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Fantastic Firsts Vol 1 1
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Quote1 It is the first time I have found it necessary to give the signal! I pray it will be the last! Quote2
--Mister Fantastic

Appearing in "The Fantastic Four"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #1.

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #1.

Chapter 1

Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 0001 Title

A shadowy figure fires a flare out of a window. The flare forms the words "The Fantastic Four!"[Continuity 1]

Susan Storm is having tea with a friend. When she sees the flare, she turns invisible, gets into a cab,[Continuity 2] and offers the surprised driver a banknote when she reaches her destination.

Ben Grimm is trying to find a coat that fits him. A clerk in the haberdashery sees the flare. Grimm bursts out of the too-small door, rips a manhole out of the street, follows the sewers, and bursts out when he thinks he has reached his destination. He is struck by a taxi which is wrecked.

Johnny Storm is working on his latest hot rod in a service station. The mechanic sees the flare, which turns into the number 4. Johnny bursts into flame and flies away, destroying his car. The authorities treat him as an enemy attack, so he reluctantly melts the jets that come after him. A nuclear heat-seeking missile locks onto him, and, just as Johnny's flame starts to fade, an impossibly long pair of arms grab the missile and throw it out to sea.

Johnny's savior is the same man who fired the flare. He greets Susan, Ben, and Johnny with the words, "There is a task that awaits us ... a fearful task!" But how did these four people become so fantastic?

To beat the Communists into space, scientist Reed Richards, sister and brother Sue and Johnny Storm, and pilot Ben Grimm sneak off into space in a rocket.[Continuity 3] In space, the four are bombarded by cosmic rays.[Continuity 4] The auto-pilot lands the ship back on Earth,[Continuity 5] where they find themselves physically transformed and possessing remarkable new abilities. Sue can turn invisible. Ben has transformed into an orange, muscular "thing" with super-strength.[Continuity 6] Reed's body became highly malleable, allowing him to stretch into any shape. Johnny's body bursts into flame, and he can fly. They decide to use their abilities to become the super-team known as the Fantastic Four. They give themselves the individual names Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, and the Thing.[Continuity 7][Continuity 8]

(Chapter 2) The Fantastic Four Meet the Mole Man!

Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 Chapter 2 Title
Monster Isle from Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 001

Monster Isle

Atomic plants in the Soviet Union, Australia, and South America have been mysteriously attacked by cave-ins. Another attack occurs in Africa, where a huge monster burrows out of the ground but is recalled by a human figure. The Fantastic Four travel aboard their private jet to Monster Isle, which Reed has deduced is the same distance from each attack. There, they are attacked by a giant three-headed monster. Reed stops the monster, but a cave-in separates Reed and Johnny from Ben and Sue. Beneath the island Reed and Johnny land in the Valley of Diamonds, which temporarily blinds them. The Mole Man appears, revealing he is responsible for the attacks.

(Chapter 3) The Mole Man's Secret!

Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 Chapter 3 Title

The Mole Man explains his origin. Having been ridiculed by humanity, he went off alone in search of the legendary land at the center of the earth. Eventually, he washed ashore on Monster Isle. Making his way through a cavern, he was caught in an avalanche and rendered almost blind.[Continuity 9] However, due to his other heightened senses taking over, he mastered the subterranean creatures[Continuity 10] and built himself an underground empire.

Meanwhile, on the surface, Ben wrestles a rock monster. Ben and Sue find their teammates listening to the Mole Man's plan to invade the surface world. He sends his monster army against the Fantastic Four. Whilst Johnny distracts the biggest one, the team flees through a tunnel, which Johnny seals shut behind them. After the Fantastic Four escape in their jet, Mole Man destroys the island so the surface world cannot trouble him again.[Continuity 11]

Appearing in 2nd story

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #1.



Synopsis for 2nd story

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #1.



Appearing in "The Man in the Ant Hill!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #27.

Featured Characters:

  • Henry Pym (First appearance) (Origin revealed)

Other Characters:

  • Various scientists
  • Ants (First appearance)

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "The Man in the Ant Hill!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #27.
Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 Title

Doctor Henry Pym declares success! He has successfully used his reducing serum to shrink a chair to doll size and used his enlarging serum to return it to normal size. Pym had been ridiculed months ago by his peers for his outlandish theories but has now perfected a pair of serums capable of changing the size of any object. Confident that his serums work, Pym tests them on himself.

Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 0001

Placing a few drops of reducing serum on his arm, Henry Pym quickly shrinks. Now ant-sized, he realizes that he left the enlarging serum on the window sill; it might as well be on the moon. He goes out into the yard. Ants sense his presence and move toward him. Pym, still not thinking clearly, runs into an ant hill. Fleeing blindly through the tunnels, he falls into a shaft and lands in a pool of honey. Hopelessly trapped, he spots an ant crawling towards him. To Pym’s surprise, the ant pulls him free from the honey and lets him go unharmed. More ants appear. Pym notices a matchstick set in the ground and, hoping to create a diversion, throws a pebble at it. His aim is true, and the match lights.

Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 0002

Pym fashions a lasso and climbs up to a ledge. There, another ant grabs him in its mandibles. Pym uses judo to flip the ant over the ledge and scrambles upward. Once out of the ant hill, with the colony in hot pursuit, he sees the friendly ant who saved him earlier. He points upward to tell the ant where he needs to go. The ant climbs the wall with Pym aboard. He wades into the test tube with the serum and immediately returns to normal. Convinced that his invention is dangerous, he dumps his serums down the drain.

Appearing in "Return of the Ant-Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #35.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Locations:

Other Characters:

  • Henry Pym's research assistants
    • Tom

Items:

Synopsis for "Return of the Ant-Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #35.

Doctor Henry Pym is a scientist who had invented two incredible serums, one to reduce objects, and the other to enlarge them back to their natural size. The reducing potion proved more powerful than he anticipated. It reduced him to the size of an insect and led him to the most frightening encounter of his life within a teeming ant hill. Frantically, Pym escaped from the ants and reached his enlarging serum. After he was restored to normal size, Pym destroyed his serums, which he felt were too dangerous to exist on Earth. However, weeks later he decided that such a great discovery should not melt into nothingness and concocted his serums again, this time locking them safely away in his safe.

After his experience in the ant hill, Henry Pym developed a growing interest in ants. Secretly, he made a thorough study of the ant world and determined that ants communicate electronically through their antennae. After long months of grueling work, he finally developed a helmet that would enable him to communicate with the ants by tuning into their specific wave length. Pym also designed a protective costume to shield him from accidental ant-sting or bite.

On the same day that he completed work on his helmet, the government gives Henry Pym a top secret scientific assignment to develop a gas to make people immune to radiation and provides him with four research assistants. Weeks later, the communists have learned of Pym’s work and have dispatched agents to steal the almost completed formula.

Communist agents burst into Henry Pym’s laboratory and hold him and his research assistants at gun point, demanding the anti-radiation formula. When Pym refuses to divulge the formula, the agents decide the search the lab and find the information themselves. Trapped in his lab, Pym decides that the only way to prevent the communists from getting the anti-radiation gas is to use his reducing serum. Donning his newly completed helmet and costume, Pym uses his reducing serum to shrink to insect size.

