yeah, yeah. We know the Galactus story was great, but I’m reading FF to the kids at bedtime right now and that period from issue 40 until issue 60 is just amazing. It’s so ripe with Kirby concepts you can see where he was taking the lead in the team here and ideas he returned to years later. But it’s given me an appetite to track down other arcs. His Black Panther run looks amazing. What was it about? Also, what others do you guys rate? Note: Please don’t say NEW GODS or MISTER MIRACLE. I mean specific great stories or other FF ones we’ve yet to reach (working our way through lots of Marvel Essentials right now).
I’m currently reading the Lee/Kirby FF to my daughter at bedtime too. It’s wonderful imagination-fuel.
In terms of favourite Kirby stories, I think I actually tend to go against the grain and prefer his shorter arcs or single issues to the big sprawling epic stuff like Fourth World or Eternals.
OMAC #1-4 and The Demon #1-2 are opening arcs (building off origin stories) that are fairly fun and imaginative - OMAC is weird futuristic dystopian stuff, and The Demon is more gothic and magical/mysterious. The very early Kamandi issues are great too and full of cool, weird visual concepts.
I also like some of his late-era Captain America stuff - ‘Bicentennial Battles’ is a very weird and wacky trip through history.
But I’m aware that some of that is stuff I enjoy because I’m looking at it as an adult and looking for Kirby’s weirder, more offbeat stuff rather than the solid fantasy-adventure fare of FF.
For kids I don’t think it really gets better than his Fantastic Four stuff for raw imagination and great visual concepts. I’d probably exhaust that before moving on to anything else.
I don’t have anything to add other than this has now inspired me to read that FF run to my kids as I have never properly read it.
The early Tales of Asgard, which was a back-up in Thor, told great versions of Scandinavian myths. The early ones featuring Odin fighting giants, and re-telling all the Asgardian origin myths, are among my favourite Kirby works. It’s all done in huge panels and splash pages, so Kirby gets a lot more scope for dramatic images than in the denser FF pages. And the stories are FAR more interesting than the (honestly, pretty generic) Thor strips in the same books.
They were collected into a trade paperback a while ago so should be fairly easy to get.
And what kid doesn’t love Viking mythology?
I remember those Tales of Asgard running as a backup in one of the Marvel UK books (I forget which now I basically read everything they put out). They were really good.
The Tales of Asgard strips are a good shout.
If you’re saying specific and not just general “New Gods” or “Mister Miracle” then The PACT.
It far outclasses everything.
The Pact is a masterwork of theme, tone, mythology.
That looks right.
Except I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay £18 for it!
It was one shilling and sixpence!
What age are we talking for the bedtime reading? I’ve got the Essential FF that covers the intro of the Black Panther in a box in the garage and I hadn’t thought of introducing it yet but might be an idea (Margot’s just turned 5). Started showing the Encyclopedia of Super Heroes by Jeff Rovin to her this morning but had to quickly close it when we got to the page showing a villain being burnt alive.
I’m trying not to get too much into the fistfights aspect of comics just yet - at 5 years old I like that there’s this world of sweetness and light, like Wind In The Willows, Brambly Hedge etc, she’s got plenty of time to read about people being punched once the world’s worn her down a bit.
FF and Panther were my favorites. Maybe some Cap as that’s a life-long love of the King, and do feel free to call him Captain Scotland.
What were they actually about? The best ones.
We started FF 52 tonight and the wakened stuff is amazing. I’d forgotten how much of the mythology is in these Lee Ditko issues.
You are right there. Carry on!