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Appearing in "The Hate-Monger!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #21.

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  • Hate-Monger's Hatred-Ray

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Synopsis for "The Hate-Monger!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #21.

The Fantastic Four are enjoying some downtime when suddenly their base begins to shake out of control. Johnny, Reed, and Sue discover the source is the Thing who is going full strength on his punching bag after reading news reports regarding the Hate-Monger, a cowled rabble-rouser who has been using hate speech to incite xenophobia among the citizens of New York City. Reed tries to calm Ben down by telling him that bigots usually get what they deserve. Not long after, while the FF are out on the town, they come across one of the Hate-Monger's rallies where the Hate-Monger works up the crowd into such a frenzy that they attack a man due to his ethnicity. When the Thing intervenes to disperse the mob, the Hate-Monger pulls out his Hate-Ray and uses it on the team. The effects are instant and the Fantastic Four begin to squabble among each other. Pushed by their artificially induced hatred, the Fantastic Four eventually decide to break up, as each member comes to believe that they are better than the others, much to the pleasure of the Hate-Monger.

Reed Richards returns to the Baxter Building to find that security is fighting with a man in the lobby who is trying to gain access to the Fantastic Four's headquarters. Reed is surprised to find that it is Nick Fury, wartime hero,[Continuity 1] an agent of the CIA,[Continuity 2] and a colleague from his military days.[Continuity 3] After briefly reminiscing of the past, Fury tells of civil unrest and rioting in the South American nation of San Gusto, a country that is important to American interests and asks for the Fantastic Four's help in quelling the violence. Fury is surprised to hear that the Fantastic Four have broken up and decides to stay behind as Richards goes off to San Gusto alone. When the Pogo Plane lifts off from the Baxter Building, it is seen by the Thing, Johnny and Sue, who decide to go back to their headquarters to see what is going on. There they find Nick Fury, who plays on the trio's jealousy of each other to convince them to go to San Gusto as well. The trio and Fury all leave in the passenger ICBM that is launched from the roof of the Baxter Building.

Unknown to them all, the Hate-Monger is responsible for the unrest in San Gusto and has since relocated there via a sub-surface missile. While the Hate-Monger begins preparing weapons for his armies, Reed Richards is doing his best to destroy weapons caches across the country. However while on his mission, Richards is knocked out by a gas attack and is taken prisoner. The Hate-Monger shows his master plan, that from San Gusto he can utilize a massive Hate-Ray weapon that bounces off the moon to hit a target anywhere on Earth. Before the Hate-Monger can do more, Nick Fury ambushes him. Caught off guard, the Hate-Monger is forced to give over the antidote for his Hate-Ray. While Fury is busy administering the cure to Reed, their foe and his minions manage to escape. While Reed tracks down his errant teammates and administers the cure for them, Nick Fury follows the Hate-Monger to pin him and his men down before they could operate their global Hate-Ray. In the ensuing battle, the Invisible Girl uses her powers to get close to the Hate-Monger. When he tries to use his Hate-Ray, Sue ruins his aim, causing the ray to hit his two bodyguards. The guards then turn their weapons on the Hate-Monger, gunning him down. With their enemy dead, Nick Fury unmasks him and they are all shocked to see that their foe was apparently Adolf Hitler, the former Nazi dictator.[Continuity 4] With the Hate-Monger destroyed, the Fantastic Four return home.

Appearing in "The Return of the Mole Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #22.

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Synopsis for "The Return of the Mole Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #22.

The Fantastic Four has gathered to watch as Reed Richards conducts a test on Sue to examine the full extent of her invisibility powers. She shows off the ability to create an invisible force field and invisible objects that are strong enough to withstand both the Thing's most powerful blows and the Torch's flame powers.[Continuity 5] The test is interrupted when a police officer arrives to inform them that they have received complaints from the people in the neighborhood regarding the ICBM that the Fantastic Four uses on their missions. While the Thing deals with a flood of angry phone calls from area residents, the Torch deals with an artist who is threatening to sue, due to his claims that one of his works of art was melted into slag one day when Johnny flew past his window. With these disruptions dealt with, the Fantastic Four continue to watch Sue's demonstration of her powers. They witness as she can turn herself or other objects invisible, but they learn that she only has the ability to turn one object or herself invisible at a time. The demonstration is interrupted once again, this time by the Women's Canasta and Mah Jong Society, who complain about Reed's dangerous experiments. After they are scared off by the Thing, Reed ponders the recent spate of complaints and decides that perhaps it is time to move some of the FF's more dangerous experiments and equipment to a safer location. Coincidentally, Reed received a pamphlet in the mail regarding an island for sale in New Jersey that he believes fits those needs.

