Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Call Her Crystal! Part 2

As we saw last time, in her debut Crystal of the Inhumans was clad in a plain white dress and her hair was similarly unadorned. 'Course when you look like Crystal you don't need much embellishment, but let's see how Kirby 'n' Sinnott, and Frank Giacoia, proceeded to gild the lily. 



Fantastic Four #61
A year and change after Crystal's debut in FF #45, she finally has a costume, just like the other Inhumans! It's not quite clear why a group of people living in Attilan need costumes but whatever. (Much later on it was explained that their attire was ceremonial or royal regalia or something.) Anyway, Crystal's wearing a canary-colored yellow outfit with black decorations. 

Crystal Yellow Inhumans costume
Fantastic Four #61 (April 1967) Crystal's New Look

And that's not all! The fabled Crystal headband makes its first appearance. The headband has one big circle in the back. Not only that, but she's also wearing snoods--kind of like hair nets I guess--on her hair. 
More from Fantastic Four #61 (April 1967) 

Fantastic Four #62
Here her headband looks like a plastic contraption holding her hair back from her face, as opposed to something that conforms to her hair (as appeared to be the case in #61). Also, for some reason in this one panel Kirby forgets about her curved fringe and has her hair pulled straight back from her forehead.
Fantastic Four #62 (May 1967) See how her hair is uncharacteristically swept back? Yes, it's the details like this that make or break a comic book reading experience😋

Another look at the headband and the snoods.
Fantastic Four #62 (May 1967) 

Fantastic Four #63 
She retains her Kirby-Sinnott straight-across horizontal eyebrows.  

Fantastic Four #63 (June 1967) 

In a couple of panels Kirby forgets her fringe and draws her with a Sue-like hairline. 
Fantastic Four #63 (June 1967) Crystal and Blastaar

Fantastic Four #64

Fantastic Four #64 (July 1967) Crystal, Johnny and Lockjaw


Fantastic Four #65
Here's Crystal in civilian clothes and sans the headband and snoods. She seems to be trying to acclimate to her beloved Johnny's world and customs.  
Fantastic Four #65 (August 1967)
It's the Silver Age, so Marvel women went shopping. smh


Fantastic Four #66
But never fear, Crystal's back in her Inhumans regalia here, complete with headband and snoods. 
Fantastic Four #66 (September 1967)

Fantastic Four #67
Now we're mixing things up: Crystal is wearing civilian clothes as she did in #65, but here she retains her headband and snoods (although on #67's cover she's shown in her yellow Inhumans costume).  
Fantastic Four #67 (October 1967)
Notice how Stan takes great pains to establish that since Crystal has been living at the Baxter Building since #62, Johnny doesn't live there. Mustn't let the innocent readers think they've been shacking up!


Fantastic Four Annual #5
Crystal's back in her Inhumans costume. This story's inked by Frank Giacoia. 
Fantastic Four Annual #5 (November 1967) 


However on the cover Kirby forgets to draw her headband but remembers her snoods.  
Fantastic Four Annual #5 (November 1967)
Is that a cover or what?


Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967)

There are also Inhumans pin-ups in the Annual, including one of Crystal.  Again, it's inked by Giacoia so it's not the slick Sinnotty-Crystal many were used to back then. 
Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967)


After this Annual Crystal stashes her Inhumans costume in the closet and shows up in civilian clothes for about a year, as we'll see next time in this incisive, hard-hitting exposé of Crystal's costumes. And when will that next time be? Wish I could tell you. In the meantime, everyone, stay healthy and safe!

Next: Civilian Crystal 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Call Her Crystal! Part 1

I've always loved Crystal and her bright orange hair that had that cool I-think-it's-a-black-headband/decoration. But did you know that her trademark headband wasn't part of her original look? You didn't? Well then,True Believers, time to take a closer look at    Crystal in the Silver Age!
Fantastic Four 45 Inhumans Crystal
Unless noted otherwise, all art is by Jack Kirby (pencils) and Joe Sinnott (inks). 

Fantastic Four #45 - Crystal's debut  
Initially Crystal sported a mane of long, tangerine-colored, unfettered locks. No headband!
Crystal Johnny Fantastic Four 45
(1965) Fantastic Four #45

Fantastic Four 45 Inhumans
(1965) Fantastic Four #45 
You can also see her eyes are somewhat exaggerated, with a definite upwards tilt and extra eyelashes. Her eyes are  shaped like fish, complete with little fins and a tail. Also, her brows veer upwards in dramatic Namor-like fashion.
Fantastic Four 45 Crystal Johnny
(1965) Fantastic Four #45
Along with her sister Medusa, Crystal was one of the few Marvel characters back then who had really long hair. Okay, besides Thor. 
(1965) Fantastic Four #45

Fantastic Four #46
She retains the fish-shaped, ovally eyes and ascending brows on the cover...

Crystal Fantastic Four 46
As above: Crystal close-up from cover of Fantastic Four #46 (1966)

...and also within the story. Her antenna-like eyelashes are again emphasized.
Lockjaw Gorgon Crystal Medusa Karnak Inhumans
Crystal, Lockjaw, and the Inhumans on the run in Fantastic Four #46 (1966)

Fantastic Four #47
Here Crystal's eyes are now closer in appearance to Sue's or other Kirby women--that is, her eyes are not so dramatically tilted and they're sans the extra eyelashes.  Her brows are now more horizontal.

Karnak Crystal Medusa Inhumans
(1966) Fantastic Four #47

Fantastic Four #48, #50, #52
Crystal shows up in a few panels in each of these issues. 
Fantastic Four 50 Inhumans
(L.) Fantastic Four #48, (C.) Fantastic Four #50, (R.) Fantastic Four #52 

Fantastic Four  #54
On the cover she almost looks like a slightly longer haired Alicia (from FF #41, Kirby inked by Vince Colletta).

Fantastic Four 41 Alicia Masters
L. - Crystal by Kirby-Sinnott Fantastic Four #54 (1966)
R. - Alicia by Kirby-Colletta Fantastic Four #41 (1965) 

In #54's story, Crystal's bangs are now sideswept.
Fantastic Four 54 Inhumans
(1966) Fantastic Four #54
It's the same sort of Kirby Krest found on Sue, Alicia, Jane Foster, Betty Ross, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey, and other women by Kirby in the SIlver Age. And yes, occasionally on Thor too (don't worry, we'll take a closer look at the Kirby Krest later on 😁).

Fantastic Four #56
As is obvious in all of these appearances, Crystal didn't have a colorful costume like the rest of the Inhumans royal family. Instead she wore a plain white dress. But surprise! In #56 she appears in a panel or two wearing a fuchsia-colored dress. Guess that's the day the white dress was at the Attilan dry cleaners. (Karnak's costume's coloring is off-model in that issue too.)
Fantastic Four 56 Black Bolt
(1966) Fantastic Four #56 

Fantastic Four #57, #59, #60
She's back in that white dress. Coiffure-wise, her Kirby Krest seems to be a fixture. 
Black Bolt Fantastic Four 57
(1966) Fantastic Four #57

The Inhumans break free! 
Fantastic Four 59 Crystal Black Bolt
(1967) Fantastic Four #59

Fantastic Four 59 Inhumans
(1967) Fantastic Four #60



NEXT:  The Headband Cometh! 
or   Crystal: I Am Curious Yellow
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