|Character And Development:|
|Originality And Continuity:|
Book Information:Cover Date: Dec 1962
Characters & Groups
- Fantastic Four
- The Antagonist
- Namor The Sub-Mariner
- Supporting Cast
- Alicia Masters
- Hidden Isle
In Fantastic Four #9 the Fantastic Four are broke and bankrupt, unable to pay their bill’s they find themselves selling off their assets and braking up as a team. Is this story the end of the Fantastic Four, or just another chapter in the beginning? I am sure 40 years of history tell us that.
It is though the unlikely ‘help’ of their strangest nemesis, that this story proceeds. While this story is not as world saving as some of our past adventures, it is at last a new twist on the Fantastic Four. This issue has action, and it has development. it helps us build up an understanding of our hero’s in a more human light then past issues have.
I won’t try to sum up the story better than the cover did, so to quote the cover of Fantastic Four #9
What happens to comic magazine heroes when they can’t pay their bills and have no place to turn? Don’t miss the newest and most original tale of all… The End Of The Fantastic Four
Ok maybe that seems to say little, but being broke is quite a real situation, it is good to see our hero’s making financial mistakes that lead them to have trouble paying their bills. This is a great story to serve as a reminder that our hero’s are not beyond human and flaw, they are human and have human flaws.
They have saved people’s lives, even the world. But a few mistakes and they can’t pay their rent. I love how deep and symbolic it is. The whole early part of the issue is of them selling off their assets and moping over being broke. each character grows a little in these pages with what they say, and how they’re dealing with the one menses that promises to be there end, The bill collectors!
But an offer comes their way, from a SM Studio’s for a million dollars to make a movie:
to put the pay in perspective of the time Sean Connery was paid 1.25 million that year for his role in Dr. No the first James bond movie. and in 1962 the national average wage was about 4,300 dollars, compared to about 41,000 in 2009. a million dollars was quite a lot.
Is this offer as genuine as it seems? do they make the movie, do they get paid? you will just have to read to see. but it is safe to say this is far from the last issue of Fantastic Four.
I feel that Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers did this issue justice, the art was wonderfully done, there was a good amount of detail, and easy understanding in how the characters where expressing themselves.
We have a wonderful frame Reed, Sue and Johnny while reed is stressing over the bills, his hand’s on his head, much like the image of any ‘father’ before the table dealing with his families finances.
you can no only Reed into his look, but her support and Johnny difficulty with the situation. it is all there in the way the panel presents itself before even one voice bubble is read.
This is but one panel of many that show and express the feeling and stress our hero’s are going though in this.
Originality & Continuity
When’s the last time you seen another hero team struggling to pay the bills? up until this issue, the idea of them even having bills never came into play. Hero’s save the world, but do they suffer every day real problem’s. It would seem so! when’s the last time before this you seen a hero or team deal with this issue, let alone it be the main theme of a whole story?
It also fits well with The Fantastic Four Continuity, The Thing visits Alicia, whom we met last issue. She also shows up both how highly she thinks of him as well as how well she can see in past his hard rocky exterior and to the real man inside.
Also this issue brings back to light the continued ‘romance’ between Namor and Sue Storm. His obsession for her, and her ongoing interest in him. I would say it seems she feels more strongly for him then for Reed Richard’s whom according to Fantastic Four #1 she was his fiancée.
Yet even here she seems to have a more than passing interest in Namor, and wishes he perused her differently. We also see little signs of a love life between her and Mr. Fantastic.
Other than that one detail, it seems to flow quite well with what we have seen of the ongoing story. Building up the continued tension between the two.
Characters & Development
My categories for ranking things often overlap, the characters and their development tie quite well with the continuity of the story, and the originality of the issue. our hero’s and our 1 supporting character all grow in this issue, because of the real situation there faced with. I don’t think I could have expected much more, in the way of a realistic character development, and driven story to close out 1962’s issues of Fantastic Four with.