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Fantastic Four (1961) #29 Cover

Fantastic Four (1961) #29

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  • Imprint: Marvel Universe
  • Format: Comic
  • Price: $0.12
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This was somewhat of a strange issue. The story actually had a pretty decent arc, from beginning to end, but something about it struck me as odd. Then it hit me. It literally tells the same story from the first time the FF encountered the Red Ghost. They all end up on the moon, they meet the Watcher, they fight the Red Ghost, they get stuck on the moon, the Watcher finds a loophole to send them back. This felt particularly weird to me, because in large it made the villains return pointless, adding very little in terms of development. All it does is tell the story it's already told slightly better. That being said, there is a lot to appreciate about this issue. It has the best artwork Kirby had done to date, with striking visuals of space and great work on shadows. The Thing has some pretty major development with Alicia as well, going from fearing to break up with her, worrying that she's not with the right person, accepting that she can do better, and then loving her even more after she admits she's going through the same motions. It's actually a much more believable and loving relationship than the dichotomy between Reed and Sue, who are constantly in turmoil, which is acknowledged in the issue as well. Looking back on it, the genius of it is that the Thing and Alicia serve as a foil to highlight aspects of Reed and Sue. The Watcher also makes an appearance here, bringing the usual mystique and ominous presence that goes with being some omniscient being. Even the Watcher, who shouldn't interfere, can't help but to admire the FF and make sure they live, finding a loophole to bring them to Earth. The only downside is the villain, who ends up being a dated product of the Cold War, as well as rather silly with his monkey minions. 7/10

gwines member

#29 - 8/10/1964: ****; read 11/1/2014; "It Started On Yancy Street!"; The Red Ghost and his Super-Apes kidnap the F.F. and transport them to the moon to strand them there. The Fantastic Four visit The Watcher's home.; reference to Spider-Man, The Avengers, Pearl Harbor, The Hulk, Jayne Mansfield, Rock Hudson, Blue Cross, Bela Lugosi, King Kong, Miss America contest, Tales of Suspense, "Reader's Digest", the Hilton

JackStamper member

The setup is pretty epic, for a moment I thought, I'm finally at the issue, where Galactus is first hinted...but no, it's just the Red Ghost. Well...pretty nice, I guess.

Still a nice fight, although the Ghost having to get solid in Sues force field is very Deus Ex machina (Sue, you're not getting solid within the forcefield, you're getting visible, big difference!). Also: You gotta love the Watcher poking holes in his non-interference. "Yes yes, I can't help you, but you can use all my vastly powerful stuff if you wish to. Also, the moment you've beaten the Red Ghost, I will decide to return home and throw you back home. It has nothing to do with the fact that you can't get home, no."

Brentp256 member

Amazing Kirby art on this issue...some of his best!  (Well, except the final page, which you can tell was rushed.)  Great stuff!  Seeing it in the cleaned-up digital format is amazing!