Fin Fang Foom is probably the epitome of the Kirby monster, both in look and name, oft reprinted and brought into the Marvel super-hero lore many times by subsequent creators.
FANTASY MASTERPIECES #2 reprints the original story, from STRANGE TALES #89 (1961). Inked magnificently by Dick Ayers, and for some reason coloured orange rather than the original green. I don’t usually pick splash pages to post, but this one is just too perfect.
I just love that image, how Kirby mixes human and monster features with wild abandon to create something so memorable.
The story is about a resident of Formosa (Taiwan), derided as a coward by his father due to his his dedication to ancient studies rather than joining the army, acting as Red China prepares to invade by releasing the legendary beast Fin Fang Foom to unwittingly demolish the Red Chinese forces.
This issue of FM also reprints a Don Heck story, “Orogo”, for which Kirby did the splash page. I wonder if he drew that first, or was asked to do it after the original was done to punch up the story a bit. The cover of this issue is a collage of images from the three stories reprinted.