Tuesday, November 09, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 87

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

Fantastic Four #200
by Marv Wolfman

Fantastic Four #200I've never minced words about my being a writer who was influenced by comic books at a young age. If not for comic books back in the 1970s, I might never have become a lover of reading and eventually moved onto reading prose works.

But of all the comic book stories I read back then, one of my favorite has always been the multi-part tale that lead up to issue number 200 of the Fantastic Four comic book.

What happened? Doctor Doom, a longtime foe of the Fantastic Four, kidnaps some of the members of the super group. Then he uses them to clone himself a son, a super super-powered being who eventually has to be destroyed by Doom. When the finale finally arrives, Doctor Doom has to face off with Reed Richards, also known as Mister Fantastic, who is the leader of the Fantastic Four.

The battle was epic, at least back then for comic books. The winner? Well, it's not likely you'll run out and look up a copy of this old comic, so I'll tell you. Reed Richards. Like you couldn't have figured that one out, right?

Doom is driven insane by seeing thousands of images of his scarred face in broken glass, but don't worry. He'll get his act together again eventually and show up once more.

From a writer's point of view, this story taught me much, especially about writing epic stories. Everything in this tale was BIG and IMPORTANT. The characters were big, bigger than life. The plot was big, spanning continents. The battle at the end was big, featuring swinging fists and super powers and all kinds of crazy stuff.

Like I said, everything here was BIG, BIG, BIG!

And if you want to tell a solid story, a story that's bigger-than-life in scope and characters, you could do far worse than to study issues 197 through 200 of Fantastic Four, especially the ending in issue 200.

Just in case you didn't notice, the famed Jack Kirby did the artwork for the cover of this issue.

Up next: The Return of the King

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I always liked the Fantastic four, especially their interactions with the Silver Surfer.