Monday, February 06, 2012

FF Redrawn

Fans of the Fantastic Four know that the characters' looks developed over time. In the early issues, ben was lumpier and less rock-like. Johnny was more a mass of uncontrolled fire than a flaming boy, etc. Something that I didn't realize, however, was that by the time the first FF Annual came out, just a couple of years past the debut, Marvel felt the need to "update" the reprints, retconning the characters' then-current looks into a reprint of that initial FF origin story! Most of the changes were to the Torch but some obvious ones to Ben and for some reason, even Reed in a couple of instances. Here we have a few of the panels from both versions for your comparison. The revised art is said to have been made by Sol Brodsky...ON THE ORIGINAL ART PAGES!!


  1. I made reference to this very issue (FFA #1) in the comments section of one of my posts when I was discussing with someone whether the Thing was originally bigger than Jack later drew him.

    I'm not convinced that Jack meant to draw him smaller in later issues - it's just that he wasn't too good at maintaining the heights of characters in relation to one another.

    Shame about those alterations to the origin - they pretty much ruined it.

  2. the look of the characters developed as time went on. especially after Marvel acknowledged the original human torch (the android from the 1940s), it was important to render the flamed-on johnny storm in a unique manor.

  3. Anonymous10:37 AM

    I love the Fantastic Four! They're my absolute favorite comic book title, and the Thing has always been my favorite character (followed by the under-appreciated HOWARD THE DUCK). I knew that they had "ret-conned" the look of the Human Torch in older issues, but I never realized they did the same with the Thing. The fact that his look has continued to evolve is part of the charm--although maybe in a few years they will go back and ret-con the ill-adivsed SPIKEY LOOK. Altering the Mr. Fantastic panels seemed extremely pointless, I have to say.


  4. Where did the reference to Sol drawing on the original art originate from? Roy has heard it mentionerd, although he wasn't there at the time and has no knowledge of it happening. I certainly hope its not true, but we'll never know unless the original art turns up (and stranger things have happened).