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The Evolution of the Thing's Skin During Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four

GEORGE ROUSSOS

Roussos, though, who was the background inker for Bob Kane back in the early 1940s (when Jerry Robinson was inking Kane), was the guy who really went all in on the rocks right away during his run from Fantastic Four #21-27...

CHIC STONE

Chic Stone, though, pulled back a bit on his run from Fantastic Four #28-38...

He was doing a bit more of a scaly look.

FRANK GIACOIA

By the time Giacoia did a fill-in issue, though, the rocky look was pretty well-established...

VINCE COLLETTA

In his short run from Fantastic Four #40-43, Colletta definitely went big on the rocks...

JOE SINNOTT

Actually, looking at it now, Sinnott's work seems like it a part of the natural progression of the earlier artists, doesn't it?

The big difference is that Sinnott's version was now the one that Kirby would draw. So it is more that Sinnott locked in this specific rocky version of the Thing, as seen in Fantastic Four #50...

And then that was THE look for the Thing from that point forward.

It is cool how actually looking at the progression shows you things you didn't notice before. I thought the change from Stone to Sinnott was more dramatic, and to a certain extent it WAS, but that progression was blunted by the fact that Giacoia and Colletta had already THEMSELVES moved on dramatically from Stone's take on the Thing. Look at that Colletta Thing from #40. That pretty much IS the rockiness of the Sinnott thing, right? The big difference is that Sinnott just smoothed things out a bit to make them a bit more defined. So Sinnott is still key (as I noted, Kirby was still drawing the Thing the old way for years - the inkers just interpreted it their own way, until Sinnott), but he is far less key than I have thought.

Thanks for the suggestion of doing an evolution piece, Christopher!

If anyone else has an interesting piece of comic book history that they would like for me to take a look at, just drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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