Monday, August 8, 2011
50 Years of Marvel Comics
Fifty years ago today, the first issue of the Fantastic Four hit news stands. There's a lot of history in that sentence. First of all, fifty years is a long time for any item of popular culture to endure, but the Fantastic Four is still chugging along, not only as a comic book but in film, TV, toys, videogames, any whatever else Marvel is putting out. Second of all, the publication of Fantastic Four #1 effectively ushered in the Marvel Age of comics. FF #1 wasn't the first official Marvel Comic, of course, since that honor would probably go to Journey Into Mystery or Patsy Walker, but Fantastic Four was what defined the era.
Lastly, there is the mention above of news stands, which, for the most part, no longer exist, at least now in terms that a comic book fan could understand. I'm sure there are still places where you can buy news publications, but they are no longer anywhere near a comic book.
But fifty years ago today, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby put out one of the best comic books of all time (if not the best), and it cost a dime.