
IN GENERAL TERMS. SMART GUY, MOTHERLY WOMAN, THE HOTHEAD KID
AND ANGRY GUY IN ROCK. BUT WHAT INTERESTED ME
ABOUT THEM… AND WHERE I WANTED
TO GO WITH THEM WAS… WHY DO THEY DO
WHAT THEY DO? IT’S NOT AN UNFAIR QUESTION.
THEY PUT ON THESE
BRIGHT COSTUMES… AND THEY GO OUT
AND THEY DO THESE THINGS
WHEN THEY DON’T HAVE TO. REED COULD VERY EASILY
SPEND ALL HIS TIME
IN THE LAB. SUE COULD VERY EASILY BE,
YOU KNOW, A BUSINESSWOMAN… OR SHE COULD BE A SPY
OR SHE COULD BE A MILLION
OTHER THINGS. BEN COULD– FRANKLY, IF I
WERE BEN, YOU’D NEVER GET ME
OUT OF THE HOUSE. I’D JUST BE FEELING SORRY
FOR MYSELF ALL THE TIME. IT’S KIND OF THE WAY
I LIVE NOW ANYWAY. BUT THE FIRST DECISION
WE MADE WAS REALLY TALKING ABOUT
WHY IT IS WHAT THEY DO– WHY THEY DO
WHAT THEY DO. AND WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO
IS THAT REED… IS ONE OF THOSE KINDS OF MINDS
THAT ONLY COMES AROUND
MAYBE ONCE EVERY 100 YEARS. HE’S A STEPHEN HAWKING.
HE IS– HE– YOU KNOW, HE’S
AN ALBERT EINSTEIN.
HE’S ONE OF THESE GUYS WHO, EVERY THIRD
OR FOURTH GENERATION,
SOMEWHERE ON EARTH, THERE’S SOMEONE
WITH THIS SORT OF ABILITY
TO AFFECT THE WORLD… AND MAKE IT
A BETTER PLACE. AND THE OTHER THREE
KNOW THIS. AND THEY CONSIDER THEMSELVES
THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE
IN THE WORLD… TO BE ABLE TO BE
PART OF THAT
SPHERE OF INFLUENCE. AND THAT IS THEIR JOB
AS A TEAM. THAT IS– THEY WATCH HIS BACK. LIKE, IF HE’S GOTTA GO
OFF TO THE NEGATIVE ZONE… AND FIND SOME EXOTIC
MINERAL THAT CAN BE USED… TO HELP CURE
AIR POLLUTION IN NEW YORK… OR WHATEVER HE WOULD DO
ON AN AVERAGE SUNDAY, WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH
AN AVERAGE SUNDAY FOR REED, THEY’RE THERE. YOU KNOW, EACH TEAM
THAT COMES ON IT. OBVIOUSLY,
A LOT OF PEOPLE… GRAVITATE TOWARDS BEN. BEN IS A VERY
DRAMATIC CHARACTER, VERY VISUAL CHARACTER,
VERY FUN CHARACTER. UM, BUT I’VE REALLY ENJOYED
WHAT MARK’S DONE WITH REED TOO. [ Mark ]
REED’S BIG SECRET
IS THAT… THE REASON THEY WEAR
THESE OUTLANDISH COSTUMES, THE REASON THEY HAVE
THESE NAMES LIKE
“MR. FANTASTIC”… OR “THE INVISIBLE WOMAN”… OR THE REASON THEY’RE
IN THE MIDDLE OF MANHATTAN
IN THE BAXTER BUILDING… RATHER THAN
IN A CAVE SOMEWHERE,
THE REASON THAT… THEY’RE MERCHANDISED,
AND THE REASON
THEY’RE CELEBRITIES… IS BECAUSE REED
CREATED THAT MACHINE. AND HE DIDN’T DO IT
OUT OF ANY SORT OF EGO. HE DID IT OUT OF
A SENSE OF… “I’VE TAKEN THESE GUYS
UP IN MY ROCKET SHIP
AND RUINED THEIR LIVES. “I’VE MADE THEM FREAKS.
I’VE MADE THEM
THE KIND OF PEOPLE… “WHO THE GOVERNMENT
WILL PULL THEM APART
AND THEY WILL LIVE… “THE REST OF THEIR LIVES
