I picked this up to get ready for August’s Essential Human
Torch Vol. 1
. This is the volume that includes the
introduction of Galactus, the Silver Surfer, and the Inhumans.

General Information

Title: Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 3

Credited to: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Original Publication Date: 2001 reprint of material first published
from 1965-1967.

The Issues: This contains issues 41-63 of volume one, as well as
annuals 3 and 4. Summaries of all issues can be found at Jay’s Comic Book
Compendium
, which is extremely complete.

ISBN: 0-7851-0782-7

Cover Price: $14.95US, $21.95Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

Marvel’s First Family is forced to deal with the hunt of the Black
Panther, the empowerment of Doctor Doom, the coming of
Galactus, and
more.

High Point

Issue 59, with the cosmically powered Doctor Doom and Black
Bolt’s
scream.

Low Point

The depiction of Wyatt Wingfoot. Has there ever been a Native
American comic book character who wasn’t a peaceful, athletic
giant
who has a natural way with animals?

The Scores

The introduction of Galactus and the Silver Surfer added a
cosmic
element to the stories that wasn’t previously present in the
Marvel
Universe. That, combined with the introduction of the Inhumans
and a
few new villains, gives this a more original feel than
the
previous volume. I give it 5 out of 6.

The Jack Kirby artwork is Jack Kirby artwork. It’s
clean and
clear, and at this stage of the game, always on model. The lack
of
colour detracts from some of the images, though. I give it 5 out
of
6.

The stories being told are usually well done. Some
of the
three-part stories feel a big dragged out, and the coming of
Galactus
didn’t live up to its reputation. (For example, there is no mention,
at all, of the Ultimate Nullifier’s effects or limitations. All we
know is that it scared Galactus, and he offered to leave Earth,
but
only if he could take the weapon with him. I don’t know why Reed
trusted him enough to hand it over, though.) I give the stories 4
out
of 6.



The characterization of the characters we’d already
met
hasn’t changed a bit. We still see the same aspects to all of
them
that we saw last time. Most of the new characters are villains,
and
they’re very one-dimensional. The only well developed new
character
is the Silver Surfer, but if that’s what you’re looking for, I’d
suggest picking up his own Essential volume first. I give this
volume
2 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was weak for
most of
it. The Coming of Galactus didn’t live up to its reputation, and
most
of the villains were too boring to make me care about the battles.
Issue 59, with the Inhumans, Silver Surfer, and Doom all working
parallel stories, did work very well. I give the entire volume 3 out
of 6.

The flow is cursed by Stan Lee’s wordy combat
dialogue.
Otherwise, it’s very good. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an entertaining read, if imperfect. I give
it
4 out of 6.

In total, Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 3 recieves 26
out of 42.