Now ant-sized, Ant-Man uses a rubber band as a slingshot to hurl himself to a nearby window ledge, where he slips through the window crack and uses a piece of thread to lower himself to the ground.

Part 2: An Army of Ants!

His destination is the ant hill, where he learns that his cybernetic helmet actually works, allowing him to communicate with and command the ants. He is attacked by a large worker ant. As he fights the ant, he learns that somehow, he retains the strength of a full-grown man at his diminished size. After defeating the worker ant, Ant-Man adjusts his cybernetic helmet and sends a command through the ant hill, forming a small army of ants.

As Ant-Man exits the ant hill, his colorful costume attracts the attention of a beetle. Using his full-size strength, he quickly digs a deep hole, uses himself as bait to lure the beetle into it and then fills in the hole, trapping the beetle.

Ant-Man then mounts the largest of the worker ants and leads his army up the wall and on to the window ledge near his lab.

Part 3: The Ant-Man's Revenge!

After observing the communist agents, Ant-Man slips into the lab and with the help of the ants, unties his assistants. He then commands the ants to attack the agents, distracting them long enough for Pym’s assistants to over power them.

With the communist agents defeated, Ant-Man heads for his laboratory, where he uses his enlarging serum to return to normal size and rejoin the others in the lab. Pym is left wondering if he will ever be forced to become the Ant-Man again?

Appearing in "The Hulk"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Incredible Hulk #1.

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Antagonists:

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Vehicles:

  • Soviet version of X-15

Synopsis for "The Hulk"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Incredible Hulk #1.

Part 1: The Coming of the Hulk

At an Army base in the desert, Doctor Bruce Banner is readying the first test of his invention, the G-Bomb. General "Thunderbolt" Ross wants to know why Banner keeps delaying the test. His daughter Betty tries to calm him down, with little success. Banner tells Ross that the final countdown has begun. His assistant, Igor, demands that Banner share his work so that someone may check his calculations. "I don't make errors, Igor," says Bruce, and, when Igor threatens him, "You know how I detest men who think with their fists."

Banner takes a last look at the bomb with binoculars. He notices a teenage boy in a car, tells Igor to halt the countdown, and hurries after the boy in a jeep. Igor, who supposedly defected to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, is a spy and decides not to stop the countdown so that America will lose its greatest nuclear physicist. Banner gets the boy into a trench, but, before he can jump in himself, the G-Bomb explodes! Gamma rays saturate Banner's body.

Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 1 002

Birth of the Hulk

Hours later, Banner regains his senses. The boy, Rick Jones, who drove onto the base on a dare, brought him back to base. Banner waits for some kind of symptoms to appear. When night falls, Jones turns on a "radio," actually a Geiger counter. Its clicking increases, and Banner changes into a huge grey figure. "Get out of my way, insect," says the figure, shoving Jones aside. He pushes through the wall, wrecks a jeep full of soldiers when it hits him, and wanders off to hide. Jones follows.

Part 2: The Hulk Strikes!

Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 1 003

The thing that was once Banner, with Jones trailing him, sneaks past the soldiers trying to find him and finds Banner's cabin. Inside, Igor is trying to find Banner's notes. He shoots at the Hulk, without effect. The Hulk takes away his gun and crumples it with one hand. He picks up Igor and slams him down on a lab bench. Jones notices a folder taped to the bottom of a large beaker, labeled "Top Secret: Report on Gamma Ray Bomb," and takes it. The Hulk picks up a photo of Banner and says, "I—I know that face!! But it is weak—soft!! I hate it! Take it away!" Jones reminds him that he is Banner. The Hulk briefly remembers what happened, then says, "I don't need you! I don't need anybody! With my strength—my power—the world is mine! As for you—you are the only one who knows who I really am!" He advances on Jones. The sun comes up at that moment, and the Hulk changes back into Banner.

Part 3: The Search for the Hulk

The MPs storm in, arrest Igor, ask Banner about the Hulk, take the folder, and leave. Betty comes to apologize for her father's outburst and tells him he should get medical attention. Banner says he'll call her and shows her out. He tells Jones that he's afraid he will change again at sunset.

Part 4: Enter... the Gargoyle!

In his cell, Igor uses a transmitter overlaid on his thumbnail. The message finds its way to the Gargoyle, a deformed Soviet scientist and secret agent, who travels by submarine and short-range missile to the desert. Banner and Jones take a jeep out into the desert before night falls, in case he changes again. He does change, and the Hulk wrecks the jeep. He recognizes the area near Ross's house and decides to visit Betty. At the same time, Betty decides to take a walk. She encounters the Hulk and faints in his arms. The Gargoyle appears.

Part 5: The Hulk Triumphant!

The Gargoyle shoots the Hulk and Jones with drug-filled bullets, making them like robots. They follow him to a truck, whose driver also gets shot. Ross finds Betty, who was frightened by her encounter but says, "In spite of everything, there was something... something sad about him!! Almost as though he was seeking... help!" Ross says, "If it takes an eternity, I'll find that monster!"

The Gargoyle and his captives reach a sub on the coast and get into a jet. As they streak towards the USSR, the sun rises on the Hulk, who changes back into Banner. Upon landing, the Gargoyle is astounded to find a man instead of a monster. He begins to cry, because he wants to be normal too. Banner treats him with radiation, which makes him look normal but takes away his super intelligence. The man who was once the Gargoyle realizes how the state has used him, so he puts Banner and Jones on a jet for home and blows up his base along with himself.

Appearing in "The Coming of... Sub-Mariner!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #4.

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Coming of... Sub-Mariner!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #4.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 0001 Title

Chapter 1:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 1 Title

The Human Torch has quit the team. Reed, Sue, and Ben use the Fantasti-Car to search the city for him. Johnny, though, has gone to Swanson's Garage to work on cars. Ben, on a hunch, goes to the garage.

Chapter 2:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 2 Title

Unable to use his flame because of the gasoline around him, Johnny faces an angry Ben without his power. Ben backs him into a corner, but, before the Thing can hit Johnny, he changes back to his old, human form. Johnny uses the distraction to leave the garage, flame on, and fly away. Ben immediately changes back to the Thing.

Johnny goes to the Bowery to find accommodations. Once in his bunk, he reads a 1940s comic about the Sub-Mariner. Another guest of the establishment notices what he's reading and says, "We got a stumble-bum right here who's as strong as that joker was supposed to be!" He hands the bearded "stumble-bum" a phone book and tells him to tear it in half. The man refuses. The others attack him but get swatted away. The man complains that he can't remember anything: "Why have I spent the long years here, in a fog, with my mind a blank??" Johnny says, "Flame on!" ignites one finger, and burns off the man's beard. He looks just like the Sub-Mariner, pointy ears and all.

