Fantastic Four 6

FF6

When last we left the Fantastic Four, they had just met and defeated Dr Doom for the first time. So in what will soon be a Marvel tradition, we get a team-up of villains in issue 6.

Synopsis

The story starts with the Human Torch flying high over the city, watched by an admiring crowd. As the crowd debates whether it really is him, the Invisible Girl rushes through the crows, knocking them over in her wake. The crowd is uneasy that she may have been amongst them all this time, and suspect something must be up for both the Human Torch and the Invisible Girl to be making appearances.

We soon find out that the Human Torch has been scouting for Dr Doom. Inside the Baxter Building, home of the Fantastic Four’s Headquarters, Sue sees a delivery boy is struggling to call the express elevator. Sue explains that it only works if you have a secret belt buckle to call it. Sue makes her way up in the elevator, and we see a nice diagram of the headquarters as she does so.

The Human Torch reports that he hasn’t been able to find any sign of Dr Doom, and Ben suggests that he could do a better job of finding him. Meanwhile, Reed is preoccupied with a large stack of mail he is going through. Reed finds a letter from a boy in hospital, and realising the hospital is opposite their headquarters, stretches over to pay him a visit. But not all the mail is complimentary, and Johnny reads one letter from the “Yancy Street Gang” threatening the Thing.

Meanwhile, out at sea, some fisherman spot porpoise but don’t realise that they are under the command of the Submariner. Up above, a plane flies over piloted by Dr Doom. Doom manages to get his attention and they agree to become allies in their fight against the Fantastic Four. Doom then converts his plane into an aero-sub and dives into the ocean following Namor.  He leads him through the ruins of his city and into his home, where the two can talk and plot some more.

Doom tells Namor that he must forget about his infatuation with Sue, if he is to avenge the destruction of his city by the humans, caused by the apparent testing of an H-Bomb. Namor agrees to help Doom, but vows not to hurt Sue. Doom reluctantly agrees. Doom then explains his plan, using a new weapon called “the Grabber“, which is powered by magnetic force and can “grab” seemingly any object, no matter its weight. Doom dismantles the weapon and asks Namor to hide it on him, until the time comes to use it against the Fantastic Four.

Namor takes off and heads straight for the city. Back in the headquarters, Johnny finds a hidden portrait of Namor and teases Sue about it. Johnny burns the photo as Ben and Reed come to see what is causing the commotion. They ask Sue to explain herself, but she cannot. Then, at that very instance, Namor appears in front of them. He explains he is on a mission of peace but Ben and Johnny do not believe him. They go to attack Namor, but Sue stands in their way.

Johnny battles Namor, but his power soon begins to fade, and Namor is left untouched. Namor explains he is only there to request company, but Reed and Johnny do not believe him and decide to search the headquarters in case Namor has a secret. They are unable to find anything and Namor tells the Fantastic Four that he has decided to take a holiday and will be taking Sue with him.  And that moment, a loud crack is heard and the whole building rises into the air. Namor then explains that whilst he may have planted the trap, it is Doom who is controlling it.

FantasticFour06-Baxter-Building-stolen1

Namor explains that Doom has double-crossed him as the building reaches thousands of feet above the city. Doom begins to celebrate that he has managed to capture the only beings capable of stopping his plan to take over the world. The Fantastic Four decide to fight back, and Johnny leaps out of the window. But there is not enough oxygen in the air to feed his flames and he falls towards the ground. Reed catches him, and then using Ben as an anchor, he stretches himself in a bid to reach Doom’s plane. But Doom is able to ward Reed off by firing one of the rockets on his plane.

Ben decides it is up to him to take action, but Namor disagrees and they grapple. They are soon interrupted by Doom’s voice as he explains he is sending the building on a collision course with the sun. The team are resigned to failure but Namor vows to fight on and asks if there is any water tankers in the building. There is, and this re-energises him before he takes aim at Doom.

Namor is able to reach the plane, but is not able to break into where Doom is. Doom retaliates by sending an electric charge through Namor. But Doom soon realises that by doing so, he is no longer able to control his plane. And then, Namor explains that he was able to absorb the charge and will now fire it back, but Doom is able to escape.

The building, no longer being pulled by Doom, crash lands back on Earth. The team are thankful for Namor’s help, but are still unsure if he is an ally or enemy. Johnny then finds the weapon that Namor hid in the building and then send it to the plane, which Namor then causes to crash into the water.

