On August 8, 1961, Fantastic Four #1 changed superhero comics forever, and yet it's barely a superhero comic at all.
Legend has it the book was inspired by the success of rival DC's Justice League of America. That book is a superhero comic through and through, and apparently its team of heroes inspired Marvel publisher Martin Goodman to ask his top creators, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, to create a superhero team of their own. But while DC gathered its Justice League from their other superhero titles, Marvel was publishing no superhero books at that time.
So Lee and Kirby created a team from scratch. But springing from the minds of Lee, who was by all accounts terribly burnt out on comics at the time, and Kirby, who had done everything in comics, but was then the master of monsters, Fantastic Four #1 was a weird, dark superhero book, about a weird, dark team
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist. This week we’re visiting a concept that has yet to be done justice in a movie, but one that clearly has potential. The Fantastic Four, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's most impressive co-creation, will certainly get another movie sooner or later, because Fox doesn't want to give up the rights. And obviously I have opinions on how to finally do it justice.
One of the noticeable differences between DC and Marvel is the number of prominent superheroes that wear capes. Compare any group shot of any number of Marvel superheroes to any group shot of DC superheroes and chances are good that there will be more capes on the DC side. There's a litany of reasons why this could have taken root in the intrinsic creative works of both companies, but one of the strongest is the role of one artist and creator in the building and evolution of both publishers into what we know of them today: Jack Kirby.
With Avengers: Age of Ultron just around the corner, interest in these heroes has never been greater, so we’ve decided to pit all the official comic book Avengers against each other in a battle for your affections. Who is the greatest, best, favorite Avenger of all time? Only you can decide.
We’ve created voting groups that mix up different eras of Avengers membership. Group G features Captain America again, but a different one. How will Bucky fare against the last of our original movie Avengers, Hawkeye, and a guy who might be a future movie Avenger, Spider-Man? And do Silverclaw and Sunfire stand a chance in this sort of company? The top two or three Avengers will go through to the next round, so vote tactically!
Q: Who is the best wrestler in Marvel or DC? -- @Mike_Zeidler
A: I'll be honest with you, folks: Over the past week, I have pretty much done nothing but watch the new WWE Network for five straight days, so it was a foregone conclusion that this week's column was going to be about pro wrestling. It was either this, or a lengthy examination of what the tag team tournament from Starrcade '89: Future Shock had in common with Secret Wars II, and I don't think any of us want to sit through that.
Now, I've written about comics that were about pro wrestling in the past, but if we're talking about which mainstream superheroes would fare best inside the squared circle, well, there's certainly an obvious answer.
The first season of Marvel's Hulks and the Agents of SMASH has reached the halfway point, and it got there with a big confrontation between Hulk and the Leader. Hulk, with the help of The Thing, heads to the Negative Zone to confront the Leader and save his team, and it all leads to the Hulk realizing how much he's come to value things he previously wanted no part of -- friendships and family.
And now the dynamic of the show has changed. With nowhere else to send him, the Hulks have brought a defeated Leader to be a prisoner in their home, which will make for a very interesting dynamic going forward. We spoke to veteran animation writer Henry Gilroy and supervising producer Cort Lane about their favorite moments in the series so far, what to expect in the second half, and how having the Leader in the Hulk base is kind of like dropping Hannibal Lecter in the middle of a frat house.
Movies: If you thought the 2005 Fantastic Four film was a departure from its Marvel Comics source material, wait until you see the unused concept art for Dr. Doom and the Thing by Constantine Sekeris...
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