Chapter 3:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 3 Title
Johnny carries the man out to sea and drops him into the water. Back in his native element, the Sub-Mariner remembers who he is.[Continuity 12] He goes to his home, Atlantis.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 page 13 Atlantis
It lies in radioactive ruins, a casualty of atomic testing. The Sub-Mariner returns to New York and tells Johnny that he will retaliate by destroying the human race.[Continuity 13]

Chapter 4:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 4 Title
The rest of the FF, back at the Baxter Building, see Johnny's flare rise from the waterfront. They take the Fantasti-Car to meet him and learn about the Sub-Mariner's revival.
Giganto (Atlantean Beast) (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 0001

the original Giganto

Out at sea, the Sub-Mariner finds Giganto, "the largest living thing in all the world," and the Horn of Proteus that can rouse him. He leads the creature towards New York, which begins an evacuation. The army bombards Giganto without effect. The Thing comes up with a daring plan: strap a nuclear bomb to his back, get inside the monster, and leave it there to destroy it. While Giganto takes a nap, Ben carries the bomb down its gullet.

Chapter 5:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 5 Title

With seconds to spare, Ben makes it out of the monster's maw.[Continuity 14] The Sub-Mariner threatens to use the horn to summon more creatures. An invisible Sue grabs the horn and runs away with it.[Continuity 15] The Sub-Mariner tackles her. She becomes visible. "If you will be my bride," says the Sub-Mariner, "I might show mercy to the rest of your pitiful race!" She responds, "How can I make such a choice?" He threatens again to use the horn. Sue says, "I—I'll do anything—I'll become your bride!" Johnny, though, forms a tornado that pulls the Sub-Mariner into the air and drops him in the ocean. The horn falls to the bottom. The Sub-Mariner swears, "I'll be back!"[Continuity 16]

Appearing in "Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four Annual #1.

Featured Characters:

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Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

  • Various types of Atlantean Weaponry

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four Annual #1.

Namor has finally found the lost people[Continuity1 1] of Atlantis[Continuity1 2] and is reunited with his lover Lady Dorma, much to the displeasure of Warlord Krang.[Continuity1 3] While on the surface world, the Thing and Human Torch are on another childish rampage through the Baxter Building; once the spat is sorted out it's suggested that perhaps a vacation is in order.

Wanting to check out reports of giant sea creatures, Reed suggests a cruise. When gigantic aquatic specimens show themselves, the FF are captured by Namor when they go to investigate. Namor demands that the FF deliver a message to the United Nations that the seas and the air above belong to the nation of Atlantis.[Continuity1 4] Seeking an audience at the United Nations, after hearing the origins of Homo Mermani and the origins of Namor from Professor G.W. Falton, Reed informs the Nations that Namor is a menace.[Continuity1 5]

Falton reveals himself to be Namor in disguise and declares war on the surface world. Sending an army to attack New York City, the FF's first attempt at fighting back the invading Atlanteans fails. However, Reed builds a device which causes the water in the warriors' helmets to evaporate forcing a retreat. Attacking the FF directly, Namor kidnaps Sue and takes her aboard his ship. While the FF is fighting Namor for Sue's freedom, Warlord Krang and Lady Dorma attempt to drown Sue, prompting Namor to rescue her.[Continuity1 6] Needing immediate medical attention, Namor swims Sue to shore and brings her to a hospital.

The FF meeting up with him there, Namor calls off his attack against the surface world for the time being and returns to the ocean depths. However, Atlantis is deserted as Krang has convinced the Atlanteans that their sovereign is a traitor for saving the surface woman. Namor is alone again.[Continuity1 7]

Appearing in "Spider-Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Fantasy #15.

Featured Characters:

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Synopsis for "Spider-Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Amazing Fantasy #15.

Part 1

Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 Title
A shy, unassuming high-school student, Peter Parker prefers the company of his teachers to that of his classmates, who call him "Midtown High's only professional wallflower." His only living relatives, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, think the world of
Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 001
him.

One evening, while attending a demonstration of radioactivity at General Techtronics Laboratories East, Parker fails to notice a spider drop through a "radioactive ray" and receive a massive dose of radiation. It bites him and dies. Light-headed, Parker leaves the demonstration, only to be nearly run over by a car. He leaps to safety but is surprised to find he has jumped much further than intended—he lands on the side of a building and clings to the bricks by his fingertips. He quickly climbs to the roof and, once there, accidentally crumples a steel pipe in his hand. He believes that he has inherited the spider's speed, strength, and climbing ability. He begins to ponder the possibilities.

Shortly thereafter, Parker sees a wrestling ring and a sign: "$100 to the man who can stay in the ring three minutes with Crusher Hogan." He goes home, changes, puts on a hood, and returns to the ring. Hogan laughingly calls Parker the "Masked Marvel," but Parker lifts Hogan over his head and carries him up a post. Afterward, a man in the crowd introduces himself to Parker as a television producer, encourages him to go into show business, and gives him his card.

At home, Parker makes himself a spider-themed costume, a supply of sticky web fluid, and two jets for his wrists that can shoot the fluid. "Here comes the Spider-Man!" he says.

Part 2

The Spider-Man appears on television and becomes a celebrity. One evening, he goes backstage and finds a guard chasing a thief. Spider-Man lets the thief escape and, when the guard complains, tells him, "That's your job! I'm thru being pushed around ... by anyone!"

Peter Parker and Burglar (Earth-616) from Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 0001

Spider-Man learns his first important lesson

Some days later, Parker returns home and learns from a policeman that a burglar has killed his Uncle Ben. The police have cornered the man in the deserted Acme warehouse. Parker dons his costume and swings to the scene.

Once inside, he frightens the man by crawling down the wall toward him. Parker then covers his gun hand with web fluid and knocks him unconscious. When he sees the man's face, he recognizes the thief who got away at the studio. He wraps the burglar in webbing and leaves him for the police to find. Shocked, Peter realizes that, if he had caught the burglar, his Uncle Ben would still be alive. He eventually learns that with great power comes great responsibility.

Appearing in "Thor the Mighty and the Stone Men from Saturn!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Journey into Mystery #83.

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Vehicles

Synopsis for "Thor the Mighty and the Stone Men from Saturn!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Journey into Mystery #83.

Donald Blake, a doctor from the United States, is visiting Norway. At the same time, a ship from Saturn lands nearby as advance scouts for a planned invasion. A local fisherman spots them and alerts the villagers, but they dismiss him. Blake overhears and goes to look for himself. When he steps on a twig, the aliens notice him. He flees into the hills, where he loses his cane. He runs into a cave, but the other entrance is blocked by a giant boulder. A secret door opens, revealing a chamber where Blake finds a walking stick. He tries to move the boulder with the stick but is unable to get leverage. Frustrated, he hits the boulder with the stick, and, in a flash of light, the stick transforms into a hammer, transforming Blake into Thor, the mythical Norse God of Thunder.

Part 2: The Power of Thor!

