Appearing in "The Menace of the Mega-Men!"
- Fantastic Four (First appearance)
- Janus the Mega-Man (First appearance)
- Doctor Claymore
Synopsis for "The Menace of the Mega-Men!"
Reed and Sue Richards are entertaining a colleague by the name of Doctor Claymore. When Claymore comments on their two-headed status of Janus, prompting Richards to tell the tale of when the battled a foe named Janus, the Mega-Man....
On day a strange ship crashed landed in New York city, and emerging from it was Janus the Mega-Man. With his molecule controlling Mega-Blaster he forced his way into a bank. However he made the mistake of robbing the one where the Thing and the Human Torch were in the safety deposit room. When the two members of the Fantastic Four attempted to attack Janus, he used his Mega-Power to increase his strength, beating the Thing into unconsciousness, while using an electrical blast to incapacitate Johnny.
Johnny awakes in a hospital bed with Crystal, Reed and Sue watching over him. The Thing tells Johnny that while he was out, the Mega-Man has been striking various targets, his most recent being a yacht out at sea. Reed has a lead on the situation and has Ben and Johnny stay behind while he and Sue go check it out.
Using the Fantasti-Car, the couple fly to the home of Corwin Janus in Kansas, a former classmate of Reed Richards whom he was reminded of when hearing the news of the Mega-Man's attacks. Reed recounts how Janus was involved in an accident that crippled him and forced him to use crutches. Before he lands he instructs Sue to turn invisible and plant a hidden camera in Corwin's home. As Reed talks to Janus, he professes his innocence. After Sue secretly plants the camera, Reed acts as though he is satisfied with Corwin's claims and leaves.
After the heroes go, the Mega-Man -- Corwin's brother -- emerges from behind a tree. Corwin asks his brother to stop, but the Mega-Man refuses, as he is reveling in the power. He then reminds Corwin that his robberies are all to gather enough funds to cure Corwin of his disability. The Mega-Man then goes into his secret bunker below the property to count his money, but soon detects the camera that Sue had planted there.
Back at the Baxter Building, Reed activates their camera, but it is destroyed by energy feedback from Janus before they can learn anything. When Reed and Sue begin planning on what to do next, Johnny and Ben decide to take a leave, but Ben is convinced that Reed isn't telling them everything. Ben and Johnny decide to go after the Mega-Man alone, and take the Pogo Plane to fly out to Kansas. As they fly over the city they notice debris flying into the air and spot the Mega-Man rampaging through the city in an attempt to draw out the Fantastic Four. Spotting the Pogo-Plane the Mega-Man uses his powers to freeze it solid, but Ben prevents it from being a fatal crash. In the meantime Janus has escaped, leaving a note demanding the entire city treasury or he will destroy New York.
When Janus returns to the home he shares with his brother Corwin, he is ambushed by Mister Fantastic who takes his Mega-Blaster and wraps his foe up in his arms. When Janus begs his brother to help him, Corwin grabs a gun from the night table and is about to shoot either Reed or Janus, Sue knocks the gun out of his hands. Reed then uses the Mega-Power in Janus' device to restore Corwin's ability to walk. Reed explains that the Mega-Man was merely exploiting the technology to gain wealth while stringing Corwin along with false promises to pay for a cure when it was right there the whole time. With the Mega-Man defeated, Reed tells Corwin that he will explain his involvement to the authorities.
Appearing in "Fantastic Four #108: Kirby's Way"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "Fantastic Four #108: Kirby's Way"
Written by John Morrow this essay explains the long history of this lost story. It includes all of the remaining original pencils by Jack Kirby, and notes on the reconstruction of this story.
Appearing in "The Monstrous Mystery of the Nega-Man!"
- Fantastic Four
- United States of America
- Negative Zone
Synopsis for "The Monstrous Mystery of the Nega-Man!"
As the Fantastic Four watch Richard Janus enter the Negative Zone, Reed recounts how they previously encountered Janus. When Ben and Johnny fail to remember this, Reed begins to tell the tale of their encounter with the Nega-Man...
