Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More Newtons: The Fantastic Four

The longest running titles in the Newton fold were The Amazing Spider-Man (17 issues), The Avengers (15 issues), Conan The Barbarian (12 issues), Dracula (14 issues), The Incredible Hulk (15 issues) and The Planet Of The Apes (17 issues and a handful of specials). The Fantastic Four was yet another title that lasted for more than a year, running for 15 issues and an annual, and also appeared in a number of one-shot specials.

The Fantastic Four #1. Published June 1975.

Contents:

The Fantastic Four by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four #1)

The Fantastic Four Meet The Skrulls by Lee & Kirby (Fantastic Four #2)

The first story in this issue only covered the origin of the Fantastic Four - the Mole Man section (which was the continuation of the issues for the USA version) was omitted. As with all the FF issues, the stories in this issue were shot directly from the original stats. Printed on better quality paper than other Australian issues, the reproduction was clear and as a good as any other reprint.

The first issue also had a colour poster, this one featured The Black Panther.

The Fantastic Four #2.

Published July 1975.

The Menace Of The Miracle Man by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky (Fantastic Four #3)

The Sandman Strikes by Stan Lee & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #115)

As the first issue reprinted the first two issues (USA) of the title, the second issue would start to mix things up a bit, yet for now the stories would appear in chronological order.

The Fantastic Four #3. Published August 1975.

Contents:

The Coming Of The Sub-Mariner by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Sol Brodsky (Fantastic Four #4)

Prisoner Of The 5th Dimension by Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #103)

Again the reproduction on the pages was as close to the original stats/original art as could be. Unlike the faded, 'muddy' reprinting process of the UK Alan Class books, the Newtons were very bright.

The Fantastic Four #4. Published August 1975.

Contents:

Prisoners Of Dr. Doom by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Joe Sinnott (Fantastic Four #5)

The Human Torch Meets Paste-Pot Pete by Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #104)

The Fantastic Four #5. Published September 1975.

Contents:

Captives Of The Deadly Duo by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #6)

The Impossible Man by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #11)

This issue also reprinted a back-up story from (USA) issue 11, thus throwing the continuity right out the window.

The poster was a mock Newton cover for Thor.

The Fantastic Four #6. Published September 1975.

Contents:

The End Of The Fantastic Four by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #9)

Only the one story for this issue, but Newton by-passed issues 7 & 8. Presumably those issues were ear-marked for later use.

The poster was same cover image that appeared on the The Avengers # 3.

The Fantastic Four # 7. Published October 1975.

Contents:

The Return Of Doctor Doom by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #10)

The Painter Of A Thousand Perils by Roger Berns, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #108)

The poster for this issue was of The Silver Surfer.

The Fantastic Four #8. Published October 1975.

Contents:

The Incredible Hulk by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #12)

The Painter Of A Thousand Perils by Roger Berns, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #108)

The poster for this issue was of Conan The Barbarian. The swap card was card #9 - The Amazing Spider-Man #9.

The Fantastic Four # 9. Published November 1975.

Contents:

The Red Ghost by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko (Fantastic Four #13)

The Asbestos Man by H. E. Huntley & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #111)

The poster was of The Amazing Spider-Man. The background colours for the cover of this issue are actually a light sky/powder blue, however they don't scan that well.

The Fantastic Four #10. Published November 1975.

Contents:

Sub-Mariner And The Merciless Puppet Master by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #14)

Interestingly enough the poster for this issue featured a far later, Rich Buckler drawn, cover, with art that was out of odds with the actual contents.

The Fantastic Four #11. Published November 1975.

Contents:

A Skrull Walks Among Us by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #18)

The Coming Of The Plantman by Jerry Siegel & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #113)

The poster for this issue was of Captain America.

The Fantastic Four Annual #1. Published November 1975.
Contents:
The Master Plan Of Doctor Doom by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #23)
The Human Torch by Larry Lieber & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #101)
The Threat Of The Torrid Twosome by Larry Lieber & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #106)
The Evil Menance Of Electro by Stan Lee, Joe Orlando & Vince Colletta (Daredevil #2).

Although the cover dates this issue from November, it's clear that it was intended to come out after (Newton) #12. No poster, just a competition offer for a swap card album or a great looking retro 'catseye' radio. What needs to be taken into consideration is that over the Christmas break of 1975 Newton ceased publication. It took the efforts of the young editorial staff to over-turn this decision, but by that stage the idea of monthly, and even bi-weekly, comics had become a thing of the past (for Newton) and the focus was then placed upon the one-shot giant sized books.

The Fantastic Four #11. Published December 1975.
Contents:
A Skrull Walks Among Us by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #18)
The Coming Of The Plantman by Jerry Siegel & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #113)

(No cover scan as yet).

The Fantastic Four #12. Published December 1975

Contents:
The Return Of The Mole Man by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & George Bell (Fantastic Four #22)

The Coming Of The Plantman by Jerry Siegel & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #113)

For some reason issues #11 & 12 (Newton) leapt all over the place, yet the back-up story remained intact. The poster in this issue was of a Newton Spider-Man cover that had originally been used as the cover image for Marvel Team-Up (USA).

The Fantastic Four #13. Published January 1976.

Contents:
The Mad Thinker And His Awesome Android by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #15)

Prisoner Of The Wizard by Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #102)

With this issue the title came back into the standard continuity that it'd had previously. The poster in this issue was of Dracula.

The Fantastic Four #14. Published February 1976.

Contents:
The Micro-World Of Doctor Doom by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Fantastic Four #16)

The Sorcerer And Pandora's Box by Robert Berns, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers (Strange Tales #109)

The poster in this issue was of The Amazing Spider-Man.

This was the penultimate issue and I have no information, to date, on the contents of the final issue, #15. I suspect that it may have reprinted issue #17 (USA).

Newton also issued the following Fantastic Four stories: Fantastic Four (USA) #9 & 18 appeared in the Newton Holiday Special #1
Fantastic Four (USA) #14 & 18 appeared in the Newton Holiday Spectacular
Fantastic Four (USA) #20 appeared in the Newton Spectacular
Fantastic Four (USA) #1 appeared in Origins Of Great Marvel Comic Heroes
Fantastic Four (USA) #11, 25 & 26 appeared in The Planet Of The Apes Annual #1
Fantastic Four (USA) #25, 26 & 27 appeared in Team-Up Special
Fantastic Four (USA) #25, 26 & 27 appeared in Team-Up #1
Fantastic Four (USA) #22 appeared in Team-Up #2
Fantastic Four (USA) #33 appeared in Team-Up #3

NEXT: The Silver Surfer.
COMING SOON: The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and the Swap-Cards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent and informative posts on Newton Comics. I don't believe I've ever seen them before, but I find all Foreign versions of Marvel comics to be of interest.

I'm interested in the quality of the printed books, as you've mentioned they look very good and were printed from stats. Since they are in english, Marvel would be able to use these for reprints. Do you know if anyone at Marvel who has been producing the recent reprint collections knows of these comics? It may be the best quality for them to reprint early Marvel material.

I look forward to your Anru/Esposito book.

Nick Caputo