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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Marvel's Greatest Comics #28 - The Frightful Four

Kirby provides a new cover for this issue's reprint of FF #36 (1965), inked by John Verpoorten according to the Kirby Checklist, Joe Sinnott according to the GCD. Verpoorten looks more likely as Sinnott had a few distinctive touches in his work from this era that are missing. Also of note, Medusa is wearing something closer to her later mask on the cover rather than what she wore in this issue.

This issue opens as Reed and Sue publicly announce their engagement, getting a lot of press attention. Unfortunately, Sue also took this as a time to unveil one of her least flattering hair-cuts. Meanwhile, the Wizard (who makes a brief misguided name change to the Wingless Wizard this issue. Ooooh, "Wingless"! Scary) has gathered a few of the other super-criminals, Paste-Pot-Pete and Sandman, along with new recruit Madame Medusa, to form the Frightful Four.

Following a party with the Avengers and X-Men (where the scripting has to go through a few hoops to explain Professor Xavier's presence, since he wasn't openly associated with the X-Men at the time) the villains attack and are able to defeat the three members present.

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Fortunately Johnny is off admiring cars, and Alicia is able to send a signal off to him and he manages to rescue his team-mates and Alicia from floating off into space and defeat the villains.

Of course the Frightful Four would return several times in the next year, but the real lasting legacy of this issue is the introduction of Medusa, leading to the Inhumans and some of Kirby's best supporting characters.

Chic Stone inks the story. This reprint is edited down to 19 pages from the original 21, with a Yancy Street gag from the beginning and a scene with the Torch a few pages later missing.

Published 1970

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