The second great Omnibus of Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four is due soon. Collecting issues 31 – 60 and Annuals #2 and 3, this represents the highwater mark of the series. These are some of the finest comics ever done.

By this time the working method of Lee and Kirby was set. Lee would give Kirby a brief verbal outline of what he wanted to see in each issue, and Kirby would plot and draw the pages. Lee would then dialogue from the art, often changing character motives and plot points. The result was a melding of the ideas of two very creative individuals. Kirby was firing on all cylinders, coming up with the Inhumans and the Silver Surfer. The Surfer, as Lee has acknowledged, was entirely a Kirby Kreation — I wonder if that credit will appear on the upcoming Fantastic Four 2 movie?

Anyway, these are fabulous comics. They form the foundation of the Marvel Universe and really ought to be in your collection. While the Omnibus is essentially a reprint of three Marvel Masterworks volumes, here the letters pages are included to place the comics in context.