Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fantastic Four #1: The Yaffa Digest

I don’t know how many Fantastic Four #1’s have been published since 1961, but few would be as charming and small as this digest from Yaffa circa 1981.

This issue reprints the original Fantastic Four #'s 23-25, omitting the splash page from #25 and opting for that issue’s cover image for cover duties here. The next issue continues where this one leaves off.

I’m not sure how many issues were in this series, nor how many titles Yaffa published in the digest format, other than the number is substantially higher than I would have guessed some months ago – they seem to be suddenly turning up everywhere I look!

I have a sneaking suspicion that the contents of some of the Yaffa digests might be related to the end of the Newton Comics series. According to Danny Best, after the Newton Fantastic Four title ended with #15, the series of US reprints numbered in the mid-20’s mostly turned up in scattered one-shots and specials. The US #25 appears to have been reprinted a few times, yet no mention of #’s 23 and 24. The regular Yaffa Fantastic Four series reprinted contemporary US issues, not 1960’s issues. So maybe there’s a continuity of sorts between the exhaustion of the Newton series and the Yaffa digest series. I understand Yaffa picked up the license to reprint Marvel comics after the demise of Newton, but I had not considered that there might be a form of continuity between the Newton reprints and some of the Yaffa digest issues. Something to mull over as more of these strange little things turn up.


Daniel Best said...

Ooooo I have several theories indeed, but right now they're just theories.

There's at least three, possibly four digest sized FF issues in that Yaffa series, plus another four issues (at least) of Marvel's Greatest Comics. I have issue #3 of the latter and it prints FF's 37, 38, 39 & 40.

Plus there's the large sized Yaffas, which, as we know, ran side by side at times, but basically they share the same numbering series. Those FF's were fairly contemporary for the time, printing, as did the Spider-Man series, stories that had just recently appeared.

Loads of mysteries in these. If you need scans and/or info then let me know. I'm in a scanning project - have scaned all my Newtons, all my Yaffa's, my Federals and a handful of other issues (Horwitz etc etc) and am in the process of scanning all my Horwitz's, Page and gredown stuff. It'll take forever, but we'll have nice 300dpi scans on hand.

spiros xenos said...

Danny, all theories welcome - it's part of the fun! We can take shots at all of them, and the last wobbly one standing shall be called Gospel! Until the next one...

As for scans, I'll put up FF #2 this morning, so if you could send me a scan of #3, that would be cool, I'll put it up and see if there's a #4forthcoming from the silent majority.