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Amazing Adventures #1: Review

Aug 1970
Jack Kirby, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Inhumans!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Amazing Adventures #1 Review by (January 25, 2024)

Review: Jack Kirby writes and draws the adventures of the Inhumans and as usual his stories are a thrill ride, highly entertaining and any absurd bits are just part of his charm. But he’s at the height of his career here so everything works, with the characters introduced very quickly (easy because there isn’t that much depth to them) and a plot that develops at breakneck speed, ready to push us into the next issue.

And the Black Widow…was there ever such a contrast between the two parts of a shared book? The Inhumans feature a lot of colorful characters with crazy powers and larger-than-life situations. Black Widow is a woman dressed in black fighting loan sharks in an inner-city neighborhood who ends up wishing she had worn a mask. From international espionage to cleaning up street gangs is a strange journey but the (moderate) popularity of Daredevil and Luke Cage in the 1970s shows there is a market for street-level heroics. But Marvel appears to be feeling their way along, wondering if the series will work. Spoiler: it doesn’t so BW is dropped after eight issues here and she was added to DAREDEVIL for a couple of years of heroing. Eventually they would discover the right balance of spy and superhero and she would become so popular they’d make her a big name in the MCU. But for now, she’s fighting punks and hoods.

Comments: Cover by Jack Kirby (Inhumans) and John Romita (Black Widow); inks on both by Frank Giacoia.

Inhumans story: The Inhumans’ first series. Part one of two parts. Crystal was a member of the Fantastic Four from FANTASTIC FOUR #81-95, filling in for Invisible Girl who was going through pregnancy and childbirth (with Franklin) at the time.

Black Widow story: Black Widow’s first solo series; her previous appearance was in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #86, where we have a summary of her career to this point. Part one of four parts. First appearance of the chauffeur Ivan who would later become Ivan Petrovich, Natasha’s surrogate father, protector, and confidant. The term jet-set is a throwback to the 1960s as international travel became more common so celebrities, entertainers, socialites, and rich playboys filled the news with tales of their travels and romantic exploits all over the world, the influencers of their day. Natasha uses “Jackie” as an example, referring to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, possibly the biggest celebrity of the era (Google her, you won’t be disappointed).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Adventures #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Human Torch, Crystal) watch film of the Inhumans, by way of introducing the characters to the reader and mentioning that they live in isolation in the Himalayan Mountains…

…where a detachment of soldiers has been dispatched by Red China to locate the Inhumans’ hidden city. But the Inhumans are aware of them. Karnak chops a cliff, creating an escape bridge for the soldiers, Gorgon threatens to stamp his foot and cause an Earth tremor, Medusa uses her prehensile hair to steal the enemy’s atomic grenade, and Black Bolt pushes the soldiers across the bridge before destroying it. They return to Attilan, the Great Refuge…

…where Triton tells them of a missile with a cobalt warhead launched directly at the city. The real culprit is Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad, who has launched two missiles, intending to force the Inhumans into a war with the outside world, which will devastate Attilan and Maximus can then take the throne from his brother….

As the first missile nears Attilan, Black Bolt exerts a mental force that hurls it into space to explode harmlessly—but the second comes down much closer and BB must fly close to it and cause it to corrode and drop from the sky. Examination of the debris shows that the missile was created by the Fantastic Four. And so Black Bolt declares war on their old friends….

“Then Came…the Black Widow” 3.5/5
Writer: Gary Friedrich. Pencils: John Buscema. Inks: John Verpoorten. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.

Synopsis: Jet-setting socialite Madame Natasha makes a date for the weekend with playboy film director Guy Desmond but admits to herself the only excitement she really wants is the kind she got as the Black Widow, facing Spider-Man (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #86). She notices her maid Maria is crying and asks why; the lady confesses that her son is in debt to gangsters. Natasha offers to pay but Maria declines and hurries out. Natasha dons her Black Widow gear and calls her chauffeur, Ivan Petrovich, to drive her to Maria’s home in a bad neighborhood…

…where her Rolls-Royce stands out among the neighbors. Nevertheless, she perches outside Maria’s window and hears a pair of crooks demanding the loan be paid back with interest. Maria asks for more time so the crooks take Carlos, giving Maria twelve hours to come up with the money or he dies. As they emerge through the front door, BW drops from the roof and clobbers both of them. The police arrive so she escapes up a wall and a news photographer snaps pictures of her. As the cops wonder about her, she regrets her decision to forgo a mask and questions whether she should continue in her new career….

Jack Kirby
Chic Stone
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Ivan Petrovich
Ivan Petrovich

(Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov)

(Maximus the Mad)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Ben Grimm)

> Amazing Adventures: Book info and issue index

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