Thursday, April 9, 2020

Fantastic Four #55 - Classic Comics

   Did I ever tell you about the time I gave a story idea to Stan and Jack?

   I was a huge fan of the Fantastic Four in the 1960s (which is only natural, since it was "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!"), and by the time the first Inhumans story wrapped up, I was moved to do something I had never done before: I wrote a letter.

   I have no memory of what deathless prose it included, but I do remember making a suggestion: since Johnny (the Human Torch) Storm was so desperate to find a way to pass through the impenetrable Negative Barrier that covered the land of the Inhumans, wouldn't Lockjaw (Crystal's pet dog) be able to teleport past the barrier?

   Imagine my shock, several months later (to be specific, in this issue), when Johnny and his friend Wyatt Wingfoot, while traveling to the Great Refuge (home of the Inhumans), run into Lockjaw! When I read that page at the ripe old age of 10, my jaw fell open! They had used my idea!

   Of course, once I calmed down a bit, I realized the whole idea was improbable. Surely they worked on these issues months ahead of time, and using Lockjaw was an obvious solution - so they probably didn't need any help from me. (Talk about an understatement!)

   The issue is, of course, a classic. By 1966 Lee and Kirby (and Sinnott) were turning out classic stories like a machine, and this is another classic, as the Thing and the Silver Surfer (in his first appearance since the Galactus story) have a misunderstanding and get into a knock-down, drag-out, abandoned-building-destroying, sound-effects-and Kirby-Krackle-infused donnybrook that's a visual treat, loaded with humor and pathos and power.

    Of course, it was missing something important - my letter should have been printed on the letters page! Alas, it never appeared, so I gave up on letter writing.

   Stan and Jack managed to struggle along without me!

Grade: A+



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