Impossible Man

impossible man cover trade paperback tpb
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Fun character

Uneven collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fantastic Four (Volume 1)/Marvel Two-In-One (Volume 1)/Spider-Woman (Volume 1)/Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1)/New Mutants (Volume 1)/Silver Surfer (Volume 3)/Impossible Man Summer Vacation Spectacular/Marvel Comics Presents (Volume 1)/X-Force & Cable

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Craig Anderson/Chris Claremont/Peter David/Tom DeFalco/Michael Gallagher/Mark Gruenwald/Marie Javins/Stan Lee/Jeph Loeb/Ralph Macchio/Howard Mackie/Ron Marz/Roy Thomas/Dann Thomas/Jim Valentino/Renee Witterstaetter/Gregory Wright

Artist:  Bret Blevins/James Brock/Greg Capullo/Barry Crain/Alan Davis/Kieron Dwyer/James Fry/Michael Golden/Butch Guice/Sam Keith/Jack Kirby/Steve Leialoha/Rick Leonardi/Ron Lim/Aaron Lopresti/Dave Manak/Luke McDonnell/Tom Morgan/George Perez/John Romita Jr./Sam de la Rosa/Matt Ryan/Rurik Tyler/Jim Valentino/Keith Wilson/Ron Wilson/Phil Winslade

# of Issues:  12

Release Date:  2011

fantastic four #11 cover 1st impossible man

Fantastic Four (1) #11

Reprints Fantastic Four (1) #11, 176, Marvel Two-In-One (1) #60, #86, Spider-Woman (1) #45, Uncanny X-Men (1) Annual #7, New Mutants (1) Annual #3, Silver Surfer (3) #33, Impossible Man Summer Vacation Spectacular #1-2, Marvel Comics Presents (1) #91, and X-Force & Cable Annual ’95 (February 1963-December 1995).  Coming from the planet Popup, the Impossible Man is always looking for a good time.  Hanging out with the Fantastic Four and playing games with the X-Men, the Impossible Man might be a bit of a problem, but Earth has heroes…and the Impossible Man isn’t one of them.

Written by Craig Anderson, Chris Claremont, Peter David, Tom DeFalco, Michael Gallagher, Mark Gruenwald, Marie Javins, Stan Lee, Jeph Loeb, Ralph Macchio, Howard Mackie, Ron Marz, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Jim Valentino, Renee Witterstaetter, and Gregory Wright, Impossible Man is a Marvel Comics superhero comic book collection.  The collection features art by Bret Blevins, James Brock, Greg Capullo, Barry Crain, Alan Davis, Kieron Dwyer, James Fry, Michael Golden, Butch Guice, Sam Keith, Jack Kirby, Steve Leialoha, Rick Leonardi, Ron Lim, Aaron Lopresti, Dave Manak, Luke McDonnell, Tom Morgan, George Perez, John Romita Jr., Sam de la Rosa, Matt Ryan, Rurik Tyler, Jim Valentino, Keith Wilson, Ron Wilson, and Phil Winslade and issues in the collection have been reprinted multiple times as parts of different collections.

The Impossible Man was one of my early favorite non-mainstream characters.  He was a weird character who wasn’t a hero or a villain and he was goofy.  He was always playing an entirely different game from the other comic book characters who were trying to fight threats to the Earth and the universe.  He wasn’t so self-referential like Howard the Duck, but he was pretty self-aware.

The collection is an odd one.  It starts with the first appearance of the Impossible Man in Fantastic Four #11 (February 1963), but the character disappeared for over a decade.  When the Impossible Man would resurface, there would sometimes be years between Impossible Man appearances and as a result, the character never really developed.  The Impossible Man added an Impossible Woman after an encounter with the Thing, but even then, the character was rarely tapped…it leads to a rocky read.

impossible man summer vacation spectacular #2 cover

Impossible Man Summer Vacation Spectacular #2

The character only really started to develop through more appearances.  The crossover with the X-Men lead to the crossover with the New Mutants and his association with the Fantastic Four led to other encounters.  The book includes the character’s two solo comic book issues which primarily event to an anthology book with a somewhat arcing theme through both of them…they are ok, but it still feels like the character needs more structure.

The Impossible Man is a character that has the potential for a lot of fun by artists.  He’s tall and lanky, but it is the pop culture stuff which gives him a bit more moments of self-aware knowledge.  He can turn into Magnum, P.I. or transform into a number of Spider-Man’s villains (all while staying green and purple).  Some of the artists have a lot of fun with it.

The collection isn’t the best collection simply because you never get to see the character really develop over the years.  That is part of the point of the character who doesn’t evolve much because he has a childish view of the world…but it doesn’t necessarily make for great reading.  I wish that there was someone with a passion for the Impossible Man who could take the character and write the character for a while to give him some death…until then, we’ll have to see what “pops” up next.

Related Links:

Essential Fantastic Four—Volume 1

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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