The FF is one of the pillars of the Marvel Universe, so how's it been going back through their adventures over the years?
You’re so right about that. What blows me away is just how much of the Marvel Universe, the worlds, the heroes and villains started in the FF. It’s so much more than just the FF themselves. Just going somewhat in order you have Monster Isle, Skrulls, Doom’s Latveria, The Watcher and his blue area on the moon, Inhumans, Silver Surfer, Galactus, the Negative Zone, Black Panther, the Kree with their Supreme Intelligence and their Sentries and Accusers, Adam Warlock, just to name a few.
Fans talk about which comic has the best rogues' gallery. To me the answer hands down is the FF. Their rogues' gallery carry their own books. Silver Surfer started out as a villain in the FF. He came to Earth, caused a bunch of trouble, then did a face turn. Black Panther starts out as an adversary for the FF, then becomes their best friend. You see Adam Warlock created in a lab and crawling out of his cocoon. You think of these characters as their own entities with their own separate histories, but when you read the comics in order, you see how they begin, for one issue at least, as the villain of the week. It’s kind of like the structure of the Arthurian legends where he’d encounter a knight, fight him, and then get him to join his army.
Jack and Stan were just on another level in a way that really hasn’t been equaled. They created an empire, issue by issue.