- Maybe I am a monster! I look like one—and sometimes I feel like one!
- -- The Thing
Appearing in "The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space!"
- Fantastic Four (Main story and recap)
- Central City Police Chief
- United States Army
- Skrull Empire (First appearance)
- Unnamed Central City citizens
- Unnamed Oil-rig workers
- Unnamed Jewelry store employees
- Unnamed Power Plant Worker
- Santa Claus (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Milky Way (Main story and recap)
- Solar System (Main story and recap)
- Earth (Main story and recap)
- Mars (Mentioned)
- Solar System (Main story and recap)
- Andromeda Galaxy (Mentioned) (Unnamed)
- The Daily Globe (First appearance)
- Daily Bugle (First appearance)
- Anti-Gravity Harness (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space!"
The Thing attacks an oil platform off the Texas shore. The Invisible Girl steals a valuable gem from a jewelry store. The Human Torch melts a statue when a town unveils it. Mister Fantastic shuts down a power plant. These impostors meet afterward and reveal how they used their shape-shifting abilities and alien technology to perpetrate their misdeeds. They are Skrulls, and they plan on invading Earth. Fearing the Fantastic Four will stand in their way, these four agents want to ruin their reputation. The real Fantastic Four, in "an isolated hunting lodge," hear the news with dismay.[Continuity 1]
The United States Army surrounds the lodge. Wanted for the Skrulls' crimes, the Fantastic Four surrender.They escape from cells specifically designed to hold them and hole up in one of their "many secret apartment hideouts", in order to clear their names. They set a trap for the Skrulls by sending Johnny to sabotage a rocket launch, hoping it will draw them out. He melts through an unused gantry,[Continuity 2] avoids the army's artillery and flames off behind a hangar. "Reed" and "Susan" pick him up and take him back to their hideout. A Fantasti-Flare out the window brings the rest of the team.
A fight ensues and the Skrulls are taken, prisoner. The Fantastic Four steal the Skrulls' rocket ship and find their mother-ship in Earth orbit.[Continuity 3] Posing as the Skrull agents, they trick the captain into believing that Earth is too dangerous to invade by passing off images from Journey into Mystery and Strange Tales as real. Reed volunteers to stay behind and remove any trace of the Skrulls' presence on Earth. Convinced his army would be slaughtered, the captain calls off the invasion and awards Reed a medal for bravery.[Continuity 4] On the way home the Fantastic Four passes through the cosmic rays again, causing the Thing to briefly return to human form.
Once back on Earth the Fantastic Four clear their names by proving the existence of Skrulls to the military. The remaining three Skrulls transform into cows at Reed's instructions, and Reed hypnotizes them into believing they are real cows. They are left in a field where they can live out their lives.[Continuity 5][Continuity 6][Continuity 7][Continuity 8]
Appearing in "The Challenge of Comrade X!"
- Comrade X (First appearance)
- Bank robbers
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Challenge of Comrade X!"
Three bank robbers are trapped within the confines of a time locked bank vault and will suffocate unless the lock can be opened in time. Within the lock mechanism, the Ant-Man manually manipulates the tumblers into place, allowing the lock to be opened and the robbers apprehended by the police.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, behind the iron curtain, a communist leader hears a news report about the Ant-Man’s latest feat. He orders Comrade X, one of the Soviet Union’s greatest espionage agents, to capture Ant-Man and learn the secret of his size changing ability.
Several days later, in a police station in the United States, a young women is pleading with the desk sergeant to be put in contact with Ant-Man. She claims that it is a matter of life and death that only Ant-Man can help her with. The police explain it cannot be done – they don’t know how to locate the Ant-Man. He just mysteriously appears on the scene whenever there’s trouble. Unknown to the police, Ant-Man has established a vast network of tiny insects planted in police stations and newspaper offices throughout the city to alert him of emergencies.
In a secret room in Henry Pym’s laboratory, an electronic impulse is detected originating from the 14th precinct. Using his cybernetic helmet, Ant-Man translates the signal into an intelligible form and receives the girl’s plea for help. As he puts on the rest of his costume, Pym explains that he has developed his reducing and growth serums in a gas form to make them easier to carry with him. He releases the reducing gas and inhales it through his helmet’s filter, causing him to shrink to ant-size. Ant-Man exits the lab through a secret panel to a room containing a miniature electronically controlled catapult, which he uses to propel himself through the air to an alley near the police station, where he summons a horde of ants to catch him and break his fall.
Outside the police station, Ant-Man spots a girl getting into a cab and deduces that she must be the one who wanted to contact him. Using one of his ants, he sneaks into the cab and slips unnoticed into the girl’s purse. Minutes later, the cab arrives at the its destination, the girl's apartment. Once inside, Ant-Man slips out of the purse and reveals himself.