A short time ago a strange craft landed in New York City, and from it emerged the Nega-Man, who used his powerful Nega-Force blaster to keep the authorities at bay as he broke into a bank with the intention of robbing it. However, the Nega-Man made the unfortunate mistake of attacking the very bank that the Thing and Human Torch were currently doing business. Attacking the two heroes in the safety deposit room, the Nega-Man is able to match the two heroes thanks to his Nega-Powers enhancing his strength and allowing him to harness electricity to incapacitate his two attackers.
Blacking out, Johnny awakens in the Baxter Building where he and Ben compare notes with Reed about their encounter. Suddenly, they receive a video-call from Richard Janus, whom Johnny recognizes as the Nega-Man. Janus is calling Reed for help, and Richards explains to his teammates that Richard is a former classmate of his. Suddenly, Janus cries out for help as some unseen attacker enters the room. Before they can see who it is, the view screen suddenly explodes. Sue enters the room to see what is wrong, and Reed tells her that they are going to pay a visit to Richard in Midvale. Before leaving he then orders Ben and Johnny to patrol the city and keep an eye out for the Nega-Man. As Ben flies off in the Pogo Plane with Johnny not far behind, they are suddenly shocked when they witness objects rising into the air from the streets below....
Ben interrupts Reeds recounting of this adventure to tell him to hurry up and get to the point. Reed tells them the entire episode is just too incredible not to go over every detail and continues his tale..
Ben and Johnny spot the Nega-Man attacking the city and swoop in to stop him. Seeing his foes, the Nega-Man uses his powers to coat the Pogo-Plane in ice, causing it to crash, but the two members of the Fantastic Four manage to escape unharmed. When Johnny searches for the Nega-Man, the only trace he finds is a note demanding that the city give him their treasury or face the wrath of the Nega-Man. As the two regroup, they wonder if Reed and Sue will need help in Midvale.
At that moment, the couple are landing the Fantasti-Car outside the home of Richard Janus, who they see is a man confined to crutches. Reed has Sue turn invisible so that Richard does not see her. While Reed begins to demand answers as to how Janus has been able to tap the power of the Negative Zone, Sue begins to quietly snoop around for clues. When they suddenly hear a craft land outside, Reed hides out and ambushes the Nega-Man as he arrives. During their struggle, Richard manages to pull a gun from a drawer and shoot the man who claims to be his brother. Reed and Sue are shocked when the body of the Nega-Man begins to fade into nothingness.
Richard explains to them that he continued his experiments in negative power after college, ignoring Reed's warnings in regards to the danger. During his experiments he accidentally created a negative duplicate of himself that was pure evil. With the Nega-Man now destroyed, Reed and Sue believed the danger was over. They were wrong....
As Reed concludes his story, he explains that Richard had recently become obsessed with obtaining more Nega-Power and succeeded in using it to cure his damaged legs. They are soon joined by Sue and brought up to speed. When Ben is about ready to charge into the Negative Zone to recover Janus alone, Reed stops him from being to hasty. Suddenly an alarm goes off within the Baxter Building, warning them that something from the Negative Zone found a way to portal to their world. The Fantastic Four are horrified to learn that this foe is none other than Annihilus.
The The Menace of the Mega-Men! is a long lost unused Jack Kirby story that was intended for Fantastic Four #103. Shortly there after Jack went on to work for DC Comics. This issue was released (likely intentionally) on the same month as Kirby's first issue of the New Gods over at DC. As the story goes, the story was initially rejected as not being exciting enough. When Stan decided to use the story anyway in order to capitalize on Kirby's work over at DC, he massively re-wrote the story and had both Buscema and Romita add the new story pages. The story became a bit of lore as much of the original tale was lost. However by 2008 much of the unused pages were recovered. Stan Lee and Ron Frenz were hired by Marvel to complete the missing elements of the story and it was released as close to its original form as possible in Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure #1. That version of the story has since been delegated to Earth-8466 according to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3
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