Monday, July 22, 2013

And Don't Forget To Spray Your Room

When the first Fantastic Four annual came out in 1963, we'd already seen a few trivia pages on individual members of the team in the regular comic. Pages on the Invisible Girl and the Thing, though, had yet to be produced--so in that first annual, I suppose Marvel just decided to consolidate the trivia tidbits on the entire team in a handy two-page insert, and dispense with any plans to do full pages on the two remaining members. Looking at the double-page annual insert, it might seem at first glance that Sue and Ben got short-changed; but to me it looks like they're getting the same amount of attention that the Torch and Mr. Fantastic got.

The Torch, in issue #8, was the first to get his "feature page," which would be followed up with another in the next issue:

You can't help but stifle a chuckle or two at some of these bits of trivia. For one thing, if Johnny is like any other teenager, he's not going to be too keen on cleaning his room--so imagine how thrilled he is at having to spray down his room with a fire-retardant chemical every day. Nor can I see him taking the time and trouble to study weather patterns before taking flight, given how spontaneous the Torch has always been written.

It's the page on Mr. Fantastic that really surprised me, though:

Look how conspicuously it drops the word "pain" in reference to Reed's stretching limits, as well as how stopping projectiles weakens him for hours--before making the point that it's mainly his scientific ability which makes him an asset to the FF. It really wasn't my impression that this guy calls himself "Mr. Fantastic" because he can change his shape into a tire, y'know?

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