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The title that started it all for Marvel Comics.
The Fantastic Four became Marvel's flagship title in 1961 at
a time when the company was only producing horror, sci-fi,
monster, westerns with a little romance comics thrown in.
Stan "the Man" Lee was almost burned out writing stories of
the above subjects. He had been working in comics
since the late 1930s and wanted to do something fun and
different than what the company had been churning out.
He wanted to do stories about superheroes that was unlike
what DC Comics was producing at the time. He wanted
his heroes to be like regular people. He wanted them
to argue and bicker with one another. He wanted
them to laugh and poke fun at themselves. He wanted
them so readers could relate to them. He wanted
them to be a family.
He and Jack Kirby did all of that and turned Atlas Comics
into Marvel Comics and launched a BRAND and a UNIVERSE.
The Fantastic Four made its monumental debut in the late
summer of 1961 taking the whole comic book world by
The first appearances and origins of the team made their way
into issue #1 with a bang.
Never have they appeared as individuals before. Sure
there was a Human Torch from the 1940s, but not Johnny Storm
- the wise-cracking/flame throwing hot shot that all of the
young girls were hot for.
Never has comics seen a creature like the Thing. He
was rough-looking, yet deep down Ben Grimm with blue-eyes
was fun-loving with a heart of gold.
Never has comics seen such a genius like Mister
Fantastic-Reed Richards spew out so many big words and
phrases that required us all to use a dictionary to
look them up.
Nor has comics up to that time seen such a
strong-willed super-heroine like the Invisible Girl later
to become the Invisible Woman-Sue Storm later to become Sue Richards.
Together they made a formidable team fighting against some
of Marvel's greatest villains and incorporating and
venturing into other Marvel worlds.
The Marvel Age of Comics began and a whole
new company was forged.
Comics as they say was never the same since.
The first 6 issues of the title is so incredible in its
importance that no other title has come close to what these
The aforementioned #1 noted with #2 debuting the Skrulls who
would turn out to be a long-running and still today villain
of the FF and other Marvel heroes. They have
intertwined in so many key storylines over the years.
FF #3 debuted the team's amazing Fantasticar and costumes which have become so iconic and a symbol of the
team. The costumes and vehicle have been updated to
meet the current times and remain a signature of the group.
The next 3
issues provided the team the mainstays and constant threats
that have lasted through the title and other titles.
The characters debuting in these issues are amongst comic
books' most recognized super-villains.
With issue #4, Namor the Sub-Mariner made his Silver Age
first appearance after having been last seen in the 1940s.
The Sub-Mariner had lost his memory and had been completely
unaware of his identity and surroundings until his encounter
with the Human Torch. Since this issue came out, the
Sub-Mariner has made countless appearances in other titles
and has had his own series and titles. He is a
permanent fixture in the Marvel Universe. This issue is
starting to get more and more recognition as a lot of
collectors have overlooked this book over the past decades
and certainly ranks among the most valuable of the Marvel
Silver Age books.
featured the origin and first appearance of Marvel's
greatest super-villain Doctor Doom. No other villain
created in Marvel Comics has become such an icon as Doom and
no other villain has appeared in more comics than him.
He is the quintessential Marvel villain that has never been
duplicated. The issue is amongst the most sought-after
by collectors and with a limited supply makes it incredibly
challenging to find a copy. It should always rank as
the second most valuable FF issue behind #1.
Marvel in its previous 22 year existence known as Timely
Comics from 1939 and Atlas Comics in the 1950s/early 1960s had never teamed up super-villains
together. They were always fighting the heroes by
themselves or with some of their henchman who weren't
became Marvel's first super-villain team-up issue featuring
Doctor Doom and Sub-Mariner working together to take on the FF.
The issue also represents both characters' second
appearance-Doom's overall and Sub-Mariner's second Silver
Age appearance. The book is very overlooked which will
not remain as such for much longer. It steadily
increases in value, but should be one of the top Marvel
Silver Age issues.
FF #7, 8, 11,
13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21 all include first appearances of key
characters in the Fantastic Four mythology and some have
ventured into other titles as well. There are a lot of
issues in between these that have their own significance with the
Sub-Mariner being a highlight and Ant-Man making
his first cross-over in #16.
FF #12 is the most standout book in this grouping and
contains the first Marvel cross-over which ties Amazing
Spider-Man #1 for that honor.
The Hulk makes
his way over into the title and this issue represents his
first encounter with the FF.
Back in the day having characters make an appearance in
another title never occurred as much like it does today.
It was a big deal to have characters featured in another
comic book and the Overstreet Price Guide continues to make
note of these early cross-over appearances.
There are some great battle issues with the Avengers in
issues #25 and #26 which contain the Hulk at the center of
these struggles with Captain America making his second
Silver Age appearance.
Doctor Strange and the X-Men also make key cross-over
appearances in issues #27 and #28.
Medusa and the Frightful Four
(#45), Black Bolt (#46), the Silver Surfer and Galactus (#48), Black Panther
(#52), Warlock (#67) all made their first appearance in
Most of the origins were also featured in the pages of the
When you continue to run down the
rest of the title, you start to see even more standout issues.
