Archive for George Klein

Fantastic Four #5: Flame On 5

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #5, page 13, panel 2

Writer: Stan Lee

Artist: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inks: Joe Sinnott

Uncredited Letters: Art Simek

Today’s Flame On is set in piratical times, as the three male members of the team have stepped through Doctor Doom’s time platform to claim Blackbeard’s treasure (which, let’s face it, is a pretty inauspicious start for one of the Marvel universe’s heaviest hitters). Having been forcibly recruited to the crew of a pirate ship, the team cut loose to fight for their freedom. Here, Johnny activates his flame powers to melt a pirate’s sword, much to his surprise.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #4 in our third episode: Super Villain Cavalcade

 

Fantastic Four #2: The Humanity Of Benjamin J. Grimm 1

Posted in The Humanity Of Benjamin J. Grimm with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #1, page 19, panels 5-7

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

One of the greatest tragedies of the Fantastic Four is the lost humanity of Ben Grimm, trapped forever in a monstrous form, unable to connect with humanity on the level that he used to. Forced to wear a large mac and fedora to hide his looks (or at least until he came to accept who he was and decided to wear a fetching pair of trunks), The Thing would quickly move beyond his anger issues and become the true heart of the team.

Not that it would stop Stan and Jack from teasing him regularly with the promise of returning to his human form. In this first instance, a repeated exposure to the cosmic rays affects only Ben, causing him to lose his powers and disfigurement. This only lasts for a couple of pages before he loses his human exterior again, but this unexpected transformation launches one of the longest-running subplots in the book, that of Reed working to somehow regain the humanity of his best friend.

Fantastic Four #2, page 21, panels 4-6

I really enjoy Kirby’s layouts of the transitions, and the way they mirror each other. In both triptychs, the eyes are the key element and focus of the panels. In the first, they change from the unnaturally round eyes of The Thing to the more natural shape of Ben Grimm’s. In the second, they eyes vanish as Ben becomes The Thing again, highlighting the loss of his physical humanity.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

Fantastic Four #2: It’s A Marvel Comic 1

Posted in It's a Marvel Comic with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #2, page 18, panel 1

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

One of my favourite conceits about the Marvel universe is the way that Marvel Comics themselves exist in their own universe. The general setup is that Marvel heroes license their images and adventures to Marvel Comics, who then publish comics based on these, which are usually almost completely identical to the ones we read. There have been some wonderful stories involving this across the years, a particular favourite of mine being The Thing #7 from 1984, where Ben heads over to the Marvel bullpen to protest the poor nature of one of his issues.

So, every now and again, we’re going to see Marvel Comics in The Fantastic Four, and we’ll take a look at them as they appear.

Here, Reed brings along some comics with him when he visits the Skrull spaceship, and manages to pass them off as surveillance intelligence and, incredibly, averts an alien invasion! The art of Kirby and Ditko has arguably never been so important!

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

Fantastic Four #2: Fear Of The Thing 3

Posted in Fear Of The Thing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #2, page 16, panel 2

Fantastic Four #2, page 16, panel 3

Fantastic Four #2, page 16, panel 4

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

It’s a multi-panel spectacular today as Ben has one of his most spectacular meltdowns to date. Here, the team assault the Skrulls’ hideout to rescue Johnny, and Ben sees Red. Not helped by Reed’s insistence on calling his long-time friend “Thing”, he threatens to smash a heavy dresser over the heads of the Skrulls. What makes this really stand out is the way Reed takes this into his stride and threatens to turn The Thing loose on the Skrulls unless they tell him everything. This dangerous and manipulative side to Reed is seldom seen.

As we get to see the entire team in these three panels, I just wanted to drop a quick note about the costumes. When The Fantastic Four was conceived, Stan wanted to move away from the conventions of the genre, including having the team in costumes. These first two issues feature the team in civilian clothes throughout, and seeing Reed in a suit and Ben in a pair of slacks does look a little strange. This unusual appearance coupled with the darker behaviours seen in these early issues gives us a Fantastic Four that is both familiar and different, resulting in a less-familiar reading experience across these first few issues.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

Fantastic Four #2: Flame On .1

Posted in Flame On with tags , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #2, page 14, panel 5

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

This is kind of a cheat, but it is worth pointing out the first time that the words ‘flame’ and ‘on’ are used consecutively in The Fantastic Four. Here, the Skrull impersonating Johnny Storm has managed to negate Johnny’s flame by flying head-on into him whilst both were flaming. What’s nice to see is that despite being in mortal danger, Johnny was actually thinking, ‘hmm, those words sound good when said together. I must try them out at some point.”

Anyway, even though these are the first time that these classic words are used, the fact that a damn dirty Skrull says them means that they only get a .1 tally. It’ll be a little while more before we see Johnny use them as his traditional battle cry.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

Fantastic Four #2: Property Damage 5

Posted in Property Damage with tags , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #2, page 12, panel 6

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

I think this is most extreme example of Property Damage that we’ve seen to date: The Human Torch destroys a missile launching platform at an army base.

Now, this is all part of Johnny’s half-baked plan to draw out the Skrull imposters by pretending to be one of them, allowing him to infiltrate them. Of course, his plan requires that the Skrull impersonating him has gone off on his own for a while, or else he’s just the Human Torch acting badly.

But not too badly… note that Johnny destroys an unfinished launching platform. That’s still going to be at great cost to tax payer. your tax dollars, funding silly plans to draw out shape-shifting alien invaders.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

Fantastic Four #2: Reed’s Stretchy Body 1

Posted in Reed's Stretch Body with tags , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by quizlacey

Fantastic Four #2, page 10, panel 3

Uncredited Writer: Stan Lee

Uncredited Penciler: Jack Kirby

Uncredited Inker: George Klein

Uncredited Colours: Stan Goldberg

Uncredited Letterer: John Duffy

One of the great joys of having a member of your cast who can change his body shape must be getting to let your imagination run wild with the artistic possibilities of such a character. The first time I came across this type of power coupled with a writer and artist capable of running with these possibilities came when I read Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA, back in the late 1990s. They had an absolute ball with Plastic Man, and for a large part of the 2000s, successive writers and artists kept Plastic Man as an amusing and inventive character within the League.

But we’re not here to talk about the Justice League. We’re here, under this category, to take a look at how Stan and Jack handled the possibilities of such a character. We start here, with Mr Fantastic contained in another seemingly escape-proof cell by the US Army. On the previous page we’d seen him use his fingers to probe ever inch of his cell looking for a gap, and here we find him squeezing through a minuscule gap adjacent to a rivet. This leads to this marvellous visual of a plaid-clad Reed sprouting his head from a metal wall.

Oh, and notice that this is before the unstable molecule costumes that would make their début in the next issue. That’s an impressive plaid shirt!

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #2 in our second episode: Secret Invasion Tie-In

%d bloggers like this: