|With this alliterative splash page we return to the Marvel Universe |
circa 1970 care of Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson, Bruce Timm,
Kieth Giffen, Al Gordon, Jorge Lucas and Joe Sinnott
|FF: WGCM #4 cover by |
Interestingly, despite being published in 2001, Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comic Magazine fits canonically between issues #100 (July, 1970) and #101 (August, 1970) of the original Fantastic Four, Volume 1.
Because legendary penciler Jack Kirby's run was unceremoniously halted after issue #102, modern superstar comic book artist Erik Larsen enlisted others to produce what Stan Lee and Jack Kirby might have put together had there run continued for 12 more issues. While this can be seen as Larsen's formal tribute to the original World's Greatest Comic Magazine, one can rightly argue that his work as creator, writer and artist of the Savage Dragon series stands as its own homage to the Kirby aesthetic. In essence, the miniseries is one possible answer to the question of "What if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby concluded their historic run on FF with one last wild adventure?"
|From FF:WGCM #5, written |
by Kurt Busiek with art by
Gordon Purcell and Bruce Timm.
Each issue's story title also reflects Stan Lee's own penchant for alliterative names: for example issue #1 "The Baxter Building Besieged!", Issue #4's "The Merciless Menace Of MODOK!", and issue #9s "Nightmare In The Negative Zone!" I've written previously about the impact my childhood fandom had on early vocabulary development feel, especially the professorial dialogue written for Mr. Fantastic. It was wonderful to see nods to this in the editorial captions provided throughout such as in the lower right hand corner of the panel to the right declaring a "Special Note to lovers of Onomatopoeia."
|It's not an FF saga without |
an appearance from the Big G.
While this trip back to the 1970's Marvel Universe is co-plotted by Larsen and Eric Stephenson, the list of scripters reads like a who's who of late-Nineties stars including Chuck Dixon, Jeph Loeb, Tom DeFalco, Kurt Busiek, and Bruce Timm. Even Fantastic Four co-creator Stan "The Man" Lee receives a story credit for the final issue of the series (Issue 12, "Victor Von Doom: Emperor of Earth"). The art is suitably bright, vibrant with clean lines and a clear effort being made by the many pencillers (including Keith Giffen, Erik Larsen, Ron Frenz, and Rick Veitch) to recapture that Kirby Krackle magic.
Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comic Magazine was originally envisioned as a kick-off to the 2001 40th anniversary of Marvel's First Family, but it also serves as an entertaining and worthy re-read suitable for the one-time flagship title's recent cancellation.
|Emperor Doom versus Fin Fang Foom in issue #12 is almost worth the price of |