How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
I got sidetracked this week, so there’s not a lot here, but what’s here is fun to check out!
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So it’s Easter when I’m writing this. And that’s always a good time to talk about evil.
This ties into one of my favorite blogger Plok’s Seven Soldiers of Steve project. I’m um…. a couple years late.
(Note from today: A couple years and a few months, as Easter is long gone.)
The whole project is a response to Steven Grant (who’s Master of the Obvious column runs on this very site) saying that Ditko and Lee’s Dormammu story in Doctor Strange was the first graphic novel. (Although he later recanted. )
Anyway, Plok responded to the core idea here – That, if any set of comics are thematically unified, are marked by a distincitve voice, sweeping narrative ambition, and are just plain good…
That pretty much makes them a NOVEL, regardless of the format the material was originally released in.
Using this as a starting point, he decided to see who, in comics, has written graphic-novels-before there were graphic novels.
And Steve Gerber was the obvious choice. He further argued that Gerber’s staggeringly ambitious (for their time) Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, and Void Indigo strips were their own animals.
BUT… Gerber’s SUPERHERO work for Marvel might, just might, have enough interconnections, in theme, setting, and character, to count as one fully formed novel, spanning many different series: Daredevil, Marvel Two-In-One, She-Hulk, the Defenders. So he sent out a challenge to the blogverse, asking for writers to tackle different aspects of Gerber’s superhero work. I claimed Gerber’s Son of Satan run, which spanned 10 issues of Marvel Spotlight. I decided to base my piece around the general theme of evil.
And, a couple years later, and several month’s after Gerber’s death I’m done!
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