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Quote1.png X-Men! Big deal! They're just a bunch of cornballs, if you ask me! Who'd they ever lick? Quote2.png
The Thing

Appearing in "We Have to Fight the X-Men!"

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Synopsis for "We Have to Fight the X-Men!"

The Thing is moving Alicia Masters' latest sculpture, which just so happens to depict the rock bound hero who holds it, as Reed and Sue are reading the latest newspaper reports about the mysterious mutant heroes known as the X-Men.[Continuity 1] When telling the others about it, the Torch recalls how he recently fought alongside Iceman.[Continuity 2] After finishing his task, Ben upsets Alicia by bringing up her step-father, the Puppet Master.

Incidentally, the Puppet Master has agreed to meet with another foe of Fantastic Four, the Mad Thinker, who has developed a plan to destroy their mutual foes. The Thinker has determined that the X-Men's telepathic leader could be used to manipulate the X-Men into attacking the FF.[Continuity 3] Having tabulated circumstantial evidence to make a passing composition of this mysterious leader, the Puppet Master is able to mold a new puppet out of his clay. Despite the fact that it is lacking any facial features, it enthralls the X-Men's leader Professor X, at the X-Men's school. Under the Puppet Master's control, Charles Xavier summons the X-Men and orders them to destroy the Fantastic Four.

Even though they are confused by these orders, the X-Men comply and fly their helicopter to the Baxter Building. Initially, they act friendly to the Fantastic Four, who invite the young mutants into their home. Reed is showing his latest work when the X-Men's field leader Cyclops launches the attack with his optic blasts. With Cyclops and Beast battling Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch, Marvel Girl uses her telekinetic powers against the Thing, and Angel and Iceman attack the Invisible Girl. When the male members of the Fantastic Four begin gaining the upper hand, Mr. Fantastic orders them to pretend to surrender. The X-Men flee the scene with Sue as their prisoner. Reed and the others follow the X-Men with the Pogo Plane to the Mad Thinker's hideout, where the X-Men are commanded by Xavier to continue their battle against the Fantastic Four.

The Mad Thinker launches various weapons to subdue the Fantastic Four. The Puppet Master and Thinker reveal themselves, and Professor X is ordered to make the X-Men unconscious. However, the Beast resists Xavier's mental command and breaks the puppet which binds their leader. The Mad Thinker orders his Awesome Android to his aid, and battle against the X-Men ensues. Meanwhile, Fantastic Four break free from the Thinker's traps and come to help the mutants. However, it's Professor X who defeats the Android by "applying mental pressure to a certain section of the Android's artificial nervous system." During the confusion, the Thinker and Puppet Master escape, leaving the Awesome Android behind. With the threat now over, Professor X orders the X-Men to return home, leaving the Fantastic Four to wonder if they will ever meet the mutant group again.


Continuity Notes

  1. Sue Storm's concern over the X-Men being mutants runs congruent with the overall underlying theme of prejudice that has been synonymous with the X-Men title for decades. Interestingly enough, actual prejudice towards mutants was always only implied in early issues of the X-Men but were not fully explored until later on in X-Men #8, which is set after this issue.
  2. The Human Torch mentions his team-up with Iceman in Strange Tales #120, when they battled Captain Barracuda.
  3. At the time, the identity of Professor X was a secret that was not well known to the general public, hence why the Mad Thinker and Puppet Master appear unaware. Xavier kept the ties between his School for Gifted Youngsters, the X-Men, and the fact that he was a mutant a secret until many years later, in New X-Men #122.

Continuity Errors

  • Cyclops' thought bubbles reveal that he was aware of the Mad Thinker's involvement before the Mad Thinker reveals himself to the X-Men. This appears to be an error.
  • The caption window states it was the Thing that destroyed the Puppet Master's puppet, when it was in fact Beast.


Stan Lee clarifies "Robert Bruce Banner"

  • In the letter column of this issue Stan Lee declares that Bruce Banner's real name is Robert Bruce Banner. This is in response to fans writing in and pointing out that he mistakenly referred to Banner as "Bob" in issues Vol 1 25 and Vol 1 26
  • Credits:
    • Written by.......Stan Lee (The Leader!)
    • Drawn by........Jack Kirby (The King!)
    • Inked by........Chic Stone (The Master!)
    • Lettered by.....Art Simek (The Letterer!)

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