Inspired by DC's top-selling smorgasbord of heroes, the Justice League of America, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to go one better when tasked with creating a copycat title for Marvel. Instead of a mash up of existing heroes, Lee and Kirby struck upon the novel concept of
creating a super-family, allowing young comics readers to instantly identify with the day-to-day squabbles, and growing pains
while still enjoying liberal doses of heroism and derring-do. With the addition of groundbreaking cosmic imagery and sci-fi themes, FF became one of the most adventurous and addictive of all Marvel Silver Age titles. This dynamic and historic first issue hits the ground running with an action-packed cover and one of the most thrilling and engrossing origin stories of the Silver Age.
It may be apocryphal, but legend has it that the Fantastic Four resulted from a golf game between Marvel's Martin Goodman and DC's Irwin Donenfeld, in which Donenfeld bragged about an upcoming superhero team book (Justice League of America), which prompted Goodman to practically chain Jack Kirby and Stan Lee to a desk until they came up with a team title to rival DC's upcoming blockbuster. While the title's origins are likely more drab than that, there's no denying that the competitive nature of the struggling comics business in the early Silver Age prompted feverish experimentation and risk-taking at the scrappy Marvel offices, resulting in clever, exciting series such as this, a first issue brimming with daring ideas, startling characterization, and brash ebullience.
Any Marvel key collector will tell you that this is one of the Silver Age keys most likely to turn up in middling condition, its cheap paperstock and rushed printjob combining with the unforgiving white background to make many original copies seem drab and worn. This higher-grade copy is a treat, with nice sharp colors and bright whites, and minimal wear. If you're going to invest in this book, this is a fine grade to consider, and a great copy for the savvy investment collector.
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