[covers drawn by Jack Kirby; respectively inked by George Roussos, Joe Sinnott and Chic Stone]
There’s no doubt that with the arrival of Galactus eager to feast upon our Earthly life energies or whatever in Fantastic Four #48-50, Stan Lee and, in particular, Jack Kirby finally opened up a whole new vista of storytelling within the nascent Marvel Universe. The invigorating potential for Kirby’s genius particularly unlocked not just the best Fantastic Four stories to come but also the King’s streak of cosmic epics in Thor, which maybe wouldn’t be surprising to Thor readers of the past decade. These two early titles are really where, post-FF #48, virtually everything about what we think of as Marvel Cosmic was first conceived.
The only major cosmic players to appear almost fully realized before Galactus were the Watcher and Super-Skrull. The Skrulls themselves, however, Stan and Jack weren’t quite sure how to depict, although their subsequent appearances over the first few years after their debut in FF #2 were far in advance of their original almost embarrassingly goofy conception. If not for their useful native shape-shifting abilities, they would’ve certainly gone the way of the vast majority of Marvel’s early one-off alien species.
Instead of the typical ignominious fate of many an early Marvel alien species, the Skrulls returned with increasingly sophisticated visual embellishment courtesy of Jack Kirby as he was really coming into his own as the King of this fledgling medium. [Read more…] about The Evolution of Marvel Cosmic, Pt 2: Molecule Man, Skrulls & Inhumans!