Comment

So, we get a team-up but it doesn’t take long to unravel. Doom shows that he cannot be trusted by anyone, and Namor shows that there is perhaps more than one side to him.

Within the team itself, we see more of Sue’s possible feelings towards Namor, whilst Johnny and Ben continue to bicker. Lastly, we also see reference to the Yancy St Gang for the first time, and the philanthropy of Reed Richards.

Details

Writer – Stan Lee

Artist – Jack Kirby

Cover date – September 1962

Financials

Cover price – 12c

At the time of publishing, the most expensive listing for Fantastic Four 6 on eBay is £995.

Coming next

 

The Incredible Hulk 3

Journey into Mystery 84

Tales to Astonish 35

ComicRetrospective 2016

@comicretrospect

Fantastic Four 5

FF5

Following on from the introduction of Namor in the last issue, we move on to the introduction of the villain most commonly associated with the Fantastic Four, Dr Doom.

Synopsis

The issue opens with an ominous looking Dr Doom moving figures of the Fantastic Four around a board like chess pieces. Doom is scheming and decides it is time to show the world that only he can stop the Fantastic Four.

Back in New York, we see office workers heading home for the evening, but the lights are still on at the Fantastic Four’s HQ. Inside, Johnny is reading a Hulk comic and claims that the monster reminds him of the Thing. The pair squabble before they are subdued by Sue and Reed. At the moment, the lights go out and we see that the helicopter that Dr Doom boarded on page 1 is now hovering over the HQ and has dropped a web over the entire building.

Doom tells the Fantastic Four to heed his words. The team do not know who Dr Doom is, but Reed recognises the voice. We then get a flashback to Reed’s college days, where a student called Victor von Doom was a brilliant student but obsessed with forbidden experiments. One of these experiments caused an explosion, leaving Victor’s face badly disfigured. Victor soon left for Tibet to find the secrets of black magic and sorcery, and was never heard of again, until now…

Doom claims the team as his prisoners, and lists his conditions for their release. Firstly, Sue is to be sent to him as a hostage to ensure their compliance. Ben chooses to let his fists do the talking and grabs the web, but receives an electric shock and has to let go. Sue then convinces the rest of the team that their only choice is for her to go up to Doom.

Doom then tells the team to board his plane and to agree not to attack him. The team agree and go up to the rooftop, where a strange plunger like device descends down and sucks them up. Doom then takes them to his castle and explains what he wants from the team. He tells them that he has invented a time travel device and that he wants the team to travel back in time and steal the legendary treasure chest of Blackbeard!

The team agree to go and at the push of a button, are transported to the past. The team only have 48 hours to complete their mission, so start to act fast. They first get some clothes so as to blend in, with Ben adorning a fake beard, eye patch and hat. Ben feels instantly comfortable in his new disguise. The team find a bar nearby and are soon offered some drinks. They do not realise that the drinks are spiked. They soon pass out, and a group of pirates take them on board a ship and set sail.

The awaken when the pirates  try to get the to start work on the ship. Ben makes short work of them, and the rest of the crew quickly fall behind him. Not long after, however, the ship is under attack by another pirate ship. Johnny turns into the Human Torch and flies over to attack the ship, followed by Reed who stretches to create a bridge for the crew to board the attacking ship.

They soon take over the other ship and find what they were looking for, Blackbeard’s treasure. But what of Blackbeard himself? It is then that the rest of the crew turn to Ben to salute him, “Hail Black-Beard!” The team agree to take the treasure chest back to Doom, but not with the treasure inside, as they never actually agreed to that. Instead, they divide the treasure with the men, and refill the chest with worthless chains. At that moment, Ben has a moment of realisation, and decides that he prefers it in the past.

FF5pg17pn2

Ben then decides that he does not want Johnny and Reed to try and force him back, so orders his men to restrain them. Just then, they notice a twister coming towards the ship. The gale tears the ship apart, and the three find themselves washed up on a desert island. Ben realises what a fool he was to want to stay behind, and then a flashing light appears above them and they are transported back to Doom’s castle, in the present day.

They hand over the chest to Doom, and he explains that the treasure inside once belonged to Merlin and that they have magical powers. Johnny remembers that the treasure is now at the bottom of the sea, and worries what would happen if Namor was to find them. Doom then moves to open the chest and finds the treasure is not there. Ben then attacks Doom, only to find out that he was a robot all along. Doom is in fact in a hidden room above the team, and intends to kill them by eliminating the oxygen from their room. But he has forgotten about Sue, who turns invisible and is able to alter the controls.