AS SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS… “UNLESS I DO SOMETHING
TO GIVE THEM PURPOSE, TO GIVE THEM
A REASON TO GET UP
IN THE MORNING.” SO HE CREATED THIS
GIANT MACHINE OF CELEBRITY
AROUND THEM, AND IT HAS THE ILLUSION OF– “OH, THE F.F. DON’T THEY
THINK THEY’RE GREAT?
THEY GOT THE BIG… MARKETING GIANTS
BEHIND THEM, AND THEY GOT
THE ACTION FIGURES AND STUFF.” BUT HE REALITY OF IT
IS REED TRYING
TO GIVE THEM… SOMETHING THAT
RESEMBLES A NORMAL LIFE. THEY’RE– BECAUSE OF
THIS MACHINE, THEY’RE ABLE
TO TRAVEL THE STREETS. THEY’RE ABLE TO WALK
THE STREETS AND NOT HAVE
TO HIDE AND FEEL LIKE FREAKS. AND IT WAS A VERY NOBLE
THING OF REED TO DO. WHETHER ANYBODY ELSE
ON THE TEAM KNOWS THAT,
I DON’T KNOW. I THINK THEY DO,
BUT I’VE NEVER SAID. THAT’S THE OTHER GREAT THING
ABOUT THE MARVEL CHARACTERS,
VILLAINS OR HEROES, IS THAT THEY
ALL HAVE A GREAT BACKSTORY. THEY ALL HAVE
A HISTORY TO THEM, AND– AND KIND OF A LINEAGE
THAT YOU CAN JUST, AGAIN,
MINE ENDLESSLY. THERE’S SO MUCH–
SO MUCH THAT’S BEEN SAID, AND THERE’S STILL SO MUCH
TO SAY ABOUT ANY OF THEM. FANTASTIC FOUR
IS THE BOOK THAT’S
BEEN AROUND SINCE 1961. SO IT REALLY IS
KIND OF THE BOOK THAT HAS
THE GREATEST CONTINUITY… WITH ALL OF THE RUNS
THAT COME BEFORE IT, STEMMING ALL THE WAY
BACK TO STAN AND JACK. YOU KNOW, IT’S THE LINEAL
DESCENDANT OF THAT, AND SO
IT’S REALLY, YOU KNOW– IN SOME NEBULOUS,
INTANGIBLE WAY,
THE ACTUAL FLAGSHIP BOOK. AGAIN, WE LOOK BACK
ON IT 40 YEARS LATER, AND THEY’RE STILL VIABLE,
THEY’RE STILL CLASSIC. AND I THINK IT’S REALLY,
AT THE CORE, WHAT MAKES THEM STILL
SO POPULAR TODAY
IS THE FACT THAT… WHEN YOU LOOK AT
ANYTHING THAT’S ICONIC,
THAT’S LASTED THROUGH TIME, YOU KNOW, 10, 20, 30, 40 YEARS, THEY ALL HAVE A SORT OF
CLASSIC CONSTRUCTION TO THEM. WELL, IT’S A FUNNY THING.
YOU ASK WHY THE FANTASTIC FOUR
IS SO SPECIAL… AND IT HAS
SURVIVED SO LONG, THE CHANCES ARE
YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON, COULD ANSWER THAT
AS WELL AS I CAN. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY
IT MUST BE BECAUSE
PEOPLE LIKE IT. THE THING THAT REALLY
I FIND VERY GRATIFYING– I SPEAK TO SO MANY
PEOPLE WHO TELL ME… THAT THEY’RE STILL READING
ALL OF THE REPRINTS
OF THE EARLY BOOKS… AND ENJOYING THEM
TREMENDOUSLY. AND THAT’S, I THINK,
A LITTLE BUT UNUSUAL. SO OFTEN, AS THINGS
PROGRESS DECADE AFTER DECADE, THE THINGS THAT
WERE DONE YEARS AGO, COME ACROSS
AS OLD-FASHIONED
AND A LITTLE BIT PRIMITIVE… AND NOT AS HIP OR COOL
AS THE NEW STUFF. BUT APPARENTLY,
PEOPLE REALLY… STILL ENJOY
THE OLDER STORIES. AND, MAN, THAT’S
A GOOD FEELING FOR ME.