JourneyIntoMystery83pg5pn6

First appearance of Thor

Thor easily lifts the boulder and leaves the cave. He verifies that the hammer has all the powers of Mjolnir, Thor's legendary weapon. He discovers it gives him the power to create storms and that the hammer is indestructible and will come back to him if thrown. Meanwhile, the alien armada shows up on Earth's radar screens. When fighter jets scramble to meet them, they project an image of a huge dragon and frighten away the pilots. When the ground forces fire missiles, they explode harmlessly against the ships' force fields. Thor speeds to the defense of the Earth.

Part 3: Thor the Mighty Strikes Back!

When Thor attacks the aliens, they drop a cage over him, but he tears the bars open. They aim their disintegration beams at him, but his hammer smashes their guns. They unleash their Mechano-Monster, but he smashes it to bits. The aliens return to their ships and give up their invasion. Thor changes back to Dr. Blake, whom the soldiers ignore when they come to look for the invaders.

Appearing in "Iron Man Is Born!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #39.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Wong-Chu (First appearance) (Apparent death)
  • Wong-Chu's Red Guerillas (First appearance)

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Synopsis for "Iron Man Is Born!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #39.

In a closely guarded lab, Anthony "Tony" Stark shows off a new invention to US military defense officials. He has developed micro-transistors capable of powering up things such as magnets; turning them into powerful weapons strong enough to pull open a thick metal door from a distance. They increase magnetic force a thousandfold! Stark impresses the military brass with his new inventions, while at the same time impressing the ladies of the international jet set with his dashing good looks and incredible personal wealth.

Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 39 0001

Across the globe, the evil Red tyrant Wong-Chu takes over another small village in Vietnam, defeating its strongest men in contests of judo. Meanwhile, Tony Stark has arrived in Vietnam to observe the testing micro-transistor-powered weaponry, which allow heavy items like mortars to be reduced in size no larger or heavier than a flashlight. Accompanying a squad of soldiers equipped with his weaponry on a patrol through the jungle, he accidentally triggers a tripwire that detonates a landmine. The wounded Stark is captured by Wong-Chu's forces and taken to their nearby headquarters. Wong-Chu realizes his prisoner is a "famous Yankee inventor" and decides that he will put him to work in service of the Communist insurgency even though doctors determine the young inventor only has days to live before "shrapnel reaches his heart."

Wong-Chu falsely promises that he will have a surgeon save Stark's life if he will agree to develop new high-tech weapons for him. Even though he saw through Wong-Chu's words to his true intentions, to make him work until his death, Stark agrees, in order to try and save his own life with his technical abilities and Wong-Chu's resources. Given access to scrap metal and tools, Stark promises he will deliver a "fantastic weapon," but sets out in building a mechanism that will help stop the shrapnel from penetrating his heart. He is given an assistant named Professor Yinsen, a famous physicist whom Stark had read about while in college. Working together, the two finalize work on Stark's project: an iron body suit with a chest plate that will keep the shrapnel at bay through use of transistor-powered magnets.

Just as Stark has donned the life-saving suit and begun to power it with electrical current from a generator, Wong-Chu attempts to come check on his prisoners. Professor Yinsen rushes out into the hallway shouting at Wong-Chu and is shot dead by armed guards, buying the precious seconds Stark needed to fully charge the armor. Tony Stark, as Iron Man, hears the murder of his friend and swears he will avenge his death. He tries to rise and steady himself in the Iron Man armor, but discovers it is like learning to walk again. He quickly gets the hang of operating the armor and evades detection from Wong-Chu by leaping to the ceiling and holding himself there using suction cups. After Wong-Chu leaves the room, the tyrant heads outside to "amuse himself" with his favorite sport, challenging the villagers to a duel of judo.

Iron Man descends from the ceiling and finds a coat and hat, with which to cover his armor, and wanders outside to find Wong-Chu tossing people around in the judo arena. Iron Man challenges Wong-Chu, then takes off his coat and hat to reveal the shocking visage of Iron Man! The metal monster walks up to Wong-Chu, picks him up, and twirls him around before tossing him into the brush. Wong-Chu demands that his guards open fire on Iron Man, but the bullets just bounce off the armored figure's metal chest plate. Iron Man then uses "reverse magnetism" to repel the enemy weapons. Wong-Chu tries to get to the speakers of the nearest building, in order to put a bounty on Iron Man, but Stark manages to create electrical interference and switch the radio's channel, telling Wong-Chu's troops through the speaker to flee their leader before the Iron Man "slays [them] all." Iron Man cuts down the building's door using a transistor-powered buzz-saw, but as soon as he enters the Communist menace fells him with a file cabinet loaded with rocks.

Wong-Chu escapes to order the execution of all his prisoners, but Iron Man, low on energy and too weak to continue pursuit, uses his armor's lubrication system to launch a stream of oil towards an ammunition depot near the fleeing Wong-Chu. He then sets fire to the oil stream using a miniature torch in one of the armor's gauntlets, causing the ammo dump to explode, and seemingly killing Wong-Chu. His batteries now recharged, Iron Man dons his coat and hat and walks away into the jungle.

Appearing in "Seven Against the Nazis!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #1.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

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Locations:

Synopsis for "Seven Against the Nazis!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #1.

(Part 1) untitled

Pierre, a French Underground agent, sends a radio message to the commandos while Henri holds off the Gestapo. He manages to finish the message before the Nazis arrest them. In England, "Happy Sam" Sawyer gets his orders: send his Able Company behind enemy lines to rescue La Brave, the leader of the Underground, who knows when D-Day will take place. Sawyer sends Sergeant Nick Fury to gather up the 1st attack squad, who are on the infiltration course, learning to dodge live ammo from Corporal Dugan's machine gun. That night the squad heads for France aboard a C-46 transport plane. Luftwaffe fighters attack and damage the plane; the pilot advises Fury that they may not reach the drop point. The commandos bail out.

Quote1 WAH-HOO! Quote2


Part 2: Seven against the Nazis!

Fury's squad reaches a town and witnesses the Resistance blow up a Nazi command post. When the enemy commander orders up tanks to raze the town in retaliation, Fury jumps onto the lead tank, fires into the viewslit, and tosses in a grenade. The explosion blows him off the tank and injures him. Dugan and Juniper drag him into an alley. Cohen, Manelli, and Ralston duck into a house, prepare a Molotov cocktail, and toss it onto a tank. A squad of soldiers go after them but get ambushed by the Resistance. Manelli changes into the officer's uniform and tells the squad firing on Fury to retreat. The Resistance fighters offer to lead the commandos to their leader, but first they must rescue the villagers. Manelli, still in the UberGruppenFuehrer's uniform, finds the Nazis preparing to execute their hostages. He takes a submachine gun from a soldier and starts firing ... at the Nazis! The other commandos and the Resistance fighters finish off the soldiers.

SgtFury1pg14pn2

Manelli frees the villagers

Cohen pulls up in a German halftrack. One of the Resistance fighters, a woman, goes with them to Louviers to identify La Brave. At the fortress in Louviers, General von Ritzik has not yet persuaded La Brave to talk; when Hitler calls, he allows the Gestapo to try. The Gestapo officer tells La Brave that they have his daughter and lets him hear her voice over a phone.

