Fantastic Four Poster #65 Mad Thinker by Jack Kirby


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The Mad Thinker is a supervillain in the Marvel Comics Universe. He is a genius specializing in evil robotics and usually comes up with very elaborate infallible devious plans that unfold like clockwork. The Mad Thinker was introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #15 (June 1963). His real name and origin have yet to be revealed.

The Mad Thinker has no superhuman powers. However, he is an extraordinary genius with knowledge of technology centuries beyond conventional science. He has an eidetic memory and can rapidly organize and correlate vast amounts of information and perceive non-obvious patterns. He has the facilities and means to create all manner of sophisticated weaponry, androids, armor, and vehicles. His analytical, mathematical, and geometrical abilities are of a sophisticated order not commonly found on Earth. He is particularly adept at computers, robotics, and artificial intelligence, with Ph. D.s in computer science and engineering. He has constructed his own android Awesome Android and twice resurrected the original Human Torch. He also built Quasimodo and the Scavenger, and various other equipment as needed, including monocle-sized hypno-lenses. In addition to his own achievements he has stolen much of the secret technology of Reed Richards, back in the incident when he took over the Baxter building. The Mad Thinker is also a proficient disguise artist. Through a surgically implanted radio link, he is able to project his consciousness into an android simulacrum of himself. The Thinker’s intricate plans are most often foiled by what he refers to as the x-factor, or human unpredictability. Also the Thinker is not an intuitive genius (e.g., Reed Richards) and is thus incapable of true invention; instead, he synthesizes for his own use the creations of others (e.g., his android creations are based on discoveries of Reed Richards).

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.