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Quote1 I vow to be true to the name of Namor, which means "avenging son"! I shall never rest till the insolent human race has paid for its crimes against our people! Now rise, and pledge me your hearts, your hands, your lives! Quote2
-- Namor, the Sub-Mariner

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

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  • Various types of Atlantean Weaponry

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

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 "The Fabulous Fantastic Four Meet Spider-Man!"

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Synopsis for "The Fabulous Fantastic Four Meet Spider-Man!"

Seeking to monetize his abilities, Spider-Man pays a visit to the Fantastic Four to see if they will hire him onto their team. Shooting a web-line the street, the wall-crawler tightrope walks to the Baxter Building. There he sets off the security screening alerting the Fantastic Four to his presence.

Breaking through a plastic screen, Spider-Man is attacked by the Fantastic Four. The wall-crawler holds his own against the team. Eventually, Mister Fantastic holds off his teammates and demands to know what Spider-Man wants. The masked vigilante explains that he was showing off his abilities so that the Fantastic Four to hire him. Spider-Man soon learns, much to his dismay, that the Fantastic Four is not a for-profit organization and that any revenue they generate goes toward their various scientific experiments. Furious about this rejection, Spider-Man leaves, vowing to make the Fantastic Four look bad. As they watch the wall-crawler leave, the Fantastic Four worry that this new costumed hero may become a menace.[Continuity2 1]

Appearing in "The Fantastic Four"

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

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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 "A Gallery of the Fantastic Four's Most Famous Foes!"

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Synopsis for "A Gallery of the Fantastic Four's Most Famous Foes!"

  • Mole Man
  • Skrulls
  • Miracle Man
  • Namor
  • Doctor Doom
  • Kurrgo and his Robot
  • Puppet Master
  • Impossible Man
  • Incredible Hulk
  • Red Ghost and his Super Apes
  • Mad Thinker and the Awesome Android


Notes

Continuity Notes

Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race!

  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.

The Fabulous Fantastic Four Meet Spider-Man!

  1. This story expands on the Fantastic Four's battle with Spider-Man from Amazing Spider-Man #1. These extended battle scenes were also revisited in a flashback in Amazing Spider-Man #375.

Continuity 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 Reeds' 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.
Fantastic Four Annual Vol 1 1 044-045

Questions and Answers

  • This page states that Reed Richards' hair is graying at the temples due to the horrors he endured fighting the Nazis during World War II. However per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the fact that Reed Richards fought in World War II has been retconned from his personal history as it prematurely ages the character. Reed has previously stated he fought in World War II alongside Nick Fury in Fantastic Four #21 and is depicted as a member of the OSS in Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #3. To date these appearances have not been officially explained.
  • The schematics of the Baxter Building are expanded here from their original presentation in Fantastic Four #3. Expanding the original four-story plan to six.
Fantastic Four Annual Vol 1 1 046

Chronology Notes

Events happen behind the scenes between events in this issue that affect the chronology of the following characters:

Leonard McKenzie:

Princess Fen:

Mister Fantastic:

Invisible Girl:

Human Torch:

Thing:

Spider-Man:

Publication Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.[2]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. The first story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's: The second story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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