Classic Comic Cover Corner – Fantastic Four #12

Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Fantastic Four #12 – March, 1963

Cover Art:
Pencils by Jack Kirby
Inks by Dick Ayers
Colors by Stan Goldberg

Fantastic Four #12 – March, 1963
Fantastic Four #12 – March, 1963

Last Sunday, August 31, 2014, the world of comics lost one of its greatest contributors, Stan Goldberg, who died at the age of 82. Mr. Goldberg was probably best known for his work on non-superhero books like Millie the Model, Kathy the Teenage Tornado, and Archie comics, but he was also part of the Marvel bullpen in the early sixties when the company changed the four-color world forever.

As one of Marvels foremost colourists, Stan Goldberg played an instrumental role in determining the way many of Marvels characters would appear on their comic book pages, selecting the color schemes that would govern the look of the Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and many other Marvel mainstays.

When you think of Spider-Man, you think of his red and blue costume, the Fantastic Four are lame without their iconic blue uniforms (made of unstable molecules), not to mention the bevy of brilliantly hued bad-guys from each title’s stable, and you can thank Goldberg for most of those memorably eye-catching colors.

Stan Goldberg (1932 - 2014)
Stan Goldberg (1932 – 2014)

Fantastic Four #12 is a perfect example of Stan Goldberg’s work. Just look at this cover and try to imagine any of the characters colored differently than they are. You can’t, and if you can I imagine the result is making your brain hurt very badly.

Fantastic Four #12 is also notable in that it is probably the first character crossover comic that Marvel created. In fact, one could argue that this very issue is the first step towards building what we know today as the Marvel Universe. (Spider-Man #1, featuring the Fantastic Four, was released on the same date in March 10, 1963. So I guess it comes down to which book was first conceived.)

This book also marks the beginning of the famous rivalry between The Thing and The Hulk, a match-up that readers still love to see, even fifty-years later (but that, thanks to film copyright issues, we’ll probably never get to see on the big screen.) [Fist shaking to sky.]

Read more about Stan Goldberg as written a couple of weeks before his passing by his old friend and comic historian, Mark Evanier, at newsfromme.com.

Rest in peace, Stan Goldberg, may the colors in Heaven be as vibrant as those you gave us on Earth.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.