An old farmer smuggles the commandos into Louviers in his cart. They blow up the arsenal to create a diversion and slip into the fortress. Juniper and Jones stay at the entrance to hold off the returning soldiers. The others try to get across the courtyard, but a machine gun opens fire. Cohen goes up some stairs to get a shot at the gunner, but a squad captures him. Fury crawls across the yard with a bundle of dynamite and lobs it into the nest, but he's caught under a collapsing wall. Dugan and the woman press on, but a soldier with a flame thrower convinces them to surrender.

The Nazis prepare to execute the commandos in the courtyard. The Gestapo officer threatens La Brave's daughter again, who (it turns out) is Marie, the woman from the Resistance. Suddenly he falls, shot by ... Sergeant Fury! The commandos make short work of the other soldiers. All they need is a way to get to the coast. Cohen shows up with von Ritzik. With a Nazi general and his staff car, they easily reach their pickup point. La Brave and Marie stay behind to bolster the Resistance.

Appearing in "The Human Torch Vs. the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #110.

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Synopsis for "The Human Torch Vs. the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #110.

After a training session the Human Torch goes over his scrap book of past adventures, and recalls his previous battles against the Wizard and Paste Pot Pete, wondering what his old foes are up to today. Coincidentally enough, at that very moment Paste Pot Pete is busy breaking the Wizard out of prison so that the two may conspire on how to defeat their mutual foe.

Using the Wizard's suit that mimics the Human Torch's powers, the two begin to commit crimes that would cause the press to accuse the Human Torch of being a spy. However, when the Torch sets a trap to lure the two crooks to try and rob one of the world's richest men, the Torch himself gets captured and placed into a giant hall of mirrors by his foes. The Torch however uses his flame powers to break free and manages to capture the two crooks and turn them over to the police.

Appearing in "The Sandman Strikes!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #115.

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  • Humans (Main story and flashback)

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Synopsis for "The Sandman Strikes!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Strange Tales #115.

Summoned by Reed Richards to the Baxter Building, the Human Torch is informed that his next mission is to stop the Sandman who has just escaped from prison. Finding the crook, the Torch is told that Sandman will only face Spider-Man, as Spider-Man is the hero who had put him behind bars. The Torch then disguises himself as Spider-Man and issues a challenge to the villain to fight him one on one, however, the Sandman gets the drop on "Spider-Man" and attacks him from behind. The Torch flames on, burning his imitation Spider-Man suit in the process, and tries to fight Sandman again, and even when doused in water and unable to use his flame powers, the Torch manages to gain the upper hand and defeat Sandman, turning him over to the authorities. The real Spider-Man, who had been making his way towards the scene of the battle does not arrive until the fight is over. Spider-Man expresses relief that the Torch is okay, but he is also worried that the Torch may be a more successful teenage superhero than he is.

Appearing in "The Coming of the Avengers!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #1.

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Synopsis for "The Coming of the Avengers!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #1.
Avengers Vol 1 1 Title

Loki, having been previously captured by Thor, is being held prisoner at the Isle of Silence in Asgard. His physical form may be confined there, but by means of thought projection his disembodied self travels to Earth in search of revenge. He spots Thor in his human identity of Dr. Don Blake, but resists defeating him as it would be a hollow victory compared to defeating him as Thor. After hours of searching, Loki happens across the Hulk and devises a wicked plan to entice Blake to transform into Thor. He projects a mental image of dynamite on the tracks of a nearby railway bridge. The Hulk spots the dynamite and attempts to snuff it out, accidentally destroying the bridge. Suddenly, a train appears on the tracks traveling towards the wreckage. Valiantly, the Hulk manages to hold the tracks up long enough for the train to pass safely before allowing it to collapse. Unfortunately the damage has already been done and Loki's plan was successful.

Hours later, newspapers print articles about the Hulk being on the rampage again and a manhunt begins. The Hulk's friend, Rick Jones, reads the article with disbelief and meets with members of the Teen Brigade in order to find help to track Hulk down to find the truth. They attempt to contact the Fantastic Four but Loki interferes with the radio signal, diverting it to Don Blake. He decides to transform into Thor to help the Teen Brigade. Unknown to Loki, the radio signal is also picked up by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man, who also travel to assist.

Later, the Teen Brigade are disappointed that the Fantastic Four hadn't responded to their message when they finally get a reply. They inform the Teen Brigade that they are too busy with another case but they have a hunch that other heroes may have received their distress call. Suddenly Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp arrive. Loki realizes that the other heroes will only interfere with his plans and lures Thor away by creating a mental image of the Hulk. Upon catching up with this fake "Hulk", Thor attacks and realizes it isn't real, and immediately suspects Loki. He then returns to Asgard to face his brother.

Meanwhile, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp track down the Hulk with the help of Ant-Man's ants. He is working at a circus pretending to be a robot called Mechano. They attempt to capture him by causing the ground below him to cave in, by dropping a steel cylinder onto him, and trying to catch him in a net. Hulk manages to escape the circus. Iron Man gives chase but the Hulk cripples his battery, and escapes while Iron Man repairs it.

Avengers Vol 1 1 028

Back in Asgard, Thor asks permission from Odin to meet Loki on the Isle of Silence to question him. Odin accepts but warns that he cannot interfere between the two brothers' quarrel. As Thor sets out across the Sea of Mist he is attacked by Loki's traps. First, he narrowly escapes tangle roots that threaten to drag him down into the depths. Next, a volcano erupts releasing volcanic gas globules capable of sapping the strength of any god. Thor manages to evade these by diving into the sea. On the island, Loki spots Thor's empty boat and wonders with disbelief if Thor has already been defeated. Suddenly, a giant water spout appears in front of him as Thor emerges from the sea to face him. He throws his hammer at Loki, only to have it deflected by a hastily-made ice shield. Loki calls upon a Rock Troll, which begins to drag Thor beneath the ground. At the last moment, Thor uses his hammer to summon lightning which dazzles the troll, causing it to relinquish his hold. Thor angrily swings his hammer at Loki, who has created multiple mental images of himself to confuse him. Thor counters this by spinning his hammer fast enough to blow all the figures away, revealing the true Loki. Soaking up the magnetic flow from the earth with his hammer, he captures Loki via magnetic attraction and takes him back to Earth to clear the Hulk's name.

On Earth, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp continue to pursue the Hulk to an auto factory in Detroit. Thor appears with Loki to clear Hulk's name. Suddenly Loki makes himself radioactive forcing the heroes to retreat. Luckily, Loki stands over a trapdoor and Ant-Man's ants trigger a switch, dropping him into a lead-lined tank. Upon celebrating their victory, Ant-Man and the Wasp point out how well they could work as a team, and that they should work together in the future. The Wasp suggests they should call themselves the Avengers, and everybody agrees.

And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!

Appearing in "X-Men"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #1.

