Unseen by the public since 1980...
...this final Lee/Kirby co-production is considered Marvel's first original graphic novel.
It starts as a retelling of the "Coming of Galactus" storyline from Fantastic Four #48-50, but set in a reality without any of the myriad characters that inhabit Earth and the solar system of the Marvel Universe.
No Fantastic Four.
No Alicia Masters.
However, there is Norrin Radd, who becomes the Silver Surfer, as well as Shalla Bal, his true love, and their home world, Zenn-La.
After stranding the Surfer on Earth, the story goes off on a totally-new tangent and introduces new characters, the golden Ardina (whom Galactus uses to emotionally-manipulate the Surfer), and Master of Guile, a manifestation of Galactus' "Dark Side" who advises the planet-eating alien!
It's a unique take on the character, and, as we said, the last joint project by the two guys who co-created most of the Marvel Universe!
As to why, unlike most of Marvel's Silver and Bronze Age output, it's never been reprinted...According to Bill Bagnall at T'aint the Meat... It's the Humanity, the basis of the graphic novel was a never-used story for a Silver Surfer movie rock musical that would've featured Olivia Newton John as Ardina!
In addition, the copyright to the graphic novel is not Marvel's, but jointly-held by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby!
Between those two factors, there's probably enough legal red tape to keep the book from ever seeing print again.
As of January, 2016, it's only available as a HTF hardcover or paperback.
But, in the interest of historical research, we're going to re-present it in serial format on this blog starting Monday.
Don't miss it.