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 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