Classic Comic Cover Corner – Fantastic Four #36

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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 #36 – March, 1965

Cover art by Jack Kirby

Classic Comic Cover Corner – Fantastic Four #36
Classic Comic Cover Corner – Fantastic Four #36

It was announced last week that the mysterious blue humanoid body we’ve been seeing on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show — the one whose blood saved the life of the once dead Agent Phil Coulson and whose DNA is now driving him crazy — is “officially” a Kree alien.

This revelation brings all kinds of interesting cards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe table and potentially begins to set up at least two of the previously announced “Phase Three” films, with both Captain Marvel and The Inhumans stemming from Kree ancestry in one way or another.

In the Marvel Universe the mythology evolves as time goes by with creators making it up and connecting dots as they go (which I believe is the same strategy that ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is using.) Case in point: before the Kree and before the Inhumans, there was simply Medusa, who first appeared in Fantastic Four #36 as the female quarter of the villainous Frightful Four (you can tell it’s her by the “M” on her belt buckle.)

Fantastic Four #45Nine issues later, in Fantastic Four #45, it was revealed that the red-headed super-hottie was actually part of the mysterious race of Inhumans. And the Kree aliens would not be introduced to the Marvel Universe until Fantastic Four #65, when the FF fought the Kree warrior, Ronan the Accuser, whom you might remember from the recent Guardians of the Galaxy film.

The Inhumans’ Kree origins would not be revealed until (see update below) a four issue Inhumans mini-series in the year 2000, where we would first learn of the alien race’s manipulation of primitive human genetics (think Prometheus [film] in the Marvel Universe.) The Inhuman’s origin would be further embellished in Fantastic Four #577 (2010), a full 45 years after their first appearance.

UPDATE: It appears that we’ve overlooked a couple of early Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stories that address the Kree intervention in the creation of the Inhumans. See the Inhumans’ origin stories in the back pages of Thor 146 – 149 (1967-68.) Thanks to Nerdvana commenter, Gary, for the tip!

It’s all even more complicated than my brief summary, but nevertheless one can argue that the first appearance of an Inhuman is actually in this showcased issue (#36), and I’m certain that Medusa’s heritage has expanded much further than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby originally imagined.

Now the big question is how do the Kree aliens tie to the Skye (Chloe Bennet) character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is she a known (or unknown) Inhuman character, or is she eventually going to become Captain Marvel in the MCU (as some have speculated)?

I personally hope that Skye will turn out to be Medusa’s sister, Crystal, who once had a fling with the Human Torch, but eventually became romantically tied to Quicksilver, whom is serendipitously appearing in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron film. Hmmm…

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started off on shaky footing (and I’ll never forgive what they did to Deathlok), but I have to admit that they have really improved the series this season. I love what they’ve done with Mockingbird and I can’t wait to see where they go with the Kree storyline. My fingers are crossed for a Lockjaw appearance at the end of the season as he teleports Skye (Crystal?) away to the Inhumans’ homeland, Attilan. (Remember, it was predicted here at CCCC first!)

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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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  • Actually, the Inhumans ties to the Kree were shown way back in the 60s by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the Thor backup feature that followed Tales of Asgard.