Friday, August 2, 2013

Making a Splash: John Buscema's Fantastic Four Part One

Big John Buscema. Hands down, one of the giants of Marvel Comics' Groovy Age. Most of us remember his Avengers and Conan as masterpieces of comicbook art, and that they are. Mr. B. also handled the art on Fantastic Four for a sizable chunk of the Groovy Age. Here are the splashes from his FF debut on ish 107 (November 1970) through double-size ish #116 (August 1971). Most are inked by FF mainstay Joltin' Joe Sinnott, who is, in Ol' Groove's opinion, THE FF inker of all time, so yeah, what you're about to see is mind-bogglingly gorgeous! Ready! Set! Go!!


  1. Very nice pages, indeed. The only quibble I have was in the splash from FF #111, where the Thing looks noticeably off-scale. It's almost like "Son of Thing" is swiping that car aside. :)

  2. ALL FANTASTIC splash pages.. These were the greatest ever. No one drew better splash than Big John. My first FF comic was ish 138, and with John's splash in that ish with the shadowing over Wyatt, will ever be etched into my brain patterns. I was so.. totally.. hooked after that.

    I was irritated to realize he was leaving soon after; Buckler was alright, but I missed the Buscema/Sinnott team so much. Love Kirby, but the Buscema/Sinnott team will always be my fav FF team.

    Many thanks for posting..!!

  3. Man I loved Big John's run on the FF! My favorite arc was 107-112!! 112 is just EPIC!! Jolt'in Joe who I talk with frequently who woulda thung it as a kid right! That John's FF was the easest for Joe to ink. Because John always did full pencils. Where as Jack was always swamped drawing like 4-6 books a month easy! No wonder Jack is known as the KING huh?

    I loved the whole transformation arc. Where it had a side effect on Benjy. He got more & more aggressive. My favorite issue was the royal rumble between Mr.Green Jeans & old Granite Puss! I wish they had ended part I. With the Thing teaming up with the Hulk. Like in the later FF #166/#167. Then had part II end where the Thing actually knocks the Hulk out for the first time! Ben was the Rocky Balboa of the MU.

  4. Yeah, Big John! He forgot more about drawing than most people ever learn...

  5. Great "splashes" by the Great John Buscema ! I always found it interesting how various illustrators had their own interpretations of the Watcher over the years !!

  6. Buscema/Sinnott on Thor was my favourite, but these are good, too. My only concern was Johnny's overly floppy hairdo.

  7. Classic FF Groove! Big John and Joltin' Joe! They don't make 'em like this anymore! Keep 'em comin' Groove!

    - Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

  8. Fantastic Four Fan 4everAugust 3, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    I love the old John Buscema Fantastic Fours. It's too bad Kirby had left because you can see the influence he left on the title that is still being felt today. If you look at all the costumes, the poses and machinery, it's all inspired by Jack "King" Kirby.

  9. Love it! Been a little Buscema-obsessed myself, lately!


  10. fantastic four fan foreverAugust 10, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    This is a time when comic books were exactly what they should be. Not the over-priced $3.99 per issue computer generated epics they evolved into. The 70's were a time of good stories and not corporate and quarterly
    report "Events" designed to make stock holders happy.

  11. John Buscema is my all-time favorite Fantastic Four artist! He even beats the legendary Jack "King" Kirby by a shade in my book.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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