Sunday, 6 May 2012

Fifty years ago today - May 1962.

Within but hours, those of us in the land they call Blighty will be celebrating the May Bank Holiday. But you won't catch our favourite Marvel heroes prancing round the Maypole. Good God no. Even fifty years ago today, they were too busy chinning the badly behaved.

Fantastic Four #4, the Fantastic Four chase after the Sub-Mariner as he runs away with Sue Storm the Invisible Girl in his arms, Jack Kirby cover

The Fantastic Four show their ability to cause as many problems as they solve, by once more unleashing the Savage Sub-Mariner on the world.

He might not have known if he was a hero or a villain but, like all of the FF's early foes, he knew one thing - Sue Storm was put on this Earth to be kidnapped.
Incredible Hulk #1, origin, The Hulk looms over Bruce Banner as Betty Ross and Thunderbolt Ross look on in horror, Jack Kirby cover

It's a moment to celebrate, as the Fantastic Four are suddenly no longer alone.

At last they have another super-hero to share their universe with when Bruce Banner gets himself blown up and the Incredible Hulk makes his debut in a tale filled with more than its fair share of the Russian spies who caused so much trouble in the Marvel Universe.

You can't blame Bruce Banner though. How could he possibly have known that his assistant Igor was secretly a Russian? It's not like there were any clues.


cerebus660 said...

Aaawwhh, I love Ben's little booties on that cover! He's so cute for a lumpy orange guy... unlike Simon Cowell ;-)

Kid said...

Igor was a Russian? You're pulling my leg.

Boston Bill said...

The stories of the early FF greatly resemble the early stories of the Avengers. Stan's original plan was to have the Thing become a 'villain-in-residence' of the FF. Although never stated, I think that Stan and Jack wanted Namor to fill his slot in the team. Luckily, they changed their minds.

Then the Avengers really tried the villain-in-residence with the Hulk, replacing him with a golden age great. It didn't work, but it took several issues before they remembered to remove the Hulk from the logo of the book!


Steve W. said...

I didn't know that about Subby almost becoming a member of the FF. Thanks for that, Bill.

Arthur Curry said...

Boston Bill, I've never heard the story that they wanted Namor to replace the Thing in the FF. Is it written down anywhere?

Boston Bill said...

To clarify: I read that the Thing was created to be a 'Villain in Residence', and that he would quit the team early on; but Stan and Jack changed their minds after a couple of issues because they liked him so much. (sorry, looking for the article, but can't find it). Check out his personality change after the first couple of issues!
This made me wonder if Subby was intended as a replacement. This is my own theory and has never been verified by anyone to the best of my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Steve, your line about Sue Storm being put on this Earth to be kidnapped, is the neatest description I have read about Sue Storm in any blog for a long time. I love it! We are so in agreement about the hapless Silver Age/Bronze Age Sue Storm! I can't wait to see how you tell us about Madam Medusa defeating Sue by wrapping her up in her red hair.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Anon.