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The Thing

Appearing in "The Mysterious Molecule Man!"

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Synopsis for "The Mysterious Molecule Man!"

Fantastic Four Vol 1 20 Title.jpg

After examining an asteroid with proof of organic life in space, the Fantastic Four investigate a strange fireball that has appeared in the streets.

Owen Reece (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 20 002.jpg

Sucked into it, they find it's a device belonging to the Watcher. Inside, the Watcher tells the Fantastic Four of a man who was exposed to a nuclear accident which transformed him into the Molecule Man.[Continuity 1] Warning of the potential danger of the Molecule Man's molecule altering abilities, the Watcher sends out the FF to stop him.[Continuity 2]

In their initial conflict, the FF seem unable to defeat him and each attempt to stop the Molecule Man is met with failure. Fed up with the FF's interference, the Molecule Man erects a glass dome around Manhattan and demands that the people of the city help him capture the FF.

Owen Reece (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 20 004.jpg

Reed eventually realizes that the Molecule Man's powers don't seem to have any effect on organic material and so they lay a trap in which they pose as statues in Alicia's apartment, while Alicia alerts the Molecule Man of their location.[Continuity 3] When the Molecule Man's powers fail to affect the FF, they are able to knock his wand -- the focal point of his power -- out of his hands and keep it away from him long enough for the Watcher to arrive and take the Molecule Man away. The Watcher takes the Molecule Man to an alternate dimension where time travels faster so that he would age soon and die.


Continuity Notes

  1. Fantastic Four #319 reveals that the accident that created the Molecule Man interrupted the process of the creation of a Cosmic Cube by the enigmatic Beyonders making the Molecule Man an imperfect portion of the Cube's energies. The other portion was in another dimension. Per Secret Wars II #6 the accident created a pin-prick in reality that allowed the other portion of energy to view the Earth-616 universe. This allowed it to gain sentience, eventually becoming the god-like being known as the Beyonder. However these facts have been called into question by the events of New Avengers: Illuminati (Vol. 2) #3, which has stated that the Beyonder is really a mutant Inhuman. However this might have been a deception on the part of the Beyonder.
  2. It was later revealed in New Avengers (Vol. 2) #3334 that Owen's powers were actually planned by the Beyonders as a catalyst to destroying the multiverse when they finally grew bored with creation, suggesting that all other explanations for his powers were deceptions.
  3. It is later revealed in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 the reason the Molecule Man initially had to focus his powers through his wand and was limited to control over inorganic matter was due to a low-self esteem creating these perceived limitations.

Continuity Errors

  • Mister Fantastic is ecstatic about finding what appears to be a dehydrated acorn within a meteorite he is studying. He claims that it proves that some form of life must exist in outer space. Apparently, Reed has momentarily forgotten about the Fantastic Four's previous encounters with a number of extraterrestrial beings, such as the Skrulls, the Xantha, the Watcher, and the Impossible Man.


  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from james maupin, Anonymous, Wayne Shephard, Richard Cohen, Fantastic Four Fan Club: Mark Gruenwald (Secretary), Dana Riel, Karl Spence, John Furek, Don Keefer, Kevin Shields, and George R.R. Martin. The letters page also contains a Special Announcements Section.
  • As seen on page one, this issue is Story#X-419.

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