Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Clearly A Vacuum Cleaner

When it came to doing a solo pin-up page for Reed Richards, any artist would have had to put on their thinking cap. I don't suppose it's an easy task to give a character with stretching powers a one-shot pose that's going to look compelling (unless you're going for the comic relief of Plastic Man). You'd think a striking pose would be a cinch for a character named "Mr. Fantastic," wouldn't you. After all, it's not like artist Jack Kirby didn't give Reed his moments that demonstrated his abilities:

But if you were to try to cram all that Mr. Fantastic is into one and only one illustration, you'd probably end up with something like this later effort by Kirby (pictured with the other FF members):

So in a way, I can see why Kirby, in his pin-up of Mr. Fantastic (as part of his second series of FF pin-ups), instead focused on Reed's scientific reputation--perhaps with writer Stan Lee's blessing, who may have wanted to emphasize that a super-power that everyone can aspire to is the power of imagination and invention. And though Reed's stretching power is still on display here, it's clearly not where the emphasis of the picture is focused:

Seen in the light of keeping with the character of the pin-ups in this second series--that is to say, a more personalized look at the FF designed to give fans a little one-on-one time with their favorite characters--perhaps this pose for Reed was the ideal choice, after all. In addition, I don't think anyone is going to object to seeing another of Kirby's amazing detailed renditions of machinery that Reed dreams up. And if you need a "for instance" on that subject:

 Why does Sue look all "hmmpf"? Doesn't she know that old adage about men and their toys?

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