rating: 4 of 5 stars
I learned things about Marvel and the history of the American comic scene that I hadn’t known before. For instance, that the Fantastic Four were the first of Marvel’s super-hero team-based comics and helped to revitalize lagging sales and creative output.
But the main purpose of Maximum Fantastic Four is to showcase Kirby’s iconic art. The premise of blowing up each panel of a single comic and selling it as a hardcover book is amazing. I used to do this on my own because I tend to read comics slowly, panel by panel. So this book was very exciting for me to find cheaply on Amazon’s used section.
The first Fantastic Four comic is broken up into two actual stories, and the first part of the book is the most interesting, art-wise, to me. The second part is not bad, but it reads and appears less impressive. Regardless of how innovative it was at the time, it’s impossible for me to look at it with completely fresh eyes.
I was surprised to find Ben Grimm/The Thing such a multi-dimensional character, and that this was planned from the start by Stan Lee.
Anyways, if are a student of comics and comic art (not only in the literal sense), you should definitely check this out. There aren’t any other inventive studies of historic comics like it.
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