Monday, November 05, 2007

Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four

The Jack Kirby-era Fantastic Four (1961-70) on Marvel Comics has been a big favourite of mine for a long time, though my efforts to collect these works have been somehow haphazard and mostly reliable on irregular Finnish translations. The latest of these is Ihmesarja 12 (reviving the title under which Marvel's comics were published in Finnish for the first time in the 60s) on Egmont, a compilation which features from 1969 and 1970 the last Fantastic Four adventures Kirby created for Marvel Comics before he left the company.

Kirby's was an elegant and cinematic style of illustration (I especially love his beautiful female characters) owing a great attention to detail and vast cosmic visions, with a certain occasional touch of surrealist pop art too (some of his singular comic book panels could be works of art in their own right): Marvel Comics enjoyed a cult following among the members of the 60s psychedelic counter-culture; having a certain hipster appeal with characters like Silver Surfer (who had his first appearance in FF #48, March 1966) who was a philosophical galactic beatnik/hippie never ceasing to wonder humankind's war-like habits.

The storylines themselves -- with pompous cosmic villains of over-theatrical lines and their universe-conquering delusions of grandeur combined with the silly comedy antics of our heroes' domestic lives -- seem quite childish these days when pop culture is inhabited with psycho serial killers and even Batman has become a dark right-wing vigilante à la Frank Miller, but obviously it's this old-fashioned naivety for which the vintage Fantastic Four holds a great appeal.

  • Comics @ pHinnWeb
  • No comments: