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Flashback: Review of Fantastic Four 63 (June 1967) July 28, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, Flashback.
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In Flashback, LOTRKing reviews a random back issue (in most instances, one he hasn’t read before) and attempts to make sense of both the story and its place in Marvel history.

Sweet, two weeks in a row of Stan and Jack goodness (don’t blame me for this week, it was chosen randomly). Unlike our last venture into the Silver Age of comics (or the Marvel Age, as Stan would have called it), this one is, for the most part, entertaining. FF 63 features the first appearance of Blastaar. I’ve heard of this character, but fittingly enough this was my first time actually seeing him in a comic. First off, I appreciate the many contributions that Jack Kirby made to the world of comic book art, and I usually thoroughly enjoy his work, but what was up with his tendency to make villains hairy? Blastaar is no different as he looks like a purple gorilla. Mehh, oh well. Blastaar’s apish look and Sandman’s goofy costume aside, he maintained his wonderful storytelling abilities, as well as his signature looks for each of the Four.

Stan Lee’s story appears to be a continuation of the previous issue (which I haven’t read) as the issue starts out with a bang (quite literally) with the recently-escaped-from-the-Negative-Zone Blastaar attacking the Baxter Building. Somehow, the Sandman has also found him, and is serving as his guide on Earth. (I’m assuming he is doing this in exchange for spoils or something.) After knocking Reed unconscious, Blastaar moves through the streets of Manhattan, and eventually Johnny and Crystal, who are sharing a date, run into him. The rest of the issue is mostly a big fight scene between the pair of Blastaar and Sandman against the Fantastic Four and Crystal. During this fight, we mostly get cool displays of powers from all the parties involved, and in the end, it is Reed’s smarts (along with one of his inventions and help from the rest of the Four) that saves the day. So while this issue may not be important in the grand scheme of things with the exception of being the first appearance of an N-Zone baddie, it was a good example of an entertaining Silver Age book. So if you ever get the opportunity to read it, go ahead, but no need to go out of your way to find it.

Next week: Amazing Spider-Man 222

-LOTRKing

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