- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Fantastic Four in the Mid-1970s: Great Stories by Roy Thomas and George Perez
This is a fun collection. That's the main thought any comic-book fan would have reading the issues in this volume, which contains the Fantastic Four issues from mid-1975 to mid-1977 and their appearances in some related comics.
Roy Thomas, who at the time was one of Marvel Comics' true veterans, writes most of the stories in this collection, having the Fantastic Four face off against several extraterrestrial threats including Galactus and Annihilus, as well as classic villains like Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker.
Several tales stand out for me. He has a several-issue tale that involves first the Fantastic Four traveling back to World War II to fight alongside the Invaders. a team consisting of the best-known Marvel superheros of that era (Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch). Then the Fantastic Four's Thing has to return to World War II again, and he is allied with the Liberty Legion, a group consisting of second-tier 1940s characters including the Thin Man, Blue Diamond and Jack Frost. The story is over-the-top but a lot of fun anyway.
Another fun tale is the re-introduction of the Impossible Man, an alien that just wants to have fun but wreaks havoc wherever he goes (including, in this case, the offices of Marvel Comics!).
Thomas also brings in the Hulk, Tigra, and Luke Cage (Powerman) for a few issues as guest stars to add to the fun.
One of the reasons why I looked forward to buying the original issues each month when I was a young comic-book fan was the art by George Perez (who handles a majority of the tales in this collection. He was still relatively new at the time but his work had a clean energy that is exciting (even when reprinted in black and white in this volume).
None of the stories in this volume are particularly pivotal in Marvel history. They are just a lot of fun, making this collection well worthwhile.
We have more in-depth reviews of earlier Fantastic Four collections here, starting with the superhero group's introduction in 1961:
1) The Fantastic Four Debuts
2) The Fantastic Four Guest-Starring Daredevil and Dr. Doom
3) The Galactus Trilogy and the Debut of the Black Panther