Saturday, 17 July 2010

LITTLE-KNOWN "THIRD" FANTASTIC FOUR #1 COVER...

 
Published cover
As most readers will know,
there are two FF #1 covers;
the cover as originally drawn
(below - known as the "missing
man" cover - 'though that should
really be in the plural), which was
the version most often utilized in
MARVEL reprints up until the
recent Masterworks, Omnibus
and Trade Paperback editions.
Then there's the version (left)
originally published in 1961.

This featured the addition
of a policeman at the end of the
street - and some alterations and
additions to the passers-by on the
right-hand side of the cover.  Ex-
actly who was responsible for
the amendments is, at present,
 unknown.

Was it Jack Kirby or Dick Ayers who drew them?  Perhaps Ayers inked over
Kirby pencils, which would explain why he was credited as inker of the complete
cover for many years, until George Klein came to be regarded as the man behind
the embellishment duties.  Perhaps one day we'll find out for certain.
 
Stat of original art by Jack Kirby & George Klein
What most fans don't realize
however, is that there is also a
third, hybrid, version.  (Below.)
This was the reprint of FF #1
used for the Golden Book &
Record Set in the mid or late
'60s.  This cover had the original,
unaltered passers-by as originally
drawn by Kirby, but the police-
man (a redrawn version) had
been added to make it look like
the original printed version from
1961.  (The price, number and
date had been removed 'though.)
Interestingly, considering the
debate about who inked the first
issue, Dick Ayers is credited as
inker on the back of the record
sleeve - although his surname is
misspelled as "Ayres".)


Golden Book & Record FF #1 reprint

Side-by-side comparison

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