Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four The World’s Greatest Artist’s Edition

Jack Kirby was the undisputed King of Comics and IDW is proud to present the second Artist’s Edition focusing on his Fantastic Four work. And, even better, this collects his earlier, “twice up” art–Kirby-sized!!

This massive collection includes issues 33, 45, 47, and 60 of the Fantastic Four, plus a stellar gallery with many classic covers and incredible pages–if you are a Kirby fan, this is the Artist’s Edition you’ve been waiting for!!

This incredible AE features 22 (!!) Kirby Fantastic Four covers, a selection of pin-ups, splash pages and interior pages going all the way back to Fantastic Four #3. Plus, three gorgeous fold-outs!

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

There’s only one thing better than a Jack Kirby Artist’s Edition, and that’s a twice-up Jack Kirby Artist’s Edition. Yes, we’ve been treated before at this size with Jack Kirby’s The Mighty Thor Artist’s Edition, but this time it’s the Fantastic Four! Bask in the glory that is 15″ x 22″ Kirby original art. This one is simply a must-have purchase, and I questioned whether a review was even necessary since few fans would be on the fence. But here it is.

Four complete stories, twenty-two covers, fifty-five additional interior pages. Plus an introduction by Joe Sinnott and a one page Kirby biography. All but one page scanned from the original art, and that one page was a Kirby mixed media collage included as a colour scan.

All scans are clear and without any visual issues; no softness or blur anywhere. Most pages are yellow with some moving to medium tan, but that’s only on the occasional cover. A good amount of margin notes, some unfortunately cut off, and a small amount of correction fluid. Lots of gradients in the blacks.

A very clean and uniform design by Cristescu. The colour scheme of brown, gold and tan really let the art shine. The panel enlargements used throughout are clear and well chosen, except for the second end paper. Love the chapter dividers; beautifully integrated into the overall material.

Production is the IDW AE format standard of excellence. Thick matte paper in a sewn binding. Almost all pages lay flat after smoothing the center. The book comes shrink wrapped in a cardboard case with a small colour sticker showing cover and UPC.