Appearing in "The Mad Menace of the Macabre Mole Man"
- Fantastic Four
- Franklin Storm (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Mad Menace of the Macabre Mole Man"
The Baxter Building is rocked by an earthquake, sending the Fantastic Four to cover. After the confusion, Sue finds a newspaper and is upset to see a story about an escaped convict. When Reed tries to press her for answers, she refuses to explain, which troubles Reed. Later, the Fantastic Four, sans Sue, are called out to investigate the disappearance of a city block that vanished into the ground during the earthquake. Little do they know that this block was lowered into the Earth by their old foe, the Mole Man. Tracking the Invisible Girl, the Mole Man locates her on his scanning devices and begins to sink the city block she is on.
Meanwhile, the male members of the team return home to find a note left behind by Sue when suddenly, they are hit by another earthquake. After the quake, Reed learns that Sue went down to police headquarters. After hearing a radio report that a block on 23rd Street disappeared as well, they realize that is where police headquarters is located. At that moment below the Earth, the Mole Man locates Sue Storm among the people he abducted and has his Moloids subdue her. With the Invisible Girl as his prisoner, the Mole Man plans to keep his foes away. Having deduced the Mole Man's involvement, the other members of the Fantastic Four fly to 23rd Street in the Pogo Plane. They find the Avengers about to descend into the pit but convince them to let the FF handle it. When they enter the crater, they find a number of traps waiting for them below that wreck their ship, but they manage to get down to below the surface. They find the Mole Man, but he has Sue at gunpoint and informs them that he will keep her hostage, to prevent their involvement. With the Fantastic Four unable to do anything, the Mole Man activates a device that returns them to the surface.
As Sue is locked away, Reed designs a highly sensitive detection device to find the Mole Man's lair. When they locate it, the Torch burns a hole directly down to it and they descend. Warned of their arrival, the Mole Man unleashes his army of Moloids to confront his foes. The trio save Sue and flee the area, but as they leave, the Mole Man sets his lair to self-destruct and Sue is struck by a piece of shrapnel.
On the surface, they rush Sue to the hospital where the prognosis is dire, because the surgeon that could perform the much-needed surgery has escaped from prison. Reed, Ben and Johnny are in for the shock of their lives when they are suddenly visited by the man that Reed saw in the paper: Franklin Storm, Sue and Johnny's father, a man that Johnny was led to believe was dead. Franklin performs the surgery to save his daughter's life. With the surgery completed, the authorities arrive to arrest Dr. Storm, but they allow him a moment to see his daughter before returning him to custody.
- It's explained next issue that Franklin Storm was imprisoned for manslaughter in the shooting death of a mobster. Storm struggled with the man over his gambling debts and, distraught over the earlier death of his wife in a car accident, Franklin said nothing in his own defense. Sue led Johnny to believe that their father had died, in order to keep this shame a secret.
- The Avengers appear here in-between the events of Avengers #9.
- Although seemingly slain in a blast here, the Mole Man's next chronological appearance was in Avengers #12 wherein he teams up with the Red Ghost and is defeated by the Avengers.
Events occur bend he scenes in this story that affect the chronology of the following characters:
- Page 1-7, Panel 3 - Sue learns about her father's escape from prison, gets captured by the Mole Man.
- Page 7, Panel 4-21 - Sue is injured during her rescue. Franklin Storm performs a life saving surgery.
- Page 1-7, Panel 3 - Mole Man threatens New York, captures Invisible Girl.
- Page 7, Panel 4-21 - Mole Man defeated by the Fantastic Four.
- This story is reprinted in Marvel's Greatest Comics #23 (The first of that long running reprint series).
- This issue features a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Mike Friedrich, David Hill, John Johnson, David Grace, Patrick Scarfo, Spece Allen, Chuck Boehmier, Tom Jones, David Cantena, Mike Raub, Charles Smith, and Marlin Grenn. The letters page also contains the Special Announcements Section.
- As seen on page one, this issue is Job#X-764.
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- Discuss Fantastic Four Vol 1 31 on the forums
- 7 Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 31
- 3 Reprints of Fantastic Four Vol 1 31
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