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Quote1 Why must we always fight among ourselves? What's wrong with us? Quote2
Mister Fantastic

Appearing in "The Menace of the Miracle Man"

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Synopsis for "The Menace of the Miracle Man"

Chapter 1[]

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0001 Title

The Miracle Man is performing at a theater. He points out the Fantastic Four and mocks them. He claims his powers are far greater than theirs and demonstrates by growing into a giant, turning into a cloud, and controlling thunder and lightning. He even upstages the Thing in a test of strength. While they head home in the Fantasti-Car, Reed wonders whether they could defeat the Miracle Man if he were a criminal. Meanwhile, the Miracle Man plots to bring a monster statue at the Bijou movie theater[Continuity 1] next door to life and use it to terrorize the public.

Chapter II:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 2 Title

At the team's new headquarters, the Baxter Building,[Continuity 2] Johnny is watching live coverage of the premiere of "The Monsters from Mars" at the Bijou on television. Sue Storm comes in with new costumes for the entire team, including a helmet for the Thing.

Baxter Building from Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0001

Click to Enlarge

Johnny spots the Miracle Man, who gestures and brings the monster to life. It attacks the crowd and then vanishes. The Fantastic Four call the commissioner, who has received a note from the Miracle Man declaring his intention to conquer the world. The team is authorized to stop the Miracle Man.[Continuity 3][Continuity 4]

Mister Fantastic finds the Miracle Man and his monster robbing a jewelry store, but the Miracle Man hits him with a brick. The Human Torch finds them stealing the army's new atomic tank and confronts them.

Chapter III:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 3 Title

The Invisible Girl and Thing see the fight and join in. The Thing removes his helmet and rips off his costume before joining the fight.[Continuity 5] The Human Torch burns the monster down;[Continuity 6] it was made of wood and plastic. The Thing and the Human Torch are defeated, and the Miracle Man escapes in a truck with the tank in tow, although the Invisible Girl hides aboard unseen.

Chapter IV:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 4 Title

Back at their headquarters, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four wait for Sue's signal. Johnny pokes fun at Ben, who loses his temper. A fight breaks out between the two, and Johnny storms off. Meanwhile, the Miracle Man is hiding the atomic tank at a junkyard, when he discovers Sue and uses his powers to put her under his command. He has Sue signal the rest of the team with the Fantasti-Flare. Ben and Reed take off in the Fantasti-Copter. Johnny sees the signal from a corner soda fountain and flies toward it.

Chapter V:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 5 Title

At the junkyard, the Miracle Man fights Ben and Reed, and escapes with Sue and the tank again. Johnny appears, and the three follow the Miracle Man in an antique racing car. Johnny flies ahead and uses his flames to create a flash that temporarily blinds the Miracle Man, who loses his powers. In fact, he never had powers at all; he was merely a clever hypnotist. Reed brings Sue out of her trance, and the Miracle Man is apprehended.

Fantastic Four (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0002

The Thing is annoyed when he perceives that Johnny is getting all the credit for stopping the Miracle Man. Johnny, having had enough of the Thing, quits the team and flies away. Reed wonders what would happen if he were to become their enemy.


Continuity Notes[]

  1. The depiction of the Bijou Theater in this story should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The Bijou was demolished in 1982
  2. The setting of this story is never explicitly given, but the location of the Baxter Building is later given as New York City. Some facts about the Baxter Building: (1) Prior to the Fantastic Four living here, it was briefly the headquarters to the All-Winners Squad in the 1950s as revealed in All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1. The top floors of the building had recently been reconstructed prior to the FF's residency there following the events of Marvel: The Lost Generation #11. (2) The building was suggested to the Fantastic Four by their military liaison in Fantastic Four: First Family #3 (3) The headquarters was co-designed by Reed and his colleague and former teacher Noah Baxter, as revealed in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #38. (4) Per Fantastic Four #244, Reed purchased the top five floors outright, although he was forced to sell them later when the group hit financial problems in Fantastic Four #9.
  3. As revealed in Fantastic Four: First Family #3 their uniforms were based on the space suits the team wore into space.
  4. This story provides a schematic of the FF's headquarters in the Baxter Building for the first time. This version shows the Fantastic Four habituating at least three floors. The schematics are expanded upon in Fantastic Four #6 and Fantastic Four Annual #1.
  5. The Fantastic Four's classic blue costumes debuted this issue. The Thing discarded his costume (and helmet) mid-issue. Parts of this costume were worn by Ben at different occasions later in his career: First in Fantastic Four #239, Ben was forced to wear his costume so as not to frighten the already panic-stricken people of Benson, Arizona. Although he had the helmet along with him, he did not wear it. Ben started wearing a similar helmet after being wounded by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, but it lasted only a brief period (until Fantastic Four #386).
  6. The events of this story are witnessed from the perspective of other characters who would become active superhumans: The Sub-Mariner: Namor's time as a homeless derelict prior to this story were revealed in Tales of the Marvels: Inner Demons #1, parts of that story overlap with this one. Spider-Man: Peter Parker observes Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch battling the monster from afar in Spider-Man: With Great Power... #3.
Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0001

Thing discards his costume

Chronology Notes[]

The events of this story are revisited in various other issues which expand upon the chronologies of the following characters: Mister Fantastic:

Invisible Woman:

Human Torch:


Publication Notes[]

  • This issue marks the first appearance of the Fantastic 4 Fan Page. Fan letters printed were written by Alan Weiss, Rick Wood, Unsigned, George Paul, Bill Sarill and S. Brodsky. It is quite possible that the S. Brodsky letter from Brooklyn, NY came from Sol Brodsky. Sol reportedly inked this issue and became a Marvel executive in 1964. The Brodsky letter asked the Editor how he was able to put out seven other comic titles in addition to Fantastic Four. The Editor responded to the question, saying "with great difficulty".
  • At the end of the issue is a bonus pinup, featuring (click to enlarge):
  • "The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World!!" tag line was added to the cover of this issue. It would be replaced by the more familiar "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!" starting with Fantastic Four #4.
  • The cover price increased to 12¢ with this issue.


  • Human Torch has two left hands on the cover, as noted in a letter printed in Fantastic Four Vol 1 5.
  • The Job # for this story is V-563, though the first panel of chapter 5 on page 19 contains only the "V-" designation without any digits.

See Also

Links and References