Tuesday, August 18, 2015


MARVEL MASTERWORKS: FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 16 (Marvel, First Printing, 2014; Hardcover)

Collects Fantastic Four #164-175, Fantastic Four Annual #11, Marvel Two-In-One #20, and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 (cover dates November, 1975- October, 1976)

Writers: Roy Thomas with Bill Mantlo (#172 only)

Artists: Pencilers- George Perez, John Buscema, Rich Buckler, and Sal Buscema; Inkers- Joe Sinnott, Vince Colletta, John Buscema, Sam Grainger, John Tartaglione, and George Roussos

You could title this one Double (and Triple) Dips Are Fun or I Hate My Money. Issues 164-175 were all recently collected in the Crusaders And Titans trade paperback. I bought and dumped that one on eBay when this book was announced. Issues 164-167 and 170 were all collected in Fantastic Four Visionaries: George Perez Vol. 1, which I had and dumped years ago with the announcement of the Crusaders And Titans trade. Then we have Fantastic Four Annual #11, Marvel Two-In-One #20, and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1, which were all collected in The Thing: Liberty Legion hardcover a few years ago. So this entire book was a reread and a double dip, albeit now in “high def”.

I have always envisioned Reed Richards as the Professor from Gilligan's Island.

Since I have already reviewed these issues in those books, I will allow you to refer to the links in the paragraph above. They held up well on the reread, although some of Roy Thomas' dialogue is dated, which is forgivable when dealing with comics nearly 40 years old. I could have kept the other books which collected these issues but the notion of getting them with superior restoration and keeping my Fantastic Four Masterworks library intact proved to be too great of a lure. A pox upon you, completist OCD!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Marvel Masterworks are my poison of choice. For Masterworks of this book's vintage, rest assured that this is the definitive Blu-Ray edition of this material. No line bleed or off register printing. No mouldering pulp paper. The art and the colors look like the artists intended and are not hampered by primitive four color printing processes.

Linework and Color restoration: Painstakingly restored linework and a color palette that is 100% faithful to the source material. Those who claim that the colors are too bright or miss the “artistic choice” of Ben Day dots have obviously never seen an original color guide from this era.

Paper stock: Thick coated semi-glossy coated stock that has that sweet, sweet smell that all Chinese manufactured books have. I theorize that this delectable aroma is caused by the toxic stew of broken asbestos tiles, lead paint chips, heavy metal industrial waste, and mercury from recalled thermometers combined with the blood, sweat, and tears of the Chinese children working the sweatshop printing presses. The frosting on this delicious cake scent is the paper which is likely sourced from virgin Amazon rainforests.

Binding: Rounded book casing and Smyth sewn binding allow this book to lay completely flat in one hand as Godzilla intended.

Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: Spot varnish on the dustjacket, faux leather grain casewrap with dye foil stamping.

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