The team manage to escape the castle but find they are surrounded by water. Johnny announces to the rest of the team that he is keen to try out a new power. He reaches atomic heat level, boiling the water away and fusing the ground, turning it into a glass like substance. The team are then able to make their away across the water. Johnny then encircles the castle in flame to imprison Doom, but his flame burns out and Doom is able to escape. Reed praises Johnny for the attempt, but Ben is not impressed and says he will do things his way next time.

Comments

So unlike the much maligned Fantastic Four movie, Doom’s introduction comes five issues into the series. This issue also sees for perhaps the first time, the team really functioning as a unit and each using their own unique powers to the team’s benefit. There is still the undercurrent of discontent between Ben and then rest of the team, none more so when Ben is dressed as Blackbeard. This also throws up a nice time-travel paradox issue of Ben being Blackbeard.

Apart from all this, we also see the first Doom-bot and a new power for Johnny. All in all, an action-packed issue.

Details

Writer – Stan Lee

Artist – Jack Kirby

Cover date – July 1962

Financials and further reading

Cover price – 12c

At the time of posting, the most expensive listing for this issue on eBay is £4,999.99.

The comic can be read digitally on Marvel.com here and the first thirty issues are available in hard copy here.

Coming next

The Incredible Hulk 2

Journey into Mystery 83

Amazing Fantasy 15

Plus Star Wars 2 in our separate series looking at the 1977 series, plus some other surprises too.

ComicRetrospective 2016

@comicretrospect

Fantastic Four 4

Fantastic Four 4

After an absence of nearly 7 years, a well known character makes a reappearance in the new Fantastic Four comic.  But is he a hero or villain.  Let’s take a look…

Synopsis

Issue 4 kicks off hot on the heels of Johnny’s departure at the end of the previous issue. Reed is trying to persuade the team that they should be looking for him, but Ben is not convinced. Sue gets upset with Ben and Reed tells Ben that it is his fault Johnny left.  We then get a brief recap of the events of the last issue, and Reed informs the team that they will try to find Johnny.  Ben reluctantly agrees.

The team board the Fantasticar, which soon separates, allowing each member to search a different part of the city.  Sue and Reed resort to their powers to help them in the search, but to no avail.  Not far away, we see Johnny is busy working at a garage, and using his flame to help with a spot of welding.  This attracts the attention of Ben, who confronts Johnny.

As the two battle, Ben suddenly turns into human form again.  Johnny uses the momentary distraction to fly away, but Ben’s transformation is brief, and he soon turns back into the Thing.

Johnny flies to the other end of the city and finds a cheap hotel so settle down for the night.  In his room, he finds an old comic of the “Sub-Mariner”, a character that Johnny seems to remember.  Someone notices Johnny reading the comic, and mentions that there is an old drunk staying at the hotel who is as strong as the Sub-Mariner was despite his appearances.

The man appears to be suffering from amnesia, and cannot remember a thing.  Johnny is intrigued to find out more about the man, and uses his flame to burn the beard off the man’s face.  To his astonishment, the man is the Sub-Mariner!

Fantastic Four 4 Pg 10

As the team continues to look for Johnny, he takes the Sub-Mariner to a nearby river, to see if the water will bring back his memories.  The plan works.  Namor swims to his undersea kingdom, only to find it in ruins.  Namor returns to Johnny, and vows to take revenge on the human race.

The team are still looking for Johnny, when they notice the flare in the sky.  They rush to Johnny, who explains to them that Namor the Sub-Mariner has returned.  Namor’s plan is to turn a sea creature lose on land, and finds the largest sea creature of them all, Giganto.  The creature follows Namor, who instructs it to attack a ship.  The crew escapes, but the creature makes his way to the city.

The Fantastic Four confront the creature as Namor leads him towards a nearby building, demolishing it easily.  The team are helpless until the Thing comes up with an idea.  He finds a nuclear bomb, straps it to his back and approaches the creature.  After all the exertions of demolishing the buildings, the creature is resting, and the Thing uses this chance to climb inside him.  Ben leaves the bomb inside and manages to escape.  The explosion kills the creature.

Johnny reluctantly tells Ben that he’s proud of what he just did.  But the danger isn’t over.  Namor appears again, holding the item that he was using to control the creature – a magic sea horn.  Unbeknownst to him though, Sue has turned invisible and is able to snatch the horn away from him.  Namor grabs Sue and is instantly enamoured by her.

Namor tells the team that if Sue becomes his bride, he will spare the human race.  The team try to fight back, but Namor is strong enough to resist them.  Johnny then flies up into the sky and creates a tornado, which he uses to carry Namor back into the water.  As he does so, the sea horn slips from Namor’s grip.  The team is safe for now, but Namor vows to return.

Comments

The reappearance of Namor sets the scene for many future stories.  We see his motivation for disliking the human race, and his attraction to Sue.  Meanwhile, despite Johnny and Ben arguing for most of the issue, we also see the grudging respect they have for each other.

Details

Writer – Stan Lee

Artist – Jack Kirby

Cover date – May 1962

Financials

Cover price – 12c

At the time of publishing, the most expensive listing for Fantastic Four 4 is $1,175 on eBay.

Coming next

The Incredible Hulk 1

Fantastic Four 5

The Incredible Hulk 2

As well as reviewing these early superhero comics, we will also begin to review another classic Marvel series, this time from the 70s.  You may have heard the film the series is based on…  That’s right, we will be reviewing all 106 issues of the original Star Wars series by Marvel.  We will intersperse these in between the main section of reviews so as to provide some variety.  We will hopefully be adding other standalone series in the future too.

ComicRetrospective 2016

@comicretrosepct

 

 

Fantastic Four 3

Fantastic Four 3

Things begin to really get going in the third issue of Fantastic Four.  We take a look inside for some significant firsts.

Synopsis

Before we jump in, a word on  the great cover of issue 3, which boldly introduces readers to both the Fantasti-Car and the famous Fantastic Four blue costumes.

The story begins with a magician called the Miracle Man on stage (looking strikingly similar to Count Dracula).  The Miracle Man notices he has four famous guests in the audience, with each member of the team introduced in their own panel.

The Miracle Man mocks the powers of the Fantastic Four, by showing what he can do, such as growing into a giant, changing his composition into a gas-like substance and controlling thunder and lightning.  The Thing unsurprisingly does not take too well to the goading.

The Thing joins the Miracle Man on stage and is challenged to cut a tree trunk in half.  The Thing smashes the trunk repeatedly and is able to do so.  But to everyone’s astonishment, the Miracle Man is able to repeat this feat using just one finger.  The Thing is outraged, accuses Miracle Man of a con-trick and then tries to punch him in the face.  Miracle Man is unmoved.

The Fantastic Four head home in their flying Fantasti-Car, with Reed commenting that it is lucky that the Miracle Man is not a criminal, as he may be impossible to stop.  But just what are the Miracle Man’s intentions?

We find out soon enough.  The Miracle Man has decided it is time to show the world just what he is capable of, and decides a high profile stunt is the way to do this.  He notices a huge monster statue on exhibit opposite the theatre, and decides to turn it into life.

The Fantastic Four arrive at their headquarters.  This is the first time we have seen this, and we get a nice diagram on page 5 of the building layout.

Fantastic Four 3 Pg 5.jpg

The team decide to relax, and Johnny turns on the tv.  He notices that they are showing the premiere of “The Monsters from Mars” and Reed comments on the huge statute.  Meanwhile, Sue shows the team the uniform she has designed for herself, and for the rest of the team.  The Thing isn’t too keen on the costume and is in the middle of complaining to Sue when Johnny notices that the Miracle Man is at the premiere.

Amazingly, the statue appears to come to life and starts to cause havoc.  It is as Reed feared, the one man they cannot stop is intent on using his powers for evil.  To confirm their suspicions, the police commissioner has received a note from the Miracle Man, declaring war on the whole human race!  The commissioner authorises the Fantastic Four to do whatever is necessary to stop him.

The Fantastic Four head out to find the Miracle Man.  They split up to search different parts of the city.  Reed finds the monster and seems to be able to stop him, before he is attacked by the Miracle Man.  The surprise attack allows the monster to escape, much to the commissioner’s disappointment.

The army then tries to stop the monster, but similarly fail to do so.  Johnny then engages the monster.  The Human Torch is able to stop the monster and sets fire to him.  To his astonishment, the monster is made from wood and plaster.  Johnny cannot understand how he was able to move.  The army are still on the scene, and decide not to take any risks, and so fire water at the Human Torch.  His flame starts to fizzle out and he falls to the ground, but not before telling Ben that the Miracle Man is the cause of the monster moving.

The Thing confronts the Miracle Man, but he is again bested by him.  Miracle Man appears to be able to make the ground open up beneath the Thing.  With both the Thing and the Human Torch catching their breath, the Invisible Girl decides to take matters into her own hands, and turns invisible.

The rest of the team regroup at their headquarters and Johnny is angry at Ben for allowing Sue to take on the Miracle Man by herself.  Ben angrily reminds the others that he will be ready to act and explains that he cannot forgot the events that led them to becoming the Fantastic Four.  We then get a brief re-cap of this.  Johnny teases ben, and Ben lashes out at him.  Johnny storms out.

We cut to the Miracle Man, who is at a junkyard, and is still being followed by Sue.  A dog starts barking at Sue’s invisible form and the Miracle Man is able to command her to make herself visible.  He then tells her to fire her flare gun and summon the others.  Within minutes both Ben and Reed arrive at the scene.

Miracle Man starts to shoot at Reed, who is able to dodge the bullets.  The Thing then stands in his way, but the Miracle Man grabs Sue and runs off.  Johnny then arrives and they jump into an old car and race after them.  Johnny is impatient however, and decides to fly off ahead.  He creates a bright flash which stops the Miracle Man.  They recover Sue and Ben is about to exact some revenge on the Miracle Man before Reed stops him.  The Miracle Man then releases Sue from his trance and he is revealed to be merely a hypnotist, with no powers, magic or otherwise.

Reed praises Johnny for his actions, which angers Ben again.  Johnny has had enough, and decides to leave the Fantastic Four.  Sue is distraught to see her brother leave, but Reed is more concerned about the danger Johnny could cause.

Comments

An issue of many firsts.  We get the first glimpse of the Fantasti-Car and the team;s headquarters.  We also get the teams costumes, which have remained the same for the majority of last 50 years.  From a story perspective, we get more in-fighting, culminating in Johnny leaving the team at the end of the issue.  He’ll be back though…

Details

Writer – Stan Lee

Artist – Jack Kirby

Cover Date – March 1962

Financials

Cover price – 12c (a 20% increase from the last issue!)

At the time of publishing, the most expensive listing for Fantastic Four 3 is $1,575 on eBay.

Coming next

Fantastic Four 4

The Incredible Hulk 1

Fantastic Four 5

ComicRetrospect 2016

@comicretrospect

Fantastic Four 2

FF2

After the unexpected success of Fantastic Four 1, Marvel followed up with issue 2 in January 1962 (two months later).  Let’s take a look inside.

Synopsis

In scenes reminiscent of Fantastic Four 1, we are introduced to the four members of the team individually.  However, this time, the Fantastic Four appear to be up to no good:

The Thing is seen attacking an off-shore tower.

Invisible Girl is seen stealing a priceless gem.

The Human Torch flies past, and melts a priceless monument at its unveiling.

Lastly, Mr Fantastic is seen causing a city-wide power cut.

When the team regroup, we find out that it was not in fact the Fantastic Four, but four aliens impersonating them.  The aliens, known as Skrulls, appear able to take different forms, though they do not have the actual powers of the Fantastic Four.

The media soon turns against the Fantastic Four, much to their (and Ben’s in particular) annoyance.  Ben wants to take action, whilst Reed re-lives the events that led to them gaining their powers, and the responsibility he feels for this.

Whilst this is happening, armed soldiers approach the cabin where the Fantastic Four are, and take them prisoners.  It doesn’t take long, however, for the Fantastic Four to escape, as no mere prison cells can contain them.  The Fantastic Four then decide to set a trap for their impostors.

The Human Torch attacks a rocket that is to be tested, in the hope that their impostors assume he isn’t the real hero.  The plan works.

FF2pg12pn3

Johnny fires off the flare gun (as seen in the first issue) to alert the other members of the team.  Reed, Sue and Ben soon arrive and overpower the Skrulls.  However, they learn that the Skrulls are planning an invasion of Earth!

Reed decides the best way to stop the Skrulls from invading is to convince them they would not succeed.  The four turn the tables on the Skrulls, and impersonate them before flying to their star ship, in near Earth orbit.  Reed shows their leader images of the terrifying creatures on Earth (actually monsters from other Marvel comics – Strange Tales and Journey into Mystery, in a nice in-universe joke).

The plan works, and the four return to Earth.  But not before passing through a radiation belt that changes The Thing back into human form.

On landing, the Fantastic Four are met by soldiers again and Ben soon turns back into the Thing.  Reed is able to persuade the soldiers of what happened and the four then turn to one remaining problem.  What to do with the four Skrulls on Earth.  Reed forces the Skrulls to change into cows and then hypnotises them, so that they forget their past life and how to change back.  A problem solved?

Comments

This issue sees the introduction of famous adversaries within the Marvel universe, the Skrulls.  This expands the known superhero universe to beyond Earth.  We also get the first indication that Ben’s change into the Thing may not be permanent, as well as continuing friction within the team.  And lastly, the Skrull cows will make a reappearance some 50 years later during Secret Invasion!

Details

Writer – Stan Lee

Artist – Jack Kirby

Cover date – January 1962

Financials

Cover price – 10c

At the time of publishing, the most expensive listing for an issue of Fantastic Four 2 was $1,539.99 on eBay.

Coming next

Fantastic Four 3

Fantastic Four 4

The Incredible Hulk 1

ComicRetrospective 2016

@comicretrospect

Fantastic Four 1

Widely considered to be the birth of the Marvel superhero universe, as we now know it, Fantastic Four 1 was published with a cover date of November 1961.  Let’s take a peak inside…

Synopsis

The story starts off with a flare being shot into the sky, above New York.  The flare materialises into the words “The Fantastic Four”.  The people of New York are startled, and we then see a shadowy figure of the man who shot the flare.  Over the next seven pages, we are introduced to three members of the Fantastic Four:

Susan Storm – having tea with a friend when she notices the flare.  She turns invisible, and makes a hasty exit in a cab.

Ben Grimm – shopping, without success, for clothes.  On seeing the flare, he ditches his disguise of an overcoat, hat and glasses, and makes his way into the sewer system.

Johnny Storm – working on a car.  He notices the flare (which now appears as just the number “4”), bursts into flames and takes off.  His journey is soon interrupted by the National Guard, who do not hesitate to fire missiles at the flaming object.

The Human Torch is able to evade the planes, but his flames die out as a missile approaches him, and he plummets to the sea below.  Two elongated arms then appear and catch the missile.  The arms belong to the final team member, Reed Richards.

The team have finally assembled.  But before we find out why, we get a flashback to when the team obtained their powers.  The team are arguing, and Ben appears reluctant to pilot a space rocket.  Sue calls Ben a coward, resulting in an angry Ben agreeing to fly.

The rocket takes off, and all appears well, until their path takes them through some cosmic rays in space.  This appears to have strange, and different, effects on each of the members.  The ship crash-lands back on earth, and after some initial confusion, they each agree to form the Fantastic Four.

We jump back to the present, and find out why the team have been assembled.  To face the threat of the Mole Man!  Atomic plants are disappearing all over the world, and nobody seems to know why.  Just then, Reed Richards notices another disappearance is about to take place in French Africa.  We cut to the scene where confused soldiers think an earthquake is taking place.  A gigantic pair of green claws is seen, and a huge creature emerges, crushing a tank.

Back in New York, Reed has identified what appears to be the epicentre of the disappearances, the fabled Monster Isle.  The team board the private jet and fly there to investigate.  A three-headed creature attacks them, and in the process another cave-in causes Reed and Johnny to plummet into a dark cavern.  There they find a trap door, which leads them from the darkness into blinding light, causing them to pass out.

Upon waking, the duo find themselves dressed in strange suits.  The cause of the light is a valley of diamonds.  Above ground, Sue and Ben continue to fight strange creatures, whilst below, the Moleman holds court.  We hear the sad story of what lead to the creation of the Moleman, following the mocking and ridicule that he received from humans.  Following a fall, the Moleman soon learnt to control the subterranean creatures and to adapt his senses to living underground like a mole.  He then goads Reed and Johnny to attack him.

Meanwhile, Sue and Ben have made their way down below, and Ben does not need an invitation to join the battle.  The Moleman signals for the gigantic creature that first attacked the Fantastic Four to aid him.  The Fantastic Four show their team skills and are able to overcome the Moleman and his hideous creatures.  The Fantastic Four manage to escape Monster Isle, but the Moleman is left behind…to fight another day.

Comments

And so begins the Marvel superhero universe.  An origin story for the Fantastic Four, sandwiched between the main story of the Moleman.  We also see early signs of tension between the team, notably with Ben, as well as a potential weakness in the Human Torch’s abilities, following his flame burning out in mid-flight.

Details

Writer – Stan Lee

Artist – Jack Kirby

Cover date – November 1961

Financials

Cover price – 10c

At the time of publishing, the most expensive listing for an issue of Fantastic Four 1 was $10,200 on eBay.

Coming next

Fantastic Four 2

Fantastic Four 3

Fantastic Four 4

ComicRetrospective 2016

@comicretrospect