Fantastic Four #32: Kirby Kollage 2

Fantastic Four #32, page 3

Fantastic Four #32, page 3

Fantastic Four #31: Kirby Kollage 2

Story by: Stan Lee (Who has never been more dramatic!)

Illustrations by: Jack Kirby (Who has never been more thrilling!)

Inking by: Chic Stone (Who has never been more realistic!)

Lettering by: S. Rosen (Who has never been more than an hour late!!)

The second Kirby Kollage in the Fantastic Four makes a number of choices that work against the visual impact of the change of media. First, splitting the page into two separate images diminishes the 'wow' factor of changing location and media. Secondly, there's no sense of space being big and wondrous, as would be effectively portrayed by future pieces. Space is... stars and planets, with some colouring. I find it difficult to look at this as anything other than an experiment in form.

Technology isn't quite working on Kirby's side, either. There's a very noticeable dark strip down the left side of the first panel, where the reproduction process was compromised. The colouring also seems very on-the-nose, attacking the image rather than complementing it. Thankfully, this is an early mis-step on the way to astonishing images that still stand out as some of most innovative pieces of comics art ever.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #32 on our thirty-sixth episode: John Byrne Quits Comics