Comics Creators on Fantastic Four

Author: Tom DeFalco
Titan Books
RRP 14.99, US $17.95
ISBN 0 84576 053 0
Available 22 July 2005

Released to coincide with the release of the Fantastic Four movie, this book looks at the origins of the characters.
Comics Creators on Fantastic Four contains interviews with everyone from original co-creator Stan Lee to classic writer/artists Walt Simonson and John Byrne, right up to recent and current stars such as Jim Lee and Mark Waid. Containing exclusive sketches and script pages, the book tells the behind-the-scenes story of the creation and development of the Thing, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and Mr Fantastic: the Fantastic Four...

This book follows the same format as the Comic Creators on Spider-Man book which I reviewed a year or so ago, also put together by Tom DeFalco and published by Titan Books. It comes with an attractive artwork cover and a nice layout incorporating inset information on integral characters and major storylines. The thoughts and memories of many of the big names in writing and artwork are collected together here in interviews about their contribution to the continuity of the Fantastic Four.

Joe Sinnott, Roy Thomas, Keith Pollard, Doug Moench, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Walter Simonson, Mike Wieringo, Warren Ellis, Jim Lee, Paul Ryan and Mark Waid are all cross-examined in-depth. Recognise any of those names? If you do, that's great, but the chances are you won't... and therein lies the problem. If you can't relate to the individual's work you might as well be reading an interview of your friend's uncle's milkman's next-door neighbour. The only names I recognised were Ralph Macchio, John Byrne, and the great Stan Lee, creator of all of Marvel's best loved characters. Those pieces I enjoyed, but they were only a small part of the book.

The comics I read as a kid were mainly Spider-Man and Batman, which I found to be the most accessible. I know what the Fantastic Four can do; however, I have no knowledge of their history, only what occurred when they occasionally appeared with the web-slinger himself. Therefore, any avid fan of the Fantastic Four will probably love this, but it will not interest the casual reader.

Ty Power

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