Classic Comic Cover Corner – Fantastic Four #147

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 #147 – June, 1974

Cover Art by Rich Buckler (Pencils) and Joe Sinnott (Inks)

Fantastic Four #147 - June, 1974
Fantastic Four #147 – June, 1974

What has happened to the Fantastic Four? Over the course of the summer rumors were flying across the Internet that Marvel Comics was allegedly reeling back its exposure of the FF and its associated characters in order to potentially sabotage the success of the upcoming Fantastic Four film by 20th Century Fox – with the ultimate goal of diminishing its value and then regaining the film rights at some point in the future.

Who knows whether this is true or not, but it certainly sounds like a corporate chess match in which the FF fans are ultimately going to be left holding the short end of the stick. (You can read more about the film/comic conspiracy theories at comicbookresources.com.)

I can say for certain that a recent stroll through my local comic shop proved that the Fantastic Four presence is paltry at best. A comic series that was once Marvel’s flagship title and “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” is now buried behind dozens of bastard children and grandchildren.

From what I know of the 2015 Fantastic Four film re-boot, in which they are casting all the characters as young adults and racially diversifying the Human Torch, I can’t say I’m very excited. Although I sincerely hope they pull off a successful film, as I would hate to see the FF disappear from the big screen for years to come due to poor business decisions.

Fantastic Four #147 - June, 1974The scariest aspect of the upcoming film is a quote from actress Kate Mara (who will be playing Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl/Woman) that says the movie “won’t be based on any history of anything already published.” So my question is, why not just make an original sci-fi film and leave the FF’s good name out of your picture?

Nevertheless, I wish Fox good luck, but I’ve long thought that a Fantastic Four movie would work best if it was an intentionally nostalgic piece, set in the early-sixties. Let it have a warts and all non-politically correct feel, like Mad Men, and let it be a reflection of the pop culture period in which it was born.

The other thing I would change would be to get rid of Doctor Doom (who is also the villain in the upcoming movie.) He’s been done, albeit poorly, twice now. Go with someone new, that we haven’t seen on the silver screen yet, like the Sub-Mariner – which brings me to this week’s showcased comic cover, Fantastic Four #147.

In this issue Sue Storm actually files for divorce from Mr. Fantastic and leaves him for Namor, the Prince of Atlantis. This leads to a battle royal with Reed, the Human Torch (wearing an outfit that will allow his flame power underwater), and the Thing against the Sub-Mariner.

The Sub-Mariner was first introduced to the FF back in Fantastic Four #4 (1962 – although Subby has been in comics since 1939) and he has always had, at least, a flirtatious relationship with Sue Storm.

The Sue, Reed, Namor love triangle could make for some excellent on-screen drama, and think how cool would it be to see the Sub-Mariner attack 1960’s Manhattan with a school of sea monsters. For me, as much as I love Victor Von Doom, I’ll take Namor over the Doctor any day.

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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.

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