Top 100 Comic Book Runs #3
We’re in the top three now!
The final two runs tomorrow!
3. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four – 1030 points (37 first place votes)
Fantastic Four #1-102, Fantastic Four Annual #1-6
To put the over 100-issue run on Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby into perspective, take into consideration that its now about forty years after they FINISHED on the book, and writers are still working off the stories they did in those issues, that is how deep and realized the universe was that they created in those 100-plus issues.
Their run was a hit from the get go, so much so that by the fourth issue (in the second issue, they introduced the Skrulls, who are kinda important now), they were already using it to bring back Golden Age characters, like Namor…
To go from the return of a classic character to the introduction of an even MORE classic character is no small feat, but that’s what Lee and Kirby did with the introduction of Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #5.
Doctor Doom is one of, heck, he IS the greatest supervillain in comic history, and he made the rest of Kirby and Lee’s run a little easier, as they knew they could always go back to Doom if they needed a cool story.
The best part about their run, though, was that (until the later stages) they DIDN’T go back to the well – they just kept creating and innovating, like with the Inhumans…
and the Silver Surfer.
In one of the great changeups in comic history, they went from the epic Inhumans story DIRECTLY into the epic Galactus story and then WHAMMO – they hit you with the inspired one-off humanity-inspired piece, This Man, This Monster…
Who else could go from epic to touching small scale stories like that?
All with Stan Lee’s impressive dialogue (boy, he sure was a good dialoguer, just like on Spider-Man, he made all the character’s personalities shine and connect with the readers in a cool manner – except Sue, Stan wasn’t great with Sue, he could definitely have done a lot better when it came to writing Sue) and Kirby’s absolutely brilliant design work and bombastic storytelling.
This was a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions, and it’s too bad it ended when it did…
with a bit of a whimper rather than a bang.
Still, the run as a whole was a masterpiece of superhero comic fiction.