By Erik Larsen, Joe Casey, Tim Scioli, Tom Yeates, Fred Hembeck, Ashley Wood, Andy Kuhn, B. Clay Moore, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Allred, Brian Maruca

Fantastic Comics #24 is, well, fantastic! Hats off to the entire creative team who labored to get this book out. For those who don’t know, Image Comics has been working on this “Next Issue Project” for a while now. It’s goal is simple: Give readers the next issue of an old Golden Age comic that was canceled back in the day. Well, after 67 long years, Fantastic Comics #24 has hit the stands!

I can’t even begin to tell you how much love went into this book. The teams on this book put so much attention to detail in the art, color, nuances, and even typography, that new readers may look at this and wonder if they’re holding a reprint. Let’s go down the list: Zippatone colors that bleed off the panels (and characters)? Check. Hand written lettering? All over the place. Off-center logos and fonts? Damn right! Silly stories? Definitely. Newsprint-esque paper? Hell yeah! Archaic comic book advertisements? Woohoo!

I won’t go into all the stories, but Erik Larsen’s story of Samson is just pure pulp fun. The way Samson fights for his life only to be rescued by the very kid he snubbed off at the beginning of the story perfectly encompasses old school storytelling. Joe Casey and Bill Sienkiewicz channel the science fiction genre with their offering about a man who creates a machine to the Fourth Dimension. Thomas Yeates tackles the medieval adventure category. And Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca take on the whole war genre with Captain Kidd! There’s actually more stories I’m leaving out, but I think you get the gist of what’s going on here.

This is probably the cheapest Golden Age book you’ll ever buy (sorta). But seriously, the book’s cover price is $5.99. Ouch, I know – but you do get 64 pages of comic book fun – and coming from someone who bought the book today, it’s easily the best comic I’ve read all year. Stuff like this doesn’t come around very often. We should consider ourselves so lucky for a gem like this. (Grade: A+)

– J. Montes

A Second Opinion

I can’t disagree with anything Jay said about this book. The Next Issue Project is a great concept and the contents of this issue do not disappoint. I enjoyed it from cover to cover (although I needed a translator for Sub Saunders). If you’ve read any Golden Age, multi-story format books, this faithfully recreates that feeling – it’s amazing. You’ll really appreciate all the little details that the team slipped in, too. Because it feels so authentic, Fantastic Comics #24 makes the 67 year gap since issue #23 melt away in an instant.

In my opinion this book well worth the $5.99 cover sticker as compared to some of the crap people buy for $2.99 each week. I am putting the Next Issue Project at the top of my pull list (whenever it comes out next). I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for us next. (Grade:A)

-Chris Williamson