100 thoughts on “Fantastic Four documentary (Jack Kirby art)

  1. I like the idea that they are all Geniuses – but Reed throws off the curve so hard that they seem less intelligent by comparison – especially Ben. Like, if someone was to ask him science-y stuff they would be shocked at how much he knows and can talk about — he IS a goddamn Astronaut for pete's sake!

  2. People have to hate someone in order to feel better towards their useless life, it gives them a false moral ground to stand on and say "I do suck in real life, but that bad Jew Stan Lee have stolen all the creation credit of the other Jew guy, Jack Kirby, so he is worse than me, therefore I can accuse him to feel better about my stupid life." — You all suck, your passionate comments are useless and you do know nothing and are taking side without the minimum idea of what happened half century ago. Morons!

  3. Did Kirby exaggerate his role. Kirby said he basically created everything. The best known Kirby interviews are from the late 1980s, when he was bitter about not getting his art back. Critics say that there was none of this bad feeling in the 1960s, when Stan and Jack got along fine. Kirby's memory and Kirby's description of how he came to join Marvel and how the FF were created has been questioned. The original synopsis for Fantastic Four 1 still exists, and it's by Stan Lee. The synopsis to issue 8 also exists, and it's by Stan Lee. Those who claim otherwise should examined it all in depth.

  4. Kirby's memory is questionable: "[Kirby] recalled that in late 1958: I came in [to the Marvel offices] and they were moving out the furniture, they were taking desks out — and I needed the work! … Stan Lee is sitting on a chair crying. He didn't know what to do, he's sitting on a chair crying — he was still just out of his adolescence [Note: Lee, born Dec. 28, 1922, would actually have been about 36.] I told him to stop crying. I says, 'Go in to Martin and tell him to stop moving the furniture out, and I'll see that the books make money'. The interviewer, The Comics Journal publisher Gary Groth, later wrote of this interview in general, 'Some of Kirby's more extreme statements … should be taken with a grain of salt….' Lee, specifically asked about the office-closing anecdote, said: "I never remember being there when people were moving out the furniture. If they ever moved the furniture, they did it during the weekend when everybody was home. Jack tended toward hyperbole, just like the time he was quoted as saying that he came in and I was crying and I said, 'Please save the company!' I'm not a crier and I would never have said that. I was very happy that Jack was there and I loved working with him, but I never cried to him. (laughs)"

  5. Stan Lee was the genius who created most of Marvel Comics: the industry, the cross-overs, the billion dollars of brand value, the fact that you and I have even heard of these characters and can easily relate to them. That's all Stan. It is equally true that Jack Kirby was the genius who created most of Marvel comics with a small "c", the characters and stories. Stan Lee, big "C". Jack Kirby, small "c". Simple.

  6. It's so sad that Marvel does not think is profitable to invest in this characters. They are rejecting their foundation because they can't exploit movie rights. These days, more than ever in its history, Marvel is at the mercy of ruthless corporate people battling each other.

  7. What is the consensus about the relation of the Challengers of the Unknown to Fantastic Four?—IS there even something resembling a consensus? I knew the Challengers very well by the time FF came along, and always assumed the latter were some kind of extensive re-invention of the former. (I also thought that Kirby's art in the Challengers Showcases and first group of issues was much more refined and "realistic" than his later works for Marvel, including FF).
    As far as the "who did what" of the Marvel titles, I lean quite a bit more toward the Kirby side, but certainly don't feel Lee should be slighted.

  8. My three fav Marvel chars are Mr. Fantastic, Cyclops and Captain America. The BLUE LEADERSHIP as I call them.xD
    I wish Jack Kirby would have don a story with those three amigos facing some worldwide dangerous villain who for some reason neutralized all the other heroes, and it was up to the three leaders to save the world.xD

  9. How many characters did Stan lee create after Kirkby left marvel for dc in 1970.Stan lee was with the company(goodmans) for twenty years before Kirkby came to marvel what did he create then not much and he was in the same job.credit were it due he made marvel the business

  10. Stan: Jack did almost all the heavy lifting.

    Angry Imbeciles: Stan takes all of Jack's credit! (Insert anti-Semitism gibberish.)

  11. Nice that this doc ommitted the DeFalco/Ryan run on the book. Assholes. The FF have sucked since they were booted and Jim Lee took over. Then Lobdell, then Claremont. Suddenly Sue can have kids again? The FF have Sucked for the past 20 years, and haven't bounced back, and likely never will.

