Appearing in "Improbable As It May Seem--The Impossible Man Is Back In Town!"
- Fantastic Four
- Frightful Four
- Billy (First and only known appearance)
- Galactus (Only in recap)
- Gorr (Only in recap)
- Jeremy (First and only known appearance)
- 🢐 Stan Lee 🢒
- 🢐 Jack Kirby 🢒
- 🢐 George Pérez 🢒
- 🢐 Roy Thomas 🢒
- Joe Sinnott (First and only known appearance)
- 🢐 John Verpoorten 🢒
- 🢐 Marv Wolfman 🢒
- 🢐 Archie Goodwin 🢒
- 🢐 Gerry Conway 🢒
- 🢐 Marie Severin 🢒
Races and Species:
- Taa-ans (Only in recap)
- Cosmic Beings (Only in recap)
- New Men (Only in recap)
- Gorillas (Only in recap)
Synopsis for "Improbable As It May Seem--The Impossible Man Is Back In Town!"
Ben Grimm has changed back into the Thing, when wondering why they all realize that during their battle with Galactus, Galactus had sensed something wrong and "punished" Ben Grimm, they realize that what he did was change him back into the Thing after his short time of being changed back into human form. This combined with the Human Torch's teasing and the fact that they are also bringing the Impossible Man back to Earth gets Ben angry. When the ship they are piloting begins to head toward the Earth at a fast speed. In trying to grab the break, Ben underestimates his strength and breaks it making the ship to continue to speed toward the Earth.
With the Impossible Man deciding only to sit by and watch, the ship plummets toward Central Park. With the help of the Human Torch creating a updraft of hot air to slow their fall the Fantastic Four crash into a lake and survive drowning thanks to Sue's invisible powers. With the rocket a wreck, the group decides the only way to make it to the Baxter Building is by cab. After some trouble getting a cab (necessitating Sue to turn invisible to give the illusion that there is one less passenger in the car), their ride crashes when the cabbie is startled by the Impossible Man showing off his powers. As the other Fantastic Four are busy calming down another one of the Thing's temper tantrums over the traffic accident the Impossible Man would wander away and become interested in the Marvel Comics office.
Inside, Stan Lee is under distress because they haven't been able to get a hold of the Fantastic Four for weeks and the deadline for next months issue is coming up. Impossible Man, listening in on the conversation teleports into the room and is very intrigued and asks them to do a comic book about him. Jack Kirby begins drawing up thinking that the character would be perfect in his Eternals or 2001 series, however Stan recognizes having already done a story about the Impossible Man and how it was unpopular with readers.
This angers the Impossible Man who goes on a rampage, using his powers to imitate various super-heroes to show them that he is worth having his own comic book. The Fantastic Four eventually track down the Impossible Man and storm the Marvel Comics office to try and get the Impossible Man under control. Unable to catch the Impossible Man, they learn why he is on a rampage and Mr. Fantastic grabs Stan Lee and has him promise to devote an entire comic book to the Impossible Man, pleasing the imp enough to stop his rampage. With the rampage over the Fantastic Four are alerted to a classified ad in the newspaper advertising auditions for a new member of the Frightful Four being conducted at the Baxter Building. As they rush out Roy Thomas asks Stan if they can get started on the Impossible Man story, Stan tells him to forget it because he agreed to it under a moment of distress.
The Fantastic Four rush to the Baxter Building with the help of the Impossible Man and learn that the advertisement is true, the Frightful Four are at their base awaiting potential members to come and audition and they have a trap prepared for the Fantastic Four as well.
- Although the exoskeleton worn by the Thing was destroyed last issue, it is repaired and used by the Thing again in Avengers Annual #14.
- The Impossible Man's first trip to Earth is mentioned countless times in this story. This happened back in Fantastic Four #11.
- Unknown to the Fantastic Four at this time, the Reed Richards from Counter-Earth has stowed away on board their ship, as revealed in Fantastic Four #178.
- This story also makes mention that the Fantastic Four officially licenses Marvel Comics to produce comic books based on their adventures. This has been the case since Fantastic Four #10.
- Unlike other real-life people (such as politicians and celebrities) that whose appearances are considered topical references due to the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, this set of rules do not apply to Marvel staff members who appear in Marvel stories who are all depicted as working for Marvel in the prime of their careers. This became the standard when Jack Kirby began making appearances in stories following his death in 1994.
Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters: