Fantastic Four Poster #62 Puppet Master by Jack Kirby


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The Puppet Master (real name Phillip Masters) is a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is also father to Alicia Masters.

The Puppet Master uses radioactive clay to make puppets of people that he can then control, attaching them to strings and moving them as puppets; presumably he has some sort of psionic ability that enables him to do this. He has a deep hatred of the Thing, who is romantically interested in his stepdaughter, Alicia Masters. He once tried to take over the world but was thwarted in this effort by the Fantastic Four.

His first appearance was in Fantastic Four volume 1 #8 (November 1962), and he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His origin was told in Marvel Team-Up volume 1 #6 (January 1973).

The Puppet Master has no revealed superhuman abilities, but he possesses a genius-level intellect and was once a brilliant biologist with a doctorate in biology. He is an extremely talented craftsman and very gifted in experimental science. His greatest strength was his ability to create extremely lifelike marionette puppets with extreme speed that he modeled after real people. Through intense concentration, he is able to control the physical actions of anyone after whom he models one of his puppets. How he did this was never adequately explained other than he used some type of special radioactive mixture. The clay he used in this mixture was magical, slightly radioactive, and came from a remote area near Wundagore Mountain, Transia, site of the prison of the elder god Chthon. The Puppet Master may have some type of psionic ability which complimented this process, enabling him to control his victims, although the process may be entirely the result of the magical properties of the clay. He cannot control the actions of essentially mindless creatures, and his control can be broken by beings with supremely strong will-power. His control is limited to one person at a time, and the degree of control decreases with the distance from the person controlled.

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.