Marvel Database

Quote1.png The French have an expression called Infant terrible! It means a child who does dreadful things! But this child is so powerful, that anything he does could cause a catastrophe! Quote2.png
Mister Fantastic

Appearing in "The Infant Terrible!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Reporters and Photographers
  • Infant Terrible's parents
  • "Big Joe" (First appearance) and Other Mobsters
  • NYPD
  • Tom (First appearance)

Races and Species:




Synopsis for "The Infant Terrible!"

After the Fantastic Four put on a photoshoot for publicity they head back to the Baxter Building in the Fantasticar.[Continuity 1] En route they are shocked when suddenly a massive milk bottle materializes around them, trapping them inside. Breaking free and descending into the city below, they witness other impossibilities: strange walls erected in the street stalling traffic, a massive toy top, and a robot that multiplies every time the Thing strikes it. When Times Square is suddenly filled with an army of robots, Reed deduces that sound will affect them and has the police sound their sirens. When bombarded by the cacophony of emergency sirens, the robots vanish.

With the immediate crisis over, the Fantastic Four spot the source of all this chaos: a small green alien whose antenna can project reality altering energies.[Continuity 2] Sue tries to use her invisibility to sneak up on the creature, but it is startled by the arrival of some photographers and lashes out with its power, sending a rain of meteors down. While the Fantastic Four are busy dealing with this new threat, the alien creature slips away unnoticed.

With the news of this creature on the loose, a mobster named Big Joe tracks down the alien and takes advantage of his powers. When Big Joe realizes that the alien must be a child, he and his men ply it with candy and ice cream. Back at the Baxter Building, Reed has come to this same conclusion and has dubbed their alien menace the Infant Terrible. Reed warns his teammates that unchecked, the Infant Terrible's powers are without limit, making him not only a global threat but a universal one as well. Reed sends out the rest of the team to locate the Infant while he works on something in his lab.

Meanwhile, Big Joe appears to have succeeded in tricking the young alien into doing his bidding when the Infant uses his powers to help steal an armored truck filled with money. This plan backfires when the Infant transforms the money into a pig, flying money bags, and mud. Big Joe tries another approach by coaxing the alien to increase the size of a diamond for him. The Infant Terrible initially complies, but then changes the diamond into an egg. Finally fed up, Joe orders his men to shoot the alien, but before they can, they are discovered by the Fantastic Four. After they subdue the mobsters, the FF follow the Infant Terrible, but it is already frightened and creates a monster out of rocks to defend itself. While his teammates deal with this new threat, Reed manages to use his communications equipment to make contact with an alien ship in their solar system.

By this point the Infant Terrible has had enough and returns to the city, unleashing the full force of its power. Just as the alien ship arrives, the Infant begins doing the one thing that Reed feared would happen: it begins using its powers to pull the sun closer to Earth. Before this can wipe out the entire planet, the Infant Terrible is stopped by the occupants of the alien ship that turn out to be members of the same race. In the panic below, Alicia Masters stumbles around blindly trying to find her beloved Ben. As she falls over, the Fantastic Four pass by in the Fantasticar and pull her off the road before she can be run over. In the aftermath of the chaos, the Fantastic Four learn that the aliens who came for the Infant Terrible were the alien's parents who had lost track of their wayward child. With the Infant placated, the aliens then take their son and return to the stars.


Continuity Notes

  1. The photo being taken of Reed, Ben and Johnny on the splash page in this story ends up on the cover of Life Magazine as seen in Marvels #2
  2. The aliens in this story are identified as the Elan in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #3

Publishing Notes

  • This is the first issue where Jack Kirby designs a photo montage. Although smaller in scale to later instances, they can be seen in the first two panels on page 18. It appears as though Jack lifted an image of the Martian space ships from the 1953 film adaptation of The War of the Worlds.

See Also

Links and References


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