Marvel; January 1985
Cover by John Byrne

Title: “Monster Mash”
Synopsis: On an alien world, the Thing finds himself battling movie monsters at the hands of the Monster Master.

Writer: John Byrne
Penciler: Byrne
Al Gordon

Review: Last week, this reviewer noted how much more fun that story would have been if writer John Byrne had also handled the art. Wow, would it have ever. Fantastic Four #274 picks up where that Thing story left off, and Byrne’s art is truly fantastic. When published, the more detailed, polished look of this issue met a mixed response from fans, many of whom either credited or blamed new inker Al Gordon. Turns out it was actually Byrne, delivering on the stylistic “changes” he promised in Fantastic Four #272 (see “Creator Quoatables,” below).

Grade: A-

Cool factor: Besides the stunning art, there’s a clever little homage to Judge Dredd in this issue.

Notable: Continued from The Thing #19.

Character quotable: “I am Doctor Julius Akerman — the Monster Master!!” — The Monster Master (duh!)

A word from the writer-artist: “I want to print one of the letters where it’s blaming Gordon and make them understand he inked exactly what I drew, because I was experimenting with a style that was very different from what I’d done before.” — John Byrne, in Comics Interview #25, 1985.

A word from the Inker: “John’s pencils scared me at first because it was obviously his style, but also so different.” — Al Gordon, in Back Issue #38, February 2010.

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