Fantastic Four Poster #58 Red Ghost and Super-Apes Mikhlo, Igor, Peotr by Jack Kirby


SKU: 11428 Category:


The Red Ghost (Ivan Kragoff) and his Super-Apes (Mikhlo, Igor, and Peotr) are a group of Marvel Comics supervillains, who started their career fighting the Fantastic Four, before confronting other Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Spider-Man.

Red Ghost and his Super-Apes were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #13 (April, 1963) and #29 (August, 1964).

Ivan Kragoff was born in Leningrad, in what was at the time the Soviet Union. Before becoming the Red Ghost, Ivan was a Soviet scientist bent on beating the Americans to the moon and claiming it for the Communist empire. He assembled a crew of three trained primates — Mikhlo the Gorilla, Igor the Baboon, and Peotr the Orangutan — which he subjected to specialized training regimens of his own design, then took off on his lunar rocket trip on behalf of the USSR, while on the very next panel, the Fantastic Four were aiming their own rocket for the same destination.

Kragoff knew enough of the Fantastic Four’s history, and he purposefully designed his rocket in such a way that he and his crew would be heavily exposed to the cosmic rays that would, he expected, give them superpowers. This was successful: Kragoff gained the ability to become as intangible and invisible as a “ghost”, Mikhlo became super-strong and super-durable, Igor gained the ability to shapeshift and could transform into nearly anything, and Peotr gained the ability to control either gravity (like Graviton) or magnetism (like Magneto) (accounts vary by writer).

Since his additional exposures to cosmic rays, Red Ghost can make people and objects become intangible if they are nearby or in his field of vision.

Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium. He and writer-editor Stan Lee co-created many of Marvel’s major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk. Despite the high sales and critical acclaim of the Lee-Kirby titles, Kirby felt treated unfairly, and left the company in 1970 for rival DC. In 1987 he was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

For almost a decade, Kirby provided Marvel’s house style, co-creating with Stan Lee many of the Marvel characters and designing their visual motifs. At Lee’s request, he often provided new-to-Marvel artists “breakdown” layouts, over which they would pencil in order to become acquainted with the Marvel look. As artist Gil Kane described: “Jack was the single most influential figure in the turnaround in Marvel’s fortunes from the time he rejoined the company … It wasn’t merely that Jack conceived most of the characters that are being done, but … Jack’s point of view and philosophy of drawing became the governing philosophy of the entire publishing company and, beyond the publishing company, of the entire field … Marvel took Jack and used him as a primer. They would get artists … and they taught them the ABCs, which amounted to learning Jack Kirby. … Jack was like the Holy Scripture and they simply had to follow him without deviation. That’s what was told to me … It was how they taught everyone to reconcile all those opposing attitudes to one single master point of view.”

Highlights other than the Fantastic Four include: the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, the original X-Men, Doctor Doom, Uatu the Watcher, Magneto, Ego the Living Planet, the Inhumans and their hidden city of Attilan, and the Black Panther, comics’ first known black superhero—and his African nation of Wakanda. Kirby drew the first Spider-Man story intended for publication in Amazing Fantasy #15 but Stan Lee chose to have Steve Ditko redraw the story. Lee and Kirby gathered several of their newly created characters together into the team title The Avengers and would revive characters from the 1940s such as the Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and Ka-Zar. The story frequently cited as Lee and Kirby’s finest achievement is the three-part “The Galactus Trilogy” that began in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), chronicling the arrival of Galactus, a cosmic giant who wanted to devour the planet, and his herald, the Silver Surfer.

Near mint condition.