I guess since the Inhumans backups originally appeared in the unusual place of the back pages of THOR #146 – #152, it makes sense that reprints of them have also popped up in unusual places, like behind Spider-Man reprints in MARVEL TALES, or three of them in this special designed to promote a now long-forgotten crossover. The first two and the final episode of the 5-page Kirby/Sinnott back-ups are included in this issue.
“The Origin of the Incomparable Inhumans” is the first, starting with a splash page of the current royal family before going back to a pre-historic time to show us a far more advanced civilization that existed alongside savage early humans, and had to flee to the island refuge of Attilan.
There they discovered the Terrogen Mists, and their monarch Randac decided that the logical thing to do would be to expose himself to them first, becoming the first Inhuman.
“The Reason Why” explains a bit more as a Kree Sentry arrives in Attilan and reveals that their advanced evolution was the result of Kree experiments, and meets Randac as he emerges from the Terrigan Mists (they apparently changed the spelling while he was in there) with his new powers. Of course, as shown when the margin notes for the story were printed in THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #21, this is quite a different story from what Kirby actually wrote.
They skip to the end for the final 5-page Inhumans story, “While the City Shrieks”. After causing some mischief at sea, reported in the papers a “sea monster”, Triton arrives in New York, where humanity responds with fear and violence. To be fair, they have a point regarding some of his behaviour. He returns home and convinces Black Bolt that they’ll have to move from their island home or risk eventual discovery, hence the mountain location of the “Great Refuge” in then-modern stories.
All these stories look gorgeous, of course, with the Kirby/Sinnott combo at its prime with their slick high-energy style. The stories don’t work quite as well, whether because of those changes from the original notes or just the nature of filling in background instead of going forward, but they do have their moments. Unfortunately, it looks like that run of backups has been an orphan in Marvel’s current reprints, unless I missed them somewhere, as they didn’t show up when those issues were reprinted in ESSENTIAL THOR (despite the table of contents listing Sinnott as inker on those issues), so presumably won’t when the MASTERWORKS volumes of Thor get that far.
Most of the rest of the contents of this issue are related to then-current goings on in the FF related books, but there is a 4-page article on “Marvel’s Top 10 Monsters” with some nice images and story recaps of some old favourites like Monstrollo, Pildorr and Googam (son of Goom).