Fantastic Four Comics
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I am an unashamed fan of superhero comics. All my friends said I would grow out of it. I didn’t. Some people sneer at my harmless hobby. I don’t care. I like superheroes in all their forms, movies, comic books and games. Of course, I have my favorites and the Fantastic Four comics are one of them. The Four were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961 for Marvel Comics. The legendary Stan Lee also created Spider-Man and others, Kirby was a respected comic artist. The Fantastic Four comics and their characters are inspired by the Greek elements. Who says comics aren’t intellectual? Invisible Woman is the wind, Mr. Fantastic is the fluidity of water, The Thing represents earth and the Human Torch is fire.
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Members of the exclusive superhero group have gone thru changes but the four regulars have remained the same. They are Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Invisible Woman (Susan Richards) and The Thing (Ben Grimm). Mr. Fantastic is the undisputed leader and his wife, Invisible Woman is deputy leader. I like to call them Mr. and Mrs. Fantastic. The Human Torch is Invisible Woman’s brother. One of the best things about a superhero team is the range of super powers there are. This gives the Fantastic Four comics opportunities for great stories. The books also explore the personal relationships and group dynamic of the team.
The fans usually have a favorite member of the Four, as they are distinct in their personality and abilities. Mr. Fantastic is the brilliant scientist who can stretch his body like an eternal rubber band. Invisible Woman, of course, can become invisible at any time and make invisible force fields. The Human Torch engulfs himself in flames and flies around on fire. The Thing has
super strength and is pretty indestructible. My personal favorite from Fantastic Four comics is the Human Torch. He’s a bit of a rebel and I can’t resist a man on fire.
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There are some unusual features of the stories, in comparison to other comics. The Fantastic Four comics show characters that are loyal to each other and they operate as a team, but they also have arguments with each other. It’s a more realistic portrayal of people who spend a lot of time with each other, and naturally bicker from time to time. The stories don’t shy away from difficult subjects, as when Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman suffered the tragedy of a miscarriage. Another deviation from the usual format is that the Four don’t have secret identities, like Batman or Superman. In the Fantastic Four comics, everyone knows who they
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are and they are treated as celebrities.
The Thing is a very interesting character for me. With his orange, scaly skin and monstrous appearance, he meets a lot of prejudice from the public. This hurts him a lot. Like Frankenstein’s Monster, he’s a nice guy who’s unfairly judged on his looks. I think there must have been some conscious effort on the creators of the Fantastic Four comics to tackle discrimination in society.
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