  12. So I’ve read the FF on and off through the years; the most recent stuff I’ve really enjoyed being the Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Matt Fraction/Mike Allred, and Jonathan Hickman runs. I also have fond memories of the Doug Moench/Bill Sienkiewicz stuff; it was different and quirky, which was typical of Moench, and the pair were also doing Moon Knight and I loved me some Moon Knight. John Byrne’s stuff I liked when he was regurgitating vintage Lee/Kirby FF; when he started to put his own stamp on it I absolutely hated it; and when I recently reread the stuff I liked, well…didn’t like it so much anymore. WAY overwritten. Plus, his unwavering support of Marvel in the litigation over Kirby’s artwork, and his unkind treatment of the man when he returned to Marvel—he’s openly admitted to being one of the notorious office gang who referred to him as “Jack the Hack”—leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.
    And speaking of a sour taste, the subject of who created what in the Fantastic Four—or who created what, period—will forever be tainted by the fact that in order to ensure Marvel’s copyright claims over any characters and concepts associated with The King, Stan Lee HAS to say he’s the indisputable creator of everything. Basically, Stan was an official employee of Marvel Comics; Jack wasn’t. Neither was Ditko. This meant that decades down the road when the copyrights on all their collective creations expired, the two “artists” could lay legal claim to them. Ditko, as is his way, never gave a rat’s ass about pursuing it, but the Kirby family—especially after the royal screwing Jack got over the return of his artwork—went after The House of Ideas and recently reached a favorable settlement with them, YAY!
    But back to Stan the Man…during the years-long Kirby copyright case, Stan was called into court at least once to testify on behalf of Marvel that, yes, while Jack Kirby was a magnificent artist with an astounding imagination, I, Stanley Leiber, am the one who actually CREATED all those characters. Yeah, Kirby and Ditko definitely helped out by DRAWING what I created, but all that stuff wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for ME. And you can take that to the bank, True Believers! Yeeaaah, and I got something ELSE you can take to the bank, Stan…

  13. The Fantastic Four was fantasy posing as science fiction . It was also a product of its time . Camelot reigned in America . None of this plays anymore .

  14. Absolutely superb! Loved every darn minute! All hail the fabulous Fantastic Four!💜💓💓💔💕💖💗💘💝💛💙💙❤❤💙💚💛💛💛💝💘💗💖💖❤❤💚💗❤❤💙💚💘💗💙💗💖💕💕💔💗❤💖❤❤💗💘💔💓💖❤💖💘💚💘💙💛💖💔💓💜💜💔💖💘💝💕💗

  15. I love Stan Lee. I do. But goddamn man, stop taking credit for everything. I, I, I. This is why no one wants to give him ANY credit any more because he spent so much time taking all of it.

  16. Liar, liar, liar.
    "… I didn't make her a helpless female". False, it was Jack who made her a strong character. This article explains it very wellhttp://zak-site.com/Great-American-Novel/ff_Lee-Kirby.html

  17. Restarting any comic book franchise i find un nessacary , pointless and very wastefull lazyness kinda too.

  18. Please notice how the four ancient Greek elements are represented in the Fantastic Four. Fire is obvious, as is earth. Air is invisible, and water is fluid. You can fill in the blanks.:)

  19. the myth of stan lee
    "i came up with galactus"
    when the real story is, stan told jack to come up with a comic where the ff meet god

  20. The dialog in those books were the worst thing…. reading some of it ages really badly… not sure how bad it sounded back in the 60s

  21. It’s amazing that Jack Kirby’s family managed to convince a court that they were entitled to royalties for all of the Marvel characters that Jack created, which were actually considered “works for hire” at the time they were made.

  22. Does anyone else get upset when people call The Incredibles a Fantastic Four rip-off?

    They are nothing alike. Superficially they share similar visuals. That's it.

    I just want the FF to be recognized in the mainstream public like Iron Man or Cap. They just need a really good film.

    This documentary reminded me of their awesomeness.

  23. Guys like Stan Lee and Gene Roddenberry are vilified by a certain sub-set of fandom because in addition to being men of incredible vision and originality they were also hucksters. They knew that what they'd made had to sell, so they went out there and sold it. Without Stan there would have been no Marvel universe, just as without Roddenberry there would have been no Star Trek. Why can some fans only love creative people who are victims of their own success? I love Steve Ditko more than any other artist; I first discovered him in 1967 and no one has ever supplanted him in my affections or estimations. But Steve Ditko didn't make Spider-Man a success story that has lasted more than half a century: Stan Lee did. Stan gave men (and occasionally women) of towering talent a place to ply their trade. When people complain that Kirby and Ditko never owned what they made, they seem to forget that Stan Lee owns none of those things either. Stan understood that Marvel needed a face, a voice, that the readers could identify with, and since he was a writer he became that face and that voice. If he'd been a no-talent hack then the complaints about him would be justified. But he was as big a talent in his own right as any of the people he worked with. He had three great talents: he was an ideas man, a script writer, and a salesman. Why does that last have to cancel out all the plaudits he deserves for the first two?

