Friday, August 23, 2013

Reading old Fantastic Four comics

Years ago, I splurged on a copy of Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four volume 2.

via Barnes & Noble.
I wanted the first volume, but Barnes & Noble was lacking. Still, I came out pretty good, I think. Marvel Masterworks, by the by, is the name of one of Marvel's reprint series, along with the Essentials collection. The main differences between the two collections is that Essentials gives you a lot more comics for a lower price than Masterworks, but all of the comics are reprinted in black and white. I have one of the Avengers Essentials and love it, despite that one drawback. Masterworks, on the other hand, is reprinted in full color and on better paper. I don't know how many issues are reprinted in other volumes, but this one contains issues 11-20, plus the first annual. Ten comics in one slim book for $24.99 is a damn fine deal, if you ask me. The book has a bit of heft to it, which to me, just enhances the value.

Another thing that makes the second volume worth picking up is that it contains the first appearances of several big bads and others, such as the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes, the Watcher, The Impossible Man, Mad Thinker and Awesome Android, Super-Skrull, Molecule Man, and Rama Tut. Whew!

But for all of that praise, there is a downside. Some of the stories I've read so far are short and don't quite hold up today. Issue 15 with the Mad Thinker was interesting in concept, but was just too short and because of that, was resolved too quickly. I'll be doing a separate post about that comic later on. Still, I mean, the collection more than makes up for it with other exciting stories and a pretty nice bonus section that I guess came with the FF's first annual. That section features a rogues gallery of villains, a cut away of the Baxter Building, and information about the team itself.

All in all, I think it's worth buying.

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