Glow-In-The-Dark, Holofoil, Chromium and Die-Cut – Comics In The Nineties Weren’t All Bad – The New Fantastic Four

GameStop, Inc.

2192850-1991mu2.newfantasticfourThe nineties get a lot of flack nowadays from comic fans, and some of it is very well deserved. Many things happened in the nineties that made it a very dark decade for the comic industry, many things we would like to forget happened at all, and some things we just can’t seem to let go of. And pouches, so very many pouches.

For as many reasons as there are to speak in hushed tones when referring to comics in that rather fateful decade, there are many more reasons to shout at the sky in praise. Each Tuesday I discuss the many things that made that decade truly a great time to be a fan. This week, I bring you another reason the nineties weren’t all bad.

The cash grab that was The New Fantastic Four.

The Fantastic Four has always been one of Marvel’s flagship titles, a long time hit with fans, and a relatively good seller, but in 1990 they were far from Marvel’s best seller. At the time The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine were fan favorites, appearing everywhere, jumping from title to title, so it was no surprise that they would come together and form a team. It was surprising that they would form a new Fantastic Four however.

04-17-2007 05;01;49PMThe story, not that it’s all that important here, was that a Skrull named De’lila incapacitated the Fantastic Four, impersonating the Invisible Girl, and called upon these disparate heroes to bring their “killer” to justice. This was all a clever ruse by the Skrull, as she was actually using these heroes to steal a weapon from the Mole Man. She was eventually found out, and the heroes won the day.

It all started in FF #347, with a perfect cover, by interior artist the fantastic Arthur Adams, that told you exactly what to expect before you even opened the issue. All the pieces were there, surrounding the apparent corpses of the FF. As usual Adams’ style and flawless design sense grabbed my attention immediately. I had to have this book! It had many of my favorite characters of the time, drawn by one of my all time favorite artists.

For three wonderful issues Walter Simonson, Adams, Art Thibert, and Al Milgrom gave us a fun, fan-fiction style romp through the Marvelverse. They brilliantly gave the fans what they didn’t even realize they wanted, and it sold like crazy, with a gold ink second printing following very soon after the first issue sold out. It was just the shot in the arm the FF needed, as prior to this the book’s sales were flagging.

2322402-552654598_b058ffe216This was teenage me’s ultimate comic, featuring The Hulk in his popular at the time Mr. Fix-It persona, the character find of the 90s Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, everyone’s favorite mutant Wolverine, and Spider-Man riding the character high spun out (no pun intended) of his two insanely popular books. It was basically Marvel printing money.

The story wasn’t high literature by any means, but it didn’t need to be. All I wanted when I first read these issues was a frivolous, exciting story with my favorite characters kicking bad guy butt, and it delivered. They even threw in The Punisher in the last issue! I was in heaven. But it wasn’t just a cash grab as I stated earlier, it was also one of the last instances of Marvel poking fun at itself and the medium.

They understood and played off of the fact they were not only exploiting their characters, but the fans as well. The famous top of the cover “The world’s greatest comic magazine” tagline was supplanted with “The world’s goofiest comic magazine”, “The world’s most commercialest comic magazine”, and “The world’s most collectable comic magazine”. That Punisher cameo was introduced with this little cover blurb, “Featuring the world’s most exploitative cameo!” pointing out how obvious it was what Marvel was doing. Their tongue was bursting right through their cheek, and most of us kids reading didn’t get it, or didn’t care.

Fantastic-Four_349_Vol1961_Marvel__ComiClashAnd that art by Art Adams was pitch perfect. You could tell he was having a blast with each issue, firmly in his element drawing Skrulls, 50s sci-fi monsters, and the Mole Man and his minions. His Wolverine was MY Wolverine, the one I knew from his Classic X-Men covers years earlier. Next to the also awesome Dale Keown, Adams’ Mr. Fix-It was the best in the industry, menacing yet humorous, a monster in pin-stripes. His Spider-Man made me wish he had drawn more of him. He was gangly, impossibly flexible, and bounded from panel to panel in perfect Spidey fashion. Simonson knew exactly what Adams’ strengths were, and played them up admirably.

Sadly, this partnership only lasted those three issues, with the characters coming back together a few more times throughout the years by different creators. Those stories never quite captured the magic for me, and for a very brief time The Fantastic Four was my favorite book, something I never thought I would say.

This storyline was simply a joy to read, and I was excited every month for the next issue to appear on my local 7-11’s comic rack. This unlikely, yet obvious team-up was a gloriously fun read that gave comic fans exactly what they wanted, everything, and was one more reason it was awesome being a comic fan in the nineties. Next week I’ll bring you another.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap’ Season Two – Interview

Legendary Actor, Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap‘ Season Two, 2-Hour Season...

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby’

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby‘...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Saga! Back to the story!

Alright you monkeys, back to work!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Cultural Junkdrawer: I’m not a Swifty, but…

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER I‘M not a Taylor Swift fan but…     This...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...