So called because Fantastic Four: The Held Back To Use As A Spoiler For Kirby’s DC Debut And Then Mutilated Before Publication Adventure wouldn’t fit on the cover.
Still, I’m glad that Marvel are publishing it. This is the story that Kirby pencilled for Fantastic Four issue 102, but which Marvel held back for publication in issue 108, to coincide with Kirby’s first issue of New Gods (the story that Kirby intended for issue 103 appeared in issue 102 instead). As published in issue 108, however, Kirby’s story was badly cut up and rewritten. John Morrow managed to reconstruct most of Kirby’s pencils (and explain what had happened), and published them in The Jack Kirby Collector. Marvel has since reprinted his reconstruction in volume 10 of Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four, and will be reprinting it again here, along with a version newly completed by Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott.
I hope that Lee manages to recreate more of the feel of his late 1960s scripting than he did for The Last Fantastic Four Story, and that the panels missing from the pencils are filled in sympathetically. But am I feeling maudlin, or does this seem like another case of Stan Lee tidying up the loose ends before he takes his leave?
Cover picture taken from Comic Book Resources