I don’t know how Marvel Comics editor Tom Brevoort does it; constantly juggling projects like that guy on the old Tonight Show that used to spin dinner plates on poles while riding a unicycle. You’d think with all the current projects he’s involved in, the last thing he’d be worried about is an unused Kirby Fantastic Four story. But he’s toiling away to make it a really awesome tribute to Lee and Kirby. If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, it’s tentatively called Fantastic Four: Lost, and is scheduled for release this summer. Jack Kirby’s original story for FF #102 was rejected by Stan Lee at the pencil stage, then shelved, and chopped up later as part of FF #108 (released after Jack had jumped ship to DC Comics to do the New Gods).
I tracked down most of the unused pencil art that was discarded in 1970, and reassembled it in Jack Kirby Collector #9 back in 1996. Since then, I’ve found copies of the pencils from the published art in FF #108, so we’ve got virtually all of Jack’s pencils from that story. Enter Tom, who got the inspired idea to have Stan finally dialogue Jack’s pencils, and Joe Sinnott ink them (I’ve seen the new inks, and man, Joe hasn’t skipped a beat in the 37 years since he was inking Jack on the FF). Tom’s also getting a current Marvel writer and inker to do their interpretations, and both finished versions (plus Kirby’s uninked original, and a short article about it by your’s truly) will appear in the one-shot special. (And the Kirby family is getting a nice page rate for the use of the art, probably the highest of Jack’s career.)
But what do you use for a cover? Tom and I both felt that the perfect thing was the FF Marvelmania poster art that Kirby drew back in the late 1960s, but we didn’t have a really good repro of it. Then I recalled a really nice 1990s serigraph reproduction of the poster that was done in France, and with the help of my French pal Jean Depelley, we were able to get a great repro of it from Editions DÃ©esse publisher Fred Manzano, so it’s in the can! (The serigraph was shot from Jack’s original art, and Mike Zeck did the colors for the French version, so that’s what’s being used for the FF: Lost cover.)
Support this book, folks. It’s the last time we’ll see Jack and Stan together on anything “new” (especially on a FF story), and while it’s not the best FF story of their run, it’s not the worst either (and there are flashes of brilliance there). I, for one, can’t wait to see the final product.
Fantastic Four TM & Â©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.