Roger’s Comic Ramblings: Collections I’d Like to See – Demon and Fantastic Four

Demon #1

Demon #1

by Roger Ash

You’d think these days that if at some point their career a comic creator became a big name in the industry, it’d mean that all their work would be collected so fans could have easy access to their work. But that is certainly not the case. Todd McFarlane’s early work on DC’s Infinity Inc. has never been collected, nor has Mike Mignola’s work on Marvel’s Incredible Hulk. Early work by Nocturnal’s Dan Brereton (Black Terror) and Adam & Andy Kubert (Jezebel Jade) remain notable by their absence. And don’t even get me started on Miracleman (AKA Marvelman) which includes work by Alan Moore and Alan Davis. The legalities necessary to get that back in print make my brain hurt. But I’d like to focus on two titles this time: DC’s Demon by Matt Wagner and Marvel’s Fantastic Four by Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Back in the early 1980s, Matt Wagner was making a big name for himself with his creator-owned indy titles, Grendel and Mage (the first volume of which is also sadly out of print). His success did not go unnoticed by DC. In 1987, Wagner’s first work for DC was published, a four-issue Demon miniseries. At the time, I was enthralled with Mage (still am for that matter), and I was excited for any project Wagner would take on. I really didn’t know who the Demon was. My only exposure to the Demon at the time was a story drawn by Michael Golden (I think from Batman Family , but I could be wrong) that my friend Craig  loaned me. But as I said, since Wagner was writing and drawing the comic, I was in.

And I loved it. I don’t remember story details as it’s been years since I read it, but I recall it being fun, exciting, and a great introduction to the character. Wagner has gone on to do lots of work for DC including Sandman Mystery Theatre, Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity, Batman & the Mad Monk, and he’s currently writing Madame Xanadu. Yet the Demon seems to have been forgotten. I’d love for DC to collect this book and let fans of Matt Wagner’s see this formative work.

Fantastic Four #219

Fantastic Four #219

There are a lot of collections of Marvel’s Fantastic Four covering many of the highlights of Marvel’s First Family with work by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Byrne, George Perez, Walter Simonson, Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo, and more. However, there is a run of the book that lasted about a year that I think has been unfortunately overlooked.

In 1980, the popular writer/artist team of Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz were wowing fans with their work on Moon Knight. However, a few short months before Moon Knight debuted, the team also began working on Fantastic Four. Their work on the FF was different from what they were doing on Moon Knight as the characters themselves are so different. The FF stories allowed for globe- and dimension-spanning adventures that would have not worked as well in the gritty world of Moon Knight. Yet they are both series produced by a creative team that was in the groove and telling top-notch stories no matter what the genre. Joe Sinnott’s inks on Sienkiewicz’s pencils give his art a look that you will not encounter anywhere else. Their work on FF ran from #219, 222-231. It seems like their time on the book is overshadowed by their own work on Moon Knight as well as John Byrne’s classic run on FF that began in issue #232, but it shouldn’t be. It was a fun run on the series and deserves to be recognized.

That’s it for me this time. Are there any comics you think deserve to be collected? Comment below and let me know.

Now, go read a comic!

The covers used in this post come from the Grand Comics Database.

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