Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s The Galactus Trilogy from Fantastic Four #48-50.
I figured I had to pick something special for Day 50, and one of the most famous #50s of all-time (that was still part of a larger story) is Fantastic Four #50, which is the final part of the classic storyline where the Fantastic Four drive off Galactus from eating Earth, and also resulting in the Silver Surfer becoming a member of the Marvel Universe proper.
Just look at those covers! They are some of the most iconic Fantastic Four covers ever (outside of the cover for #1, IS there a more iconic Jack Kirby Fantastic Four cover than #49? Maybe #10, perhaps #29 – Kirby even homaged #29, maybe #45 or #51? I still pick #49 as my choice).
This storyline works as the epitome of the epic cosmic adventures Stan Lee and Jack Kirby sent the Fantastic Four on often, with wild technology and astonishing stakes (the fate of the entire planet) but at the same time, real human elements, like Reed Richards’ reaction to having to try to save the Earth from doomsday (he doesn’t deal super well with the enormous pressure, grows a beard and even snaps at Sue)…
or the Silver Surfer’s literal fall to Earth….
And one of the most interesting aspects (and also part of what made the Kirby/Lee FF so great) of the story is how #48 contains the ending of the previous arc and #50 has a story AFTER the Galactus story wraps up (and sets up a story for #51!). At the time, Kirby and Lee were coming up with so many ideas that something as cool as the Galactus trilogy, where basically “God” showed up to destroy the Earth, was not even the SOLE story for the three parts of the trilogy!!!
The 50th issue has some stretches of the imagination, but it also has two extremely iconic moments – Reed Richards threatening Galactus with the Ultimate Nullifier…
and Galactus stripping his former herald, the Silver Surfer, of his abilities to roam the galaxy, as punishment for helping to fight for the people of Earth…
And note that these moments were handled as just one of many panels!!
You could argue that this comic had it all – great story, great art, cosmic problems, earthly problems, action – it was the complete package, and it still stands out today, forty-plus years later!