Art Highlight: “Fantastic Four” #316, Page 3 Splash (Attack Helicopter Week Special)

Welcome to a special Attack Helicopter Week edition of Art Highlight, a recurring segment where contributors to The Splintering showcase a piece of original art in their collection.  In honor of this week’s theme, I am revealing a gem from my vault, the original splash art page to Fantastic Four #316, Page #3.

Cover to Fantastic Four #316

This page is an absolute beauty and comes during a unique time in the history of the Fantastic Four’s active membership.  Published in July 1988, gone were Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, and in their place, we had Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura) and Crystal.  As you can see from the team shot on this splash, Ms. Marvel had actually been exposed to cosmic rays and mutated into the She-Thing, and Ben Grimm himself was exposed to those same rays yet again, and mutated even further.  You can see the entire team on this page, along with Kazar, Shanna and Michael Morbius.

Original Art to Fantastic Four #316 Page #3

Even with those characters appearing on this splash, it’s the helicopters that steal the show.  Specifically, the one flying towards the Fantastic Four.  Can’t you just feel the motion of those blades come right off of the page? 

Final Color and Printed Version to Fantastic Four #316 Page #3

This page is credited as penciled by Keith Pollard and inked by Joe Sinnott.  In truth however, Keith Pollard was the breakdown artist and Joe Sinnott was the finisher.  Meaning more than just traditional inking was required on Joe Sinnott’s part to bring this page to life.  Joe Sinnott was very proud of the times he finished art pages, as evident in the way he signed the back of this original art page “Joe Sinnott Finish Art 2/88”.

The back of the art page is signed “Joe Sinnott Finish Art 2/88”

When I choose an original art page to add to my collection, I typically start with the artists involved in creating the image.  The title is important, and the image on the page is important as well.  In this case I was able to get two greats on one page.  We get the pencils by an industry veteran like Keith Pollard who had long runs on titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, and of course, Fantastic Four.  Combine that with inks (excuse me, finishes) by what many people say is the greatest inker in comic book history, Joe Sinnott.  Factor in the title was a staple at Marvel Comics for years, and the page itself is a compelling splash with the main characters in costume, and you have the makings of an absolute gem in the collection. 

Thanks for taking the time to read our “Art Highlight”.  We’re considering whether to make this is a recurring series on The Splintering, so let us know in the comments below if you’d like to see more of this type of content!

Thanks for reading!

To check out more of The Splintering’s Attack Helicopter Week content, go here!


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