The girl explains her story to Ant-Man. Last year, while in Europe, she fell in love with a man, who she later learned was the deadly Red master spy known as Comrade X. At first, she didn’t care who he was, until he jilted her for another woman. Now she wants revenge on him for breaking her heart. That's why she contacted him, to warn him that Comrade X is in the United States on a secret mission to capture him and learn the secret of his size changing ability. She knows that he is hiding on a freighter docked at pier 89. Ant-Man mentions that he has heard of the mysterious Comrade X and races off to confront him.
That evening, Ant-Man arrives at pier 89. As he leads his small army of ants up the gang plank to the freighter, Ant-Man triggers a hidden electric eye that alerts the crew to his presence, allowing them to entrap him in a glass box with tiny pinholes that allow him to breath but are too small for an ant to escape through. Using his cybernetic helmet, Ant-Man summons more ants from the shore, who use bits of wood to traverse the harbor and board the ship. Once onboard, they attack the crew, causing one to drop his weapon, smashing the glass box entrapping Ant-Man.
Once free, Ant-Man evades the remaining crewmen and locates the ship’s radio room, where he uses his full-human strength to hurl a lamp at the radio operator, knocking him unconscious. He then uses his enlarging gas to return to normal-size and uses the radio to contact the authorities on shore. Meanwhile, his ants lock the red seamen in a room and crawl away with the key.
With his message sent, Ant-Man returns to ant-size and hunts down Comrade X. He soon comes upon Comrade X sitting at a desk with his back to him, but it is the Ant-Man who is surprised by Comrade X, who points a spray gun loaded with diluted DDT at him. Before Comrade X can fire, Ant-Man commands his ants to cover the ceiling light, plunging the room into darkness. Ant-Man uses the momentary distraction to tie Comrade X’s bootlaces together, causing him to trip and fall to the floor. His ants then uncover the light and pull a mask off of Comrade X, revealing “him" to be the girl from the police station.
Ant-Man reveals that he knew Comrade X was a woman all along. Earlier, while hiding in her purse, he discovered her rubber face mask and an instrument to make her voice sound masculine. Comrade X threatens Ant-Man, stating that he will never make it off this ship alive, but is subdued by the arrival of the US Coast Guard. Minutes later, Comrade X and her gang are taken into custody.
Appearing in "The Lava Man"
Races and Species:
- Jet Fighter
Synopsis for "The Lava Man"
After saving a jet pilot, Thor returns to his office as Dr. Don Blake to speak to his nurse Jane Foster. He wants to confess his love for her, but realizes he can not unless he also reveals his identity as Thor. So he goes to Odin asking permission, and it is denied.
As news of the approaching Lava Man spreads through the city, Loki (watching from Asgard) laughs because it was he who released the volcanic creature.
Meanwhile, Jane informs Blake that she is leaving and taking a job elsewhere. She can not remain where her feelings are rejected. Forbidden by Odin, Blake is unable to stop her.
As the Lava Man finally reaches the city, he claims the city for his Lava Men tribe. But Thor appears ready to stop him. The Lava Man melts his way into the tunnels underground, and causes geyser eruptions all around Thor. But the Thunder God uses his thrown hammer to drive the Lava Man back above ground. The Lava Man encases Thor in lava, but he is able to break free by summoning a lightning blast from his hammer.
When the Lava Man converts himself to a pillar of stone to try to crush Thor, Thor conjures a whirlwind with his hammer and sweeps the Lava Man to a distanct volcano and drops him in. He then seals the top to imprison the Lava Man and end his threat.
Back at his office as Blake, he finds Jane and her new employer, Dr. Bruce Andrews, waiting for him. She is angry that while the Lava Man was menacing the area, Blake had not even bothered to check on her safety. She leaves with Dr. Andrews, as Blake laments that Thor must live out his days alone.
Appearing in "Spider-Man Versus Doctor Octopus"
- Aunt May Parker
- Daily Bugle
- Flash Thompson
- Liz Allan
- Sally Avril
- Human Torch (Johnny Storm)
- Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius) (First appearance) (Origin revealed) (See chronology)
- Charlie (First appearance)
- Army Personnel
- Joe (First appearance)
- Peter Parker's High School Classmates
- Unnamed thieves
- Staff of Bliss Private Hospital
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Spider-Man's Suit
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Spider-Man's Utility Belt
- Spider-Man's Spider-Signal (First appearance)
- Doctor Octopus' Tentacles (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Spider-Man Versus Doctor Octopus"
Spider-Man catches Charlie and his two pals robbing a warehouse. Surprising them with his Spider Signal light, he quickly overcomes them and webs them up for the police. Meanwhile, atomic scientist Otto Octavius, known to his colleagues as Doctor Octopus because of the unique set of four remote-controlled "arms" he invented for handling radioactive material, is hard at work at the U.S. Atomic Research Center. Suddenly his experiment goes awry. In the ensuing explosion, Otto Octavius's mechanical arms fuse to his body, and the excess radiation alters his brain. When he awakens at Bliss Private Hospital, he discovers that he can make his mechanical arms move by thought alone, just as if they were his real arms. With his brain unbalanced, Dr. Octopus forcibly takes over the hospital as his first criminal act.
