Appearing in "Captives of the Deadly Duo!"
- Fantastic Four
- Pete (First appearance)
- Matilda and Hiram (First appearance)
- Tommy (First appearance)
- Yancy Street Gang (Behind the scenes) (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Atlantic Ocean
- Doctor Doom's Armor
- Magnetic Grabber (First appearance)
- Unstable Molecules (Mentioned) (First Mention)
- Fantastic Four's Space Helmets
- Pogo Plane MK I
- Intercontinental Passenger Missile
- Doctor Doom's Aerosub (First appearance) (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "Captives of the Deadly Duo!"
After scouting for Dr. Doom, the Human Torch returns to the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters to report on his lack of success in finding Doom. He arrives just as his teammates are reading fan mail.[Continuity 1] When Reed gets a letter from a fan who is presently staying at a nearby hospital, Reed stretches out his body to pay the boy a personal visit.[Continuity 2] Meanwhile, Ben gets a mocking letter from the Yancy Street Gang, challenging him to a fight. Ben responds by rolling up a titanium steel tile and telling Johnny to mail it out for him. Ben laments over not being able to face a worthy foe like Dr. Doom or the Sub-Mariner.
These words turn out to be prophetic as, at that very moment, Dr. Doom is seeking out the Sub-Mariner and tracks him down in his aerosub, confronting Namor over the ocean.[Continuity 3] Doom manages to convince Namor that they should work together to destroy the Fantastic Four and take over the world.
Namor invites Doom back to Atlantis, where Doom notes his infatuation with Sue Storm. Doom, however, stirs the Sub-Mariner's anger by reminding him how his kingdom was annihilated by atomic weapons tests. Namor agrees to destroy the Fantastic Four but refuses to harm Sue Storm. Doom agrees to let Sue live and then shows off his latest invention which he wishes to use against the Fantastic Four: a magnetically powered "grabber" device that can pull any object no matter how heavy. Namor then goes to the surface world to confront the Fantastic Four as part of their plan.
Meanwhile, at the Baxter Building, Johnny finds a picture of Namor hidden behind a bookshelf and confronts his sister Sue about it. When she tells Johnny that he has no right to go snooping on her property, Johnny alerts the others about Sue's little secret before burning the picture with his flame powers. When Reed asks for an explanation from Sue, she is at a loss for words to explain her infatuation with the Sub-Mariner. Suddenly, Namor makes his presence known to them.
While the male members of the team try to attack Namor, Sue comes to his aid. The others find that Namor is prepared for their attacks, and Reed suddenly realizes that Namor must have planted some kind of trap. Reed and Johnny go to search for it. When they fail to find it, Namor gloats when, suddenly, the Baxter Building is pulled out of its foundation and is drawn into space.[Continuity 4]
The Fantastic Four and Namor quickly put on breathing helmets. When Johnny fails to escape in the vacuum of space, Reed tries to grab Doom's ship that is pulling them closer to the sun, but Doom has prepared a defensive rocket that burns Reed's hands. With the void of space being close to that of Earth's oceans, Namor -- realizing he had been betrayed by Doom -- agrees to stop him. He then exits the Baxter Building and "swims" toward Doom's ship.
There, he breaks through the hull into the ship but finds a locked and electrified door blocking his way into the control room. The Sub-Mariner then uses his ability to mimic the electricity generating abilities of electric eels to begin shocking Doom through the door, forcing him to retreat.[Continuity 5] Namor breaks in and hurls Dr. Doom into space. In the void of space, Doom is suddenly struck by a passing meteor and is carried away. Namor then takes control of the ship and reverses its course, returning the Baxter Building to its original foundation. The Fantastic Four then find Doom's grabber device stashed away in the basement, but they cannot remove it. Suddenly, it flies away to rendezvous with Namor over the ocean. The Sub-Mariner then crashes the ship and the grabber device into the waters below so they cannot be used again and returns to the ocean himself.
- This issue features the first mention of the Yancy Street Gang, however the gang does not make a physical appearance until Fantastic Four #15. While it is established that they are a gang that originates from the Thing's old neighbourhood, it is later revealed in the Thing #1 that a young Ben Grimm, used to be leader of the gang before his life turned around. It was his departure from the group that led to their animosity toward him.
- The Fantastic Four's costumes are noted as being made to withstand the extreme conditions of space, requiring only the addition of a space helmet. They are also said to be made from Unstable Molecules, which are mentioned for the first time in this issue.
- Doom mentions the destruction of "Atlantis" by atomic testing, which was first depicted in Fantastic Four #4. However Sub-Mariner #1 clarifies that this was merely an Atlantean outpost.
- Kristoff Vernard revisits Doom's plot from this issue, with considerably more success. He succeeds in launching the Baxter Building into the sun in Fantastic Four #278, although the team survived.
- Namor is depicted as having the ability to discharge electricity like an electric eel. The ability to mimic the abilities of other sea life are mostly phased out by his appearance in Fantastic Four #14.
- The Baxter Building is revealed to be the formal name of the Fantastic Four's headquarters in this issue. The section of the Baxter Building owned by the Fantastic Four is shown to be only four stories in this issue. This is a retcon of the earlier diagram which showed it to be five stories.
- Doctor Doom adopts a new set of armor this issue that (with minor modifications as Jack Kirby's artistic style continued to develop) will see him through his next several appearances. While this armor is very similar to his "classic" outfit (introduced in Fantastic Four Annual #2), Doom's cloak has a single clasp, whereas the former has two clasps.
Links and References
- Marvel Comics Index #4
- Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four #1