Just about every issue in the first 80 issues have something
eye-popping and earth-shattering.
The Annual issues that debuted in 1963 brought some
seismic stories including the most significant with Annual
#3 where Reed Richards and Sue Storm are married cementing the team
as a family.
Jack Kirby would move on
from the title after issue #108 and John Buscema and Rich
Buckler would do a chunk of the issues in the 1970s with
George Perez taking on a stint as well.
Jumping to the
early 1980s John Byrne was brought in to help rejuvenate the
franchise as the FF was going through a rut phase of
different collaborators and needing some continuity.
Before him Stan Lee and Jack Kirby worked together on 102
issues in addition to the early annuals.
Byrne would stay on the title for 62 issues and a couple of
annuals bringing the title back to its glory days of Lee and
Taking over the mantle a couple of years later would be Walt
Simonson who brought his own stamp that he had forged on
Thor a couple of years earlier.
When you look back at the Fantastic Four issues, you almost
always see some of
comic books' best talent working on the title.
Comic book giants like Jack Kirby, John Byrne, George Perez, John Buscema,
Joe Sinnott, Rich Buckler, Walt Simonson have worked on the
Fantastic Four and today's talented artisans continue to
make the title one of the better books on the market.
The FF have been featured in two major motion pictures, one
obscure motion picture that only can be found in
aftermarkets like comic book shows or on Ebay as a DVD
bootleg. The team has been a feature in a few animated
series as well.
There is word that 20th Century Fox intends on restarting
the movie franchise again to take advantage of the FF's
Without a doubt collectors
interested in collecting comic books need to peruse through
this title and pick up some issues and build their
collections with the Fantastic Four. They'll see how great a comic this is.
Marvel always likes to toot their horn with adjectives to
describe a character or characters and typically on the FF's
marquee on the cover or on the inside first page of their
issue are the label "World's Greatest
That's always been a tough thing to live up to, but for the
majority of its 50 year existence they have come close to
measuring up each time.
Purchasing Fantastic Four Comics
When reviewing sources to acquire
issues, I like to check
out local comic book shops and conventions. I get to see
the comics in person and can examine more issues at one time than I could online.
Eventually local sources go only so far since they rely on
collectors and other sellers in the area to bring them in.
Sources on the internet tend to travel and pick up
collections and will buy a lot of books online to add to
their inventory. They also have a lot of people from
all over the world who will contact them since they are not
tied to a local area to sell to them. These sellers
also tend to advertise on a more global scale than the local
comic book shop since their marketplace is the entire world
is a great place to find Fantastic Four issues. They're a
national online seller and have been selling comic books
through the mail since the 1960s. They try to stock every issue of every
title that has ever been published.
see a large amount of
Fantastic Four covers of key books in the run
as well as general issues in the title on this page that I
think will interest any Fantastic Four collection which will take
you directly to mycomicshop's inventory of that issue.
even find many issues from other titles that are related to
the Fantastic Four or are some of Marvel Comics' real
standout issues from over the years.
will see every condition of that issue they currently have
in stock so you can choose the right condition of the book
that you're looking for.
worried if you do not see an issue in stock when you click
on any of the links. Often times they will receive an
issue into their inventory on a fairly regular basis as they
purchase books and collections daily. Just go ahead
and bookmark the link after you've clicked on the issue here
or check back here and click on the link to see if the issue
has come into stock. The links will stay permanently
purchased books from mycomicshop before and will continue to use them.
Their grading is accurate and they are a reliable source.
They have great customer service in providing you books in a
Amazon.com is another great choice. There is a
large amount of sellers who have their own eStores there and
offer a variety of issues from this long-running title. Amazon themselves stock various reprint books which are a
great way to purchase some of these issues are a very
I have provided direct links to some Fantastic Four trade paperbacks
and hardcovers that are on sale at Amazon on this page which will
have additional details, reviews and purchasing information.
Simply click on any of the image links and you'll be able to
find more information on those publications.
Ebay is another option as thereís a lot of
collectors/sellers/dealers always looking to move in
and out of product and use Ebay as their avenue.
You may find some good deals on Ebay, but be careful to check out
the auctions and or Buy it Now listings carefully. Some
sellersí terms are not right for everyone and sometimes the
items are not what you expect.
If condition is important to you, then be sure to ask a lot
of questions. If you donít get the right kinds of answers
youíre looking for, then move on and try another listing.
Always check out the sellerís profile to see how their past
selling has been. If theyíre new to selling and have only
been buying, ask questions.
You always want to be comfortable with the person youíre
potentially going to be buying from and you really need to
know what it is youíre getting.
If you're looking for CGC Fantastic Four, then ComicLink is
your best choice. They focus primarily on CGC books
and you can find some of the top notch Fantastic Fours
available on their site. Expect to see CGC Fantastic
#1s, #4s, #5s, #12s, #48 and others of that era as well as CGC
Fantastic Fours from the
Silver and Bronze age.
this page has been informative to you regarding the world of
Fantastic Four comic books.
Enjoy your hunt and Happy