J. Jonah Jameson learns of the strange events at the hospital and sends Peter Parker to take some photographs. Peter sneaks into the hospital as Spider-Man and discovers the hospital staff held captive by Dr. Octopus. Spider-Man is badly beaten in their battle, but Dr. Octopus's captives manage to escape.
Dr. Octopus returns to the U.S. Atomic Research Center and takes over its computer, soon gaining possession of the greatest source of atomic power in the nation. Meanwhile, Peter Parker is dispirited following his defeat. The government asks the Fantastic Four to retake the laboratory from Dr. Octopus, but they decline because of other commitments. The Human Torch, unable to use his flame because of a virus, nevertheless appears at Midtown High School to address the student body. The speech he gives is so inspiring that Peter Parker regains his self-confidence. He decides he can defeat Dr. Octopus after all.
Spider-Man soon enters the laboratory, where he builds two devices from chemicals and wire. When Dr. Octopus finds him, Spider-Man tosses one of the devices around two of the criminal's mechanical arms, melting them together. Then he squirts web fluid all over Dr. Octopus's glasses. Temporarily blinded with two of his arms stuck together, Dr. Octopus is easily knocked out and left helpless for the police. When Spider-Man later thanks the Human Torch for his inspiring speech, the Human Torch, cured of his illness, is perplexed.
The next day, the Human Torch gives the Midtown High School students another demonstration of his newly restored powers, while Peter Parker smiles, finding new confidence in his young career as a super-hero.
- ↑ In a flashback to the FF's origin, Reed specifically states that the rocket in Fantastic Four #1 was meant to go to Mars. As Marvel has continued to publish stories eventually they had to institute a Sliding Timescale as a means of slowing down the advance of time in the Marvel Universe over the length of publications in real time. This was to prevent aging their characters quickly as well as updating dated plot concepts, generalizing real-life events or dates that are mentioned in various stories. When Fantastic Four #1 was published in 1961, Reed's spaceship is specifically referred to as a rocket, and his intentions for his mission is to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. Contextually, the story was published during the height of the US/Soviet Space Race, which saw both countries competing to see which one could develop manned space flights. Since then, many retellings of the Fantastic Four's origin have changed the details of Reed Richard's space flight, updating concepts so that they were not considered dated by more modern readers. Fantastic Four #236, the origin of the Fantastic Four was updated, it was stated that Reed's experimental ship was intended to travel to the edge of the solar system and while it needed a rocket booster to reach escape velocity from Earth's atmosphere it relied on a Star Drive to reach its destination. This tale also goes on to expand on how the quartet was mutated. While Fantastic Four #1 merely states that it was cosmic rays, Fantastic Four #236 goes further to explain that these rays passed through the Van Allen Belt that is held around the Earth by its magnetic field. Fantastic Four #358 published in 1991 states that the "Star Drive" was intended to bring them into hyperspace in order to visit other solar systems. It's also stated in this story that unusual sunspot activity from Earth's sun also played a role in boosting the strength of the cosmic rays that mutated the Fantastic Four.
- ↑ This is the first issue where the Human Torch uses his catchphrase "Flame on!"
- ↑ This is not the first time Reed has encountered the Skrulls. A few years previous he exposed a Skrull spy on Earth, as seen in Marvel: The Lost Generation #11.
- ↑ The disappearance of the fourth Skrull in this story is explained in Avengers #66 which states that Reed Richards allowed that Skrull to return home.
- ↑ This story does not give a specific location for where Reed left the cows. Fantastic Four Annual #17, however, places them in King's Crossing, New York, and looks at the consequences of transforming the Skrulls into cows and their effect on the town. Also during this period the Skrull cows bred with normal cows producing a Skrull/Cow hybrid as revealed in Skrull Kill Krew Vol 2 #1
- ↑ The Skrull cows return as major players during the Kree-Skrull War depicted in Avengers #89-97.
- ↑ Years later Mister Fantastic repeats the "Skrull Cow" solution to deal with Skrull invaders during a trip back in time to the year 1776 in Fantastic Four Vol 4 #10.
- ↑ New Avengers #40 revealed that one of these Skrulls was a relative to Emperor Dorrek VII, who considered this an insult. This was partial motivation for Dorrek to begin the Super-Skrull program that eventually led to the Secret Invasion of Earth many years later.
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