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Synopsis for "X-Men"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #1.
Jean Grey (Earth-616) from X-Men Vol 1 1 0002

Jean in costume for the first time.

Brief Summary

At Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester County, New York, Professor Charles Xavier summons his students telepathically. When the Beast, Angel, Iceman, and Cyclops arrive, he puts them through a series of exercises to hone their mutant talents. Xavier then introduces them to a new student, Marvel Girl, to whom he explains the purpose of his school: his students do receive an education, but they are also the first line of defense against evil mutants.

Meanwhile, at Cape Citadel, Magneto causes a rocket to crash. The next day he takes over the whole base and claims it in the name of Homo superior (i.e. mutants). When Xavier hears about the incident, he sends his X-Men on their first mission. Cyclops uses his eye beams to make a hole in Magneto's force field, thus alerting him to their presence. Magneto launches a volley of heat-seeking missiles, which lock on to Angel; Iceman knocks most of them out, and the Beast catches the last one.

Magneto then sends metal debris at Angel; Cyclops destroys it. Magneto flings a burning tanker truck at the team; Iceman covers them with an ice shield, and Cyclops blasts a tunnel under the flames so that they come up near Magneto. Unprepared for such power and resourcefulness, Magneto sets up another force field and levitates himself to safety.

Detailed Summary

A man is seen waiting inside his large exclusive private school. Suddenly, he "calls out" mentally to his students stating that he is Professor X and he is ordering them to appear in class at once. Then four costume-clad people appear and report for their lessons: Cyclops, the Angel, Iceman and the Beast. Angel and Cyclops help the professor get comfortable in his chair. Iceman plays a prank on Beast and freezes his arm. Angel has to pull the two off each other and Professor X begins their training lessons using his "training machine".

The Beast is first and is given timed lessons to help him with his agility skills. He first grabs a taut wire with his toes in a second and a half. He then spins wildly on the wire and jumps through the room in exactly three seconds. Then he practices his balancing skills while Cyclops slackens the wire tension causing him to jump off and land on his feet. The Angel takes his turn and tests out his wing reflexes. He flies around jet flames, through a giant closing clamp and then skips through a bladed spinner without a slip. He becomes overconfident and when a sound concussion blasts around him, he loses his edge and begins to fall but then recovers. Iceman asks the professor to allow him to take more risks even though he is the youngest student. The professor tells him not to rush things. Iceman then feels that if he is going to be treated like a kid, then he will start acting like one. He finds "snowman items" and puts them on to joke around. Beast throws a ball at him since he is off-guard and Iceman reacts quickly creating an ice "boomerang-sled" sending the ball right back at Beast. Cyclops shows off his leadership skills and uses his beams to stop the group from goofing off. Professor X stops the team and readies them for the new student who has just arrived by taxi.

A redheaded woman steps from the cab and the group begins bantering with each other about the fact that a girl is joining the school. The team goes and changes while the woman enters and is greeted by Professor X who apparently sent her [Jean Grey] a letter to be enrolled as a student of his school. She questions the type of school that she sees and Professor X states that it is a school for the "specially gifted", mutants, like herself and the others. The professor introduces the rest of the team, using their real names and codenames, to Jean Grey, whom he says is now known as Marvel Girl. She shows off her powers of telekinesis to the rest of the team by moving chairs and books. The Beast, tries to give her a kiss and she turns him upside-down and spins him wildly in the air then throws him onto the couch. Professor X then tells the group their mission is to protect the world from mutants who would harm humans or other mutants.

Meanwhile, just such a mutant named Magneto, is hiding near Cape Citadel watching a missile launch. He uses his powers of magnetism to control the missile and send it crashing off-course into the nearby waters. The Army and NASA standby and are astounded that the missile was destroyed. They conclude that someone tampered with the missile prior to launch. The next day, the Daily Globe newspaper states that this was the sixth missile to be destroyed and a "phantom saboteur" has struck again. Then the soldiers begin seeing weapons firing randomly and tanks being controlled remotely. A message suddenly is written out in metallic dust in the sky and reads, "Surrender the base or I'll take it by force. - Magneto." While the message is being read by the soldiers, Magneto launches a missile from a silo near the base. He causes it to fall into the sea near an unmanned target ship. Magneto then walks into the base and takes control of it. He uses his powers to entrap the soldiers in a "magnetic-fence" from which they cannot escape.

The X-Men are alerted to the crisis at the Cape. They each get ready into their uniforms and ready to go. They are driven to the airport in Professor X's Rolls Royce and take his private jet to the Cape. The X-Men arrive and request the army hold off firing on the base for fifteen minutes. Cyclops uses his power to make a hole in Magneto's magnetic force field and this alerts Magneto of their presence on the base. Magneto fires heat-seeking hunter missiles at the team. Angel causes the missiles to lock onto him and follow him around in the air, while Iceman freezes them with snowballs. One missile gets through and Beast catches it with his feet. Marvel Girl then telekinetically sends it off into the sea. Magneto is amazed at the team's abilities and sends a pile of metal hurtling at Angel. The team stops to help him, while Magneto rolls a flaming barrel of rocket fuel at them. Iceman quickly encases the team in an ice cocoon when suddenly the tank blows up.

Magneto thinks he has won and starts to walk off when suddenly Cyclops' beam shoots out from the ground. The team emerges and begins to strike at Magneto full force. Magneto takes flight via magnetic repulsion and blocks the team from following him with a magnetic force field. They eventually breach it and Magneto has already disappeared. The army is gracious that the base is safe once again and thanks the X-Men for their help. The team then flies back home in the jet, while Professor X telepathically congratulates the team for a job well done.

Appearing in "Captain America Joins... The Avengers!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #4.

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  • Vuk's Spaceship

Synopsis for "Captain America Joins... The Avengers!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #4.

After escaping his battle with the Avengers, Namor angrily continues his search for his missing people. He eventually finds his way to the North Sea, where he discovers a tribe of Eskimo people worshipping a dead man frozen in a block of ice. Still angry at humanity Namor approaches the Eskimos, causing them to flee as he throws the ice block into the water. It drifts away, slowly beginning to thaw.

By chance, the Avengers are in the area in their undersea craft. They spot the figure in the water and Giant-Man pulls him onboard. Upon inspection they notice that he wears the clothing of long-lost World War II hero Captain America. Suddenly, he awakens and, in a fit of panic and confusion, charges at the Avengers before realizing his surroundings and calming down. Iron Man asks the mystery man who he is and the Avengers are skeptical when he tells them he is indeed Captain America. After a brief demonstration of his ability they quickly change their minds.

Captain America explains his last memories: He speeds towards an experimental plane on a motorcycle with his sidekick Bucky. Unknown to the duo, the plane had been sabotaged by Nazi agent Baron Zemo. Bucky manages to get on board while Captain America slips and falls from the plane. The last thing he remembers is the plane exploding with Bucky on it as he falls through the sky into the frozen waters off Newfoundland.

Back in the present day, the Avengers have docked in New York City and are greeted by a crowd of journalists looking for interviews about the battle with Sub-Mariner and the Hulk. Suddenly, a camera flashes and turns the team into stone. The journalists think it is a publicity stunt and leave. Aboard the sea craft Captain America awakens and exits onto the dock. He also spots the statues but dismisses them as statues made to honor the heroes. Cap finds the modern world very unusual and alien but finds his way to a hotel.

Later, Cap is awoken by a vision of Bucky, but it is revealed to be Rick Jones. He has been following Cap's trail across town, looking for clues to the Avengers' whereabouts. They team up to solve the mystery and examine photos taken at the dock. Cap discovers one of the photographers carrying what looks more like a weapon than a camera, and Rick sends his Teen Brigade to search around the city to find the mystery man. Eventually Captain America finds the man in question and approaches him. His gang overhears his entrance and a fight breaks out. Cap easily defeats them despite being heavily outnumbered, and exposes the leader as an alien. The alien, a member of the race called the D'bari, explains that his spaceship crashed into the ocean and the Sub-Mariner promised to help him return to his planet if he turned the Avengers to stone. Captain America offers to help the D'bari if they reverse the stone effect on the Avengers and he complies, freeing the Avengers once again.

In his castle, the Sub-Mariner angrily observes the scene and plans another tactic to defeat the Avengers. As if by luck, a troop of his Atlantean Elite Guard pass nearby and Namor rallies them to his side.

Back on land, the D'bari leads the Avengers to the area where his ship is stuck on the seabed below. After Giant-Man and Iron Man attach a camera to the ship's hull, Thor manipulates his hammer, causing a torrent of magnetic waves that wrench the ship free. The D'bari dives to make any necessary repairs to his ship. On the surface, Giant-Man and Captain America are suddenly attacked by Namor and his elite guard, sending them into the water. Namor duels with Iron Man, slowly gaining the upper hand. The Wasp flies in to distract Namor, giving Iron Man essential recovery time. Namor's elite guard plead for aid against the mighty Thor, who is making short work of them. Thor deflects the Atlanteans' weapons back at themselves, scattering the troops. Namor now battles one-on-one against Thor. Meanwhile, under the water, Giant-Man is ensnared by a massive net. However, he escapes by taking a shrinking capsule before he suffocates. He emerges near Iron Man, and they take care of the remaining Atlantean elite guard. Namor again attempts to take Thor's hammer from him, to no avail, and soon has to deal with Giant-Man and Iron Man as well. Captain America watches, trying to get a feel of what sort of team the Avengers are. The fight is brought to a standstill when some of the Atlanteans reveal a hostage - Rick Jones! With his uncanny reflexes, Cap leaps in and frees Rick and the fight begins anew. Suddenly an earthquake strikes the island and the Sub-Mariner leaves, believing the Avengers to be consumed by it. Little does he know, the tremors were actually caused by the launching of the D'bari spacecraft. The Avengers watch the D'bari leave and then officially offer Captain America a place on the team, which he readily accepts. Nearby, Rick looks out on the ocean deep in thought, torn between his loyalty to the Avengers, and to his old friend the Hulk.

Appearing in "Somewhere Lurks the Phantom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #63.

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Synopsis for "Somewhere Lurks the Phantom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #63.
Quote1 I just came back from half-way around the world, after fighting for my life... and you make it sound like I was at the corner drugstore! Quote2
--Iron Man

Iron Man just arrives to Stark Industries from his battle against the Mandarin, and Pepper and Happy give him a cold welcome, still bitter at him for supposedly failing to protect Tony Stark. Iron Man returns to his lab, and starts working on a way to remove his armor that he came up with when he was returning from China. After successfully tripling the output of a master transistor, Tony's armor no longer requires the extra output from the belt pads, allowing Tony to remove most of the suit and return to his civilian life.

Joyful for having escaped his predicament, Tony re-enters his office, taking Pepper by surprise and causing her to faint. After realizing that Happy is truly in love with Pepper, and reassuring himself that he can't be with her because of his damaged heart, Tony decides to lie and claim that he's going to get married, in order to prompt Pepper to stop thinkin of him. Tony also claims that his fiancée is from Boston, and that he had been there on a yacht for the past weeks, and that's why he supposedly hadn't heard he was believed dead. Tony begins to walk down Stark Industries, in order to catch up with the developments during his absence, and while doing so, he brushes off mild-mannered Dr. Birch.

At night, a mysterious masked figure plants a bomb in Stark Industries which subsequently damages the missile testing section of the factory. When he investigates the crime scene, Iron Man discovers the instigator, dubbed as a "phantom saboteur," used Stark's own technology in the bomb, meaning it was an inside job.

In the days that follow, Stark Industries becomes the target of many sabotages, to the point its employees no longer feel safe. Fully aware of the grim situation, Tony patrols his factory as Iron Man and catches a glipse of a human silhouette, giving chase to the figure. In his eagerness to catch the villain, Iron Man sets off a booby trap that makes him lose his balance long enough for the villain to escape.

After failing to capture the Phantom, Stark meets up with the union delegation, who give Stark 24 hours to stop the phantom, or they would call a strike due to the company's state of insecurity. With his company at risk, Stark continues patrolling the factory claded in his armor, when his sensors detect movement nearby. When Iron Man tackles the person in the darkness, it turns out to be Happy Hogan, who was also looking for the Phantom.

The Phantom is soon spotted in a catwalk, and he throws an explosive at Iron Man in order to distract him and escape. The Golden Avenger pulverizes the device before it can explode, and races the Phantom to the control center of the factory. The villain points his blast gun at the computer, but Iron Man disarms him by shooting a repulsor beam that ricochets against the wall and strikes the Phantom's hand. The Phantom throws a smoke grenade and fastens a bomb to the control center before leaving. Iron Man notices the explosive and destroys it before directing his attention back at the Phantom.

The villain enters Stark Industries' prototype Moon missile and Iron Man follows him. However, the hero can't fly due to the girders and braces inside the structure, and he can't climb up he stairs because of his armor's weight. Iron Man retreats, because there's only one exit and the Phantom would eventually have to climb down. However, the villain plans to reach the missile's capsule, which can fly independently from the rest of the vessel. In a turn of events, Iron Man expected the villain to follow this escape route, so he breaks the control wires and frees the capsule as soon as the Phantom gets in. Iron Man flies the capsule to the security guards, leaving the Phantom with them, and returns the capsule to the missile.

A few minutes later, Tony Stark confronts the Phantom, who has been unmasked and revealed to be Dr. Birch. The doctor claims that he felt ignored, and he envies Iron Man and Tony Stark for the attention they get. After Birch is taken into custody, Pepper and Happy ask for their boss to borrow one of his cars to go on a date. Tony lets them have it their way, in compensation for his absence, and as they leave he wonders why even though everything is going as he wants, Tony feels his heart heavy.

Notes

  1. This issue is considered the start of the Marvel Universe. It was first coined as Earth-616 in Daredevils #7, however as Marvel began incorporating super-hero stories from their predecessors Timely and Atlas Comics, the first appearance of Earth-616 has been retconned back to Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 which feature the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner.
  2. The cab driver that drives Sue early on in this story is seen again in Fantastic Four #160.
  3. Prior to their rocket flight, Reed and Sue were pulled forward in time to the future of Earth-60166 where they met numerous versions of their future selves who were gathered by their Earth-60166 counterparts to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary as seen in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1. When Reed and Sue are returned to the exact moment that they were taken from, they retained no memory of the festivities.
  4. As Marvel has continued to publish stories eventually they had to institute a Sliding Timescale as a means of slowing down the advance of time in the Marvel Universe over the length of publications in real time. This was to prevent aging their characters quickly as well as updating dated plot concepts, generalizing real-life events or dates that are mentioned in various stories. Thus all such references should be considered topical references. When Fantastic Four #1 was published in 1961, Reed's spaceship is specifically referred to as a rocket, and his intentions for his mission is to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. Contextually, the story was published during the height of the US/Soviet Space Race, which saw both countries competing to see which one could develop manned space flights. Since then, many retellings of the Fantastic Four's origin have changed the details of Reed Richards' space flight, updating concepts so that they were not considered dated more modern readers. Such as: Fantastic Four #2 states that Reed was attempting to reach Mars. Other stories since then have generalized where his destination was supposed to be. Later in Fantastic Four #236, the origin of the Fantastic Four was updated, it was stated that Reed's experimental ship was intended to travel to the edge of the solar system and while it needed a rocket booster to reach escape velocity from Earth's atmosphere it relied on a Star Drive to reach its destination. This tale also goes on to expand on how the quartet was mutated. Fantastic Four #358 published in 1991 states that the "Star Drive" was intended to bring them into hyperspace in order to visit other solar systems. Fantastic Four #543 stated that Richards was testing faster-than-light space travel.
  5. There are conflicting accounts as to where the Fantastic Four's ship crashed. First it is stated that the crash site of Reed's Rocket is identified as North of Ithaca, New York in Fantastic Four #245 and Thing #10. Fantastic Four #296 states that the ship crashed in Stockton, New York. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #13 depicts the Fantastic Four crash landing on an island out on an unspecified ocean, while Fantastic Four Vol 3 #60 states that they crashed outside of Central City, California.
  6. The Thing is depicted here with dinosaur-like skin, he maintains this appearance until he eventually he developed his trademark rocky appearance by Fantastic Four #10. Marvel Two-In-One #50 went on to explain that the Thing's form continued to mutate after his initial transformation.
  7. What caused the Fantastic Four to mutate and gain their powers has also been expanded upon over time. Fantastic Four #1 simply states that it was cosmic rays that caused the mutations. Other interpretations are: Fantastic Four #197 goes on to state that it was not just cosmic rays that caused the Fantastic Four to get their powers. It states that sunspot activity caused flaring through the Van Allen Belts causing an increase in neuron activity. The combination of this and the cosmic rays caused the mutations. Fantastic Four #529-532 posits that the cause of the cosmic ray storm was actually a message being transmitted by a creature called the Entity who was seeking out those who seek universal truths as he did. This same storyline also shows Reed Richards going back to the dawn of the universe and his views of himself and his teammates were ingrained on the original cosmic rays that would eventually imprint the Fantastic Four's unique abilities.
  8. Events surrounding this issue have also been expanded outside of retelling how the Fantastic Four got their powers. Fantastic Four: First Family #1 tells what happened to the Fantastic Four from the moment they crash landed and were taken into government custody to Reed Richards beginning to set up the Fantastic Four prior to their battle with the Mole Man. The rest of the series happens between Fantastic Four #2 and 3
  9. The Mole Man's origins were expended in Daredevil Vol 3 #10 and Marvel Universe #4-7.
  10. The monsters of Monster Isle were revealed as having been created by the Deviants as per Marvel Universe #7.
  11. Although Monster Island appears to be destroyed in this story, it actually endured the blast as it was later visited by the X-Men on three occasions thereafter in X-Men First Class Vol 2 #2-3 and X-Men First Class Special #1, and X-Men: The Hidden Years #22. Marvel Universe #7 specifies that the monsters that live here were also created by the Deviants centuries earlier.
  12. Sub-Mariner #1 specifies that Namor was stricken with amnesia by Paul Destine using the Helmet of Power. Saga of the Sub-Mariner #6 specifies that this happened circa 1959.
  13. Also in Sub-Mariner #1, it states that the ruins that Namor came upon in this issue were really part of an Atlantean outpost decimated by atomic testing. The true Atlantis resided near Antarctica until it was decimated by Destiny. As per Saga of the Sub-Mariner #7 the people of Atlantis had fled to the Atlantic to set up a new kingdom under the rule of Byrrah.
  14. Giganto was not the only of its kind, as multiple other similar creatures have since been seen. Fantastic Four Vol 5 #3 shows an entire thriving race. It has been explained that the Gigantos were created by the Deviants as seen in Marvel Universe #7.
  15. The Horn of Proteus was recovered by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #3
  16. Following their encounter with Namor, Reed and Sue were pulled forward in time to the future of Earth-60166 where they met numerous versions of their future selves who were gathered by their Earth-60166 counterparts to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary as seen in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1. The Sue Storm of this era identifies herself by expressing her doubts on marrying Reed after meeting Namor. When Reed and Sue are returned to the exact moment that they were taken from, they retained no memory of the festivities.
  1. This is the first time the Atlanteans have been depicted in their trademark blue skin. In all Timely and Atlas era comics, male members of the Atlantean race had green scaly skin, large eyes and catfish like barbels under their noses. Females had Caucasian skin, but also had larger eyes and some fish-like features. To date there is no explanation given as to this aesthetic change, however the majority of flashbacks to prior eras also depict Atlanteans as having blue skin and none of the fish-like features.
  2. Although it was implied that Namor lived in Atlantis in Sub-Mariner Comics #31, this story clarifies this fact.
  3. This story starts off with Namor having already found his lost people. Saga of the Sub-Mariner #7 fills the gap between Namor's last appearance in Fantastic Four #14 and this Annual. It explains that following the destruction of Atlantis in the 1950s (per Sub-Mariner #1) the people of Atlantis became roaming nomads and eventually settled in a new kingdom under the rule of Emperor Thakorr's step-son Byrrah. When Namor found his people, Byrrah was forced to surrender the throne to Namor.
  4. The appearance of Nikita Khrushchev in this story should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  5. This is one of many retellings of Namor's origins, which was originally mentioned in Marvel Comics #1 in 1939. The first depiction of Namor's origins was in Sub-Mariner Comics #32 establishing the romance between Namor's parents Princess Fen and Leonard McKenzie. This story was expanded in greater detail in Saga of the Sub-Mariner #1.
  6. Although Lady Dorma first appeared back in Marvel Comics #1 this is the first time it has been established that she had a romantic interest with Namor.
  7. It is after this story that Sue realizes that she wants to marry Reed Richards, and not be Namor's queen. As seen in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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