Appearing in "Rumble on Planet 3"
Synopsis for "Rumble on Planet 3"
Searching for the Brain and his ultimate weapon the Warhead, Mister Fantastic and the Thing come across a medieval castle in this strange world based on 1950s pop-culture. By this point they have shaken off the Patriot's mental conditioning that made them loyal to their cause. Trying to infiltrate the castle they are attacked by soldiers that are guarding the ramparts with lances that fire ray beams. Having had enough of this twisted reality, the Thing smashes through the draw bridge and fights through the knights. Suddenly they are joined by the Human Torch and Medusa who are seeking the Warhead on behalf of the Wild Ones. Still under the Wild Ones' influence, the Torch and Medusa fight their comrades as the Brain -- secretly Slugger Johnson the man responsible for this reality warp -- watches on. He complains to the Shaper of Worlds that this reality he has created has not been ideal and that the Fantastic Four appear to have been unaffected by the changes. Tricking the Shaper into thinking that the Fantastic Four are evil, he convinces the alien to unleash the Warehead.
As the Fantastic Four continue to fight among each others, the castle suddenly changes into a drive-in movie theater and the knights in to members of the Wild Ones. Suddenly on the drive-in screen appears footage of a monster movie which features a giant monster with an ape-body and Sputnik for a head. It eventually passes through the movie screen and out into reality prepared to attack everyone in sight. Witnessing this from their bomb shelter are Senator McHammer and his Patriots. He orders the Patriots to gear up and head out to claim the Warhead for themselves. As they exit, they push back one of the African-American workers on the facility. Finally fed up of being unseen by the Patriots, the black man goes down into the basement of the facility where his people live in squalor. He tells his people that they should not longer live in poverty and rise up and show McHammer and his people that they are equals.
Back at the drive-in, the Fantastic Four and the Wild Ones battle the Warhead but fail to gain any ground when suddenly the Patriots arrive in their flying cars. At that moment the mental conditioning between Johnny and Medusa begin to wear off and they agree to help Reed and Ben stop the menace of the Warhead. Seeing the Sputnik on the Warhead's shoulders as its weakness, the Thing flags down one of the Wild Ones and hops on his bike. Flown up to the monster's head, Ben jumps down and smashes it with his strongest punch. The Sputnik shatters causing the Warhead to explode as it falls back through the movie screen.
With the battle over the Wild Ones and the Patriots confront each other. During the heated exchange the leader of the Wild Ones tells McHammer that they need the "Youthies" because nothing lasts forever in society. This proclamation is agreed with by the approaching group of African-Americans. Their leader begins demanding that they be given their civil rights and that the fifties must end to give way to the sixties. As the black man forces McHammer and his people face their consciences, they begin to fade from existence. The Shaper of Worlds appears and announces that his experiment is over and it has ended in failure. He explains that he is leaving Earth, but will be curing Thomas Gideon and taking him along in order to provide the dreams that the Shaper needs to shape reality. As the Shaper teleports away as he restores reality to normal. The Fantastic Four find themselves back aboard their carious crafts heading back to New York City.
- Some facts about the pastiche 1950s world created by Slugger Johnson
- When posing as the Brain, Johnson resembles Albert Einstein.
- The Warhead is modeled after the creature in the 1953 film Robot Monster. His body is that of a giant gorilla like King Kong, one of the first great movie monsters, while its head is patterned after Sputnik the first artificial satellite launched into space. It was launched by the Russians in 1957.
- The rising up of the African-Americans in this story are an analogue of the Civil Rights Movement that occurred in America starting in 1954 and ending in 1968.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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- Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 137
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