The Fantastic Four was truly the beginning of the Marvel Comics collection of super heroes that became a marketing powerhouse. Using the political and scientific climate of the times, Stan Lee and group used the Cold War and the space race as the backdrop for a group of four people going up into space without completely testing their equipment. While in space, all four are bombarded with cosmic rays that altered the molecular structure of their bodies. Ben Grimm became a thick, orange-skinned muscular powerhouse, Reed Richards became the human equivalent of a rubber band, Johnny Storm became a human torch and Sue Richards was able to make herself invisible. They banded together to become the Fantastic Four and became the scourge of super villains, wherever they may be. This book contains the complete set of the first six issues of "The Fantastic Four" and unlike some of the other books; the images here retain their original coloration. A disadvantage is that the images have been proportionally reduced in size, making it difficult to discern the finer features. I read these six issues off the newsstand when they first came out and was fascinated at the stories and the powers of the characters. The heroes were flawed and the villains were often in their own ways quite noble. Villainous characters that returned over and over were introduced, for example Doctor Doom, the Mole Man and the Skrulls all appear in these initial issues. While the storylines now appear antiquated to the modern reader of more explicit comics, there is still a charm and imagination to these stories that can never be diminished. Reading this book means that I have read the stories at least 10 times yet I never fail to be impressed by the amount of imagination and creativity needed to create them.
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