  24. The Fantastic Four are so great they are a family and white. They have Black Super Hero Friends get it right.

  25. For those who noticed John Byrne's F.F. testimony grossly absent from this documentary. Please go here: https://youtu.be/UM0weL1062M

  26. And this is why I cringe everytime I see a Stan Lee cameo in the MCU because he always gives too much credit for himself in the creation of these characters. I hope Kirby would get his own cameos in future marvel films in some ways now that stan lee is gone and hope that fans would give as much accolade and respect to Kirby that non-comics fans gave to Stan Lee in the films.

  27. Herb Trimpe was the best HULK artist ever!!!🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢💪💪💪💪👍👍

  28. It’s ridiculous how much toys and merchandising affect comics and movies. Money grubbing suits are anathema to creativity.

  29. The Fantastic Four is one of the greatest comic ever conceived ; The Avengers and The Justice League maybe more popular than the F.F. or have more powerful members but the F.F. were a family and had problems they were more than a Super Hero team and some times they lost and came up short but they continued too move forward even through difficult continue to shine as heroes excelseor

  30. Wherever they are, surely they are creating amazing comic books. RIP Stan Lee Jack Kirby. Your legacy lives on

  31. I've always been a Kirby fan, but now I think I've got a few books to hunt down. I've been a Jim Lee fan since I was ten, didnt even know he had an FF run.
    thank you for the upload!

  32. Too many people jumping on the 'It was all Kirby' bandwagon. Yes, Kirby contributed so, so much, but those characters didn't exist at all until Stan thought of them.

  33. "I don't think the FF would have been quite as popular if Jack hadn't been the guy drawing it."

    uhh no shit, Stan

  34. Kirby was a legend and will always remain so. I liked Stan Lee, but his real talent was as a marketer, not an artist. Kirby should have been given WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more credit–and money–than he ever received, but the industry then was to use the artists as hires and nothing more. Things are different now, I guess, but back then, artists were shunted aside for the greater good of the company. To me, Kirby is #1; everyone else pales beside him. There are other great artists–Steve Ditko, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, et. al.–but Kirby topped 'em all.

  35. Well aside from reed richards power of stretchability being copied from jack coles (PLASTIC MAN )MY personal favorite comic character everything else is icing on the cake

  36. a decent doc
    but the title is click bait
    after an almost 3 minute masturbatory self indulgent intro, we get very little (almost nothing) of Jack Kirby info of any kind.
    This is a Fantastic Four doc….period
    (which i don't mind…but i despise liars…so shant be up, or down, voting this)

  37. Anyone interested in art should check out the covers before and just after Kirby left the FF. Look at how undynamic they are in issue 103 on. (See link, below.) Take Kirby's #99 cover, just to give one example. The figures are all IN the frame, whereas in later issues the characters, while well-drawn, feel detached from one another, as if not in the same space, as if a talented but not uniquely gifted illustrator (such as Kirby) drew each one separately then pieced them all together. That's why the post-Kirby covers lack the sense of dynamic action, engagement, and danger that Kirby was able to impart.

    My best guess is that Kirby was able to see the entire space his characters would inhabit in his mind's eye, all at once, and connect them all through line, angle, shape, perspective, and placement as he worked–whereas even very technically accomplished artists working on constant deadlines tend only to draw a character, then another, then another, and piece them all together rather than starting from a powerful and singular, overall conception. It's as if while they obviously have an idea where everything is meant to go on the page, they're still looking at the page as a two-dimensional compositional problem to be solved.

    Kirby, on the other hand, seemed to feel the paper itself as somehow harboring a three-dimensional space, a space he brought to life by inhabiting it with vigorously drawn characters. It's extraordinary to see, and to compare his work even with the work of technically savvy illustrators. Compare issue #112's cover with Kirby's #25. Both feature Hulk versus the Thing, but they're nothing alike. Even when Kirby's work was at its most crude, during the early run of the FF when the same character's face would sometimes vary wildly from panel to panel, he's able to convey a sense of menace in his first Hulk-Thing cover, FF issue #12–even separated by a rock wall, the characters seem to inhabit the same space, in a way they don't on the cover of #112 even though there the characters directly face each other.  

    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/fantastic-four/4050-2045/?page=8

    Thanks again, Fred. You really opened my eyes to one of the greats!
    .

  38. 47:15 – "Ultimate Fantastic Four" ?? That's just a marketing gimmick. Very disappointing.
    If you want to change the characters that much, start a new book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *