The Answer was the very first story in the very first issue of Epic Illustrated, Marvel's answer to Heavy Metal, and was, I'm assuming, something of a 'playing it safe' exercise for publisher Stan Lee and editor Archie Goodwin.
After all, no one knew for sure if the comic reading world would accept The House Of Ideas branching out into the world of 'adult' fantasy, so I guess they hedged their bets with this strip. With an original script ( for the first time in ages ) from Stan, and with sublime artwork from John Buscema & Rudy Nebres, and with colour from a very young Rick Veitch, The Answer features Galactus and The Silver Surfer basically just hanging out. Which is nice.
It's a strip that didn't meet with universal approval, as the next issue's letter pages made clear. One writer called it ' the sort of story a ten-year old would write if he tried to write " science fiction " and questioned what ' a genuine muscle-bound superhero is doing is this magazine at all '
And yeah, it is full of the kind of ludicrous pretentiousness Stan is legendary for, but you know that's what you're gonna get with Stan, so why bleat about it?
Plus here's Big John & Rudy revving up for their spectacular job on Warriors Of The Shadow Realm. This strip really is just about those two artists ( and Rick ) blatantly showing off, like, look what we can do with good printing and decent paper! And why the hell not, say I. Anyway, Galactus rarely looked this imposing, regal and yes, lonely, since the days of his original appearances. ( I don't need to mention what a disappointment that F.F. movie was, do I? Thought not. ) Of course, this wasn't the last time The Big Unfriendly Giant turned up in Epic, but it'll do for now....
The Specialist (1975)
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