The Fantastic Four fly out in their U-Car to check out the island, but while they are exploring, their ship sinks into the water, trapping them on the island. Spotting a figure in the shadows running away, the FF follow after it into a cave. There they are surprised to see that the man they were pursuing is their old foe the Mole Man, who reveals that the entire series of events leading up to their coming to the island was all part of his plan to get revenge against the Fantastic Four. When the Mole Man activates a trap door, the Fantastic Four fall into an arena-like trap that is surrounded by a ring of lethal radioactive energy that prevents them from leaving. The Mole Man then explains that he survived their last encounter by escaping the destruction of Monster Island using the various tunnels within Subterranea.[Continuity 6] He then reveals his plan to lower New York City and Moscow below the surface of the Earth, in the hopes that both governments will blame each other for the strange occurrence and kick off World War III and eradicate everyone on the surface, so the Mole Man can claim it for himself.

However, before the Mole Man can hit the trigger button, Sue puts a force field around it. While the Mole Man is distracted, she creates another one around herself and her teammates, so they can get past the radioactive barrier that was keeping them prisoner. But their attack on the Mole Man is thwarted when their foe unleashes various traps that are designed to counter-act their powers. The Fantastic Four manage to break loose of these traps and chase the Mole Man. But their foe manages to escape under the cover of darkness, due to his radar-like senses. As the Fantastic Four find their U-Car and flee the scene, the Mole Man gets back to his throne room. When he activates the trigger button, he realizes too late that Reed Richards had rewired the device, so that it sinks the Mole Man's island instead.[Continuity 7]

Appearing in "The Master Plan of Doctor Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #23.

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Synopsis for "The Master Plan of Doctor Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #23.

Due to the lack of observation from his teammates, Reed Richards has to chase a dinosaur that has come through Doctor Doom's Time Platform.[Continuity 8] When the creature is captured and returned to his proper time, Reed scolds his teammates for not following his orders. This leads to an argument between the members of the Fantastic Four. The Thing suggests that they elect a new leader for the group, an idea that is shared by both Johnny and Sue.

Meanwhile, a mysterious man watches over the bail hearing for a thieving carnival act who calls himself Yogi Dakor. The man pays Yogi's bail and brings him to a warehouse where Dakor joins two other criminals: protection racketeer Bull Brogin and "Handsome" Harry Phillips, a con-man. They are surprised to see that the "man" who bailed them out was really a robot and that they were gathered by Doctor Doom to be his instruments in destroying his hated foes the Fantastic Four.

Back at the Baxter Building, Ben, Sue, and Johnny decide to have a vote to see who should be the next leader of the Fantastic Four. This election proves useless when each member votes for themselves. This leads to Johnny and Ben coming to blows as Sue watches. The fight is broken up by Mister Fantastic who points out that they need his leadership, particularly with the threat of Doctor Doom still looming over them. He then puts them to work cleaning up the mess created by Johnny and Ben's brawl.

Back at his secret hideout, Doctor Doom puts his minions through an experimental process to endow them with super-human powers. Harry is granted enhanced hearing that will allow him to hear the Invisible Girl no matter how hard she tries to be quiet. Bull is given enhanced strength, although not as a strong to beat the Thing. Finally, Yogi Dakor is made completely fireproof in order to best handle the Human Torch. Thus the Terrible Trio is born. In order to lure the Fantastic Four into a trap, Doom has Yogi Dakor pose as a wealthy Maharajah who is gifting the Human Torch with a fireproof automobile. When the Torch finally realizes it is a trap, he is shocked to find that Yogi Dakor is as impervious to his flame powers as the car and is felled by knock out gas.

The Thing is later lured out to Yancy Street after receiving yet another taunting letter from the Yancy Street Gang.[Continuity 9] There he is attacked by Bull Brogin. At first, the Thing has the upper hand, but Brogan utilizes a device that briefly reverts Ben back to human form. Without the power of the Thing, Grimm is quickly knocked out and taken prisoner. Back at the Baxter Building, Reed tests out Sue's reflexes with an ambush attack but it is not received well, as she is still angry at him. After Reed leaves, she is visited by Harry Phillips, who is posing as a flower delivery boy. He plans to knock her out with a knock-out formula in the flowers, but Phillips reveals his intent too soon and Sue manages to hold her breath and escape by turning invisible. This proves to be a failed strategy, as Phillips is able to hear her movements and blast her with knock-out gas as well. Reed is later lured into a trap set by Doctor Doom, who uses a robot fashioned after the Thing to send out a Fantastic Four signal flare to lure Reed out. When Richards shows up, both the Thing robot and Doom manage to capture him in an escape-proof container.

Doom then takes Richards back to his hideout where his other teammates are prisoner. Doom then tricks the Terrible Trio into thinking they are getting paid, but instead of money, the box containing their "reward" spirits them off to another dimension where Doom can call on them whenever he needs them next.[Continuity 10] As the Fantastic Four begin to break out of their confinement, Doom attacks them directly, able to hold his own with the various technological gadgets in his armor. But when the Fantastic Four begin gaining the upper hand, Doom seals them in the room. This room had been prepared to take advantage of a "Solar Wave" that was passing through the Earth that would transport the Fantastic Four into the oblivion of deep space. As the Solar Wave passes it begins to open a portal into space in the very room. Realizing what is happening, Reed commands Sue to use her invisible force field to pin Doom to the wall outside, putting him at risk of falling through the portal as well. Not willing to die along with his enemies, Doom opens a window into the room in order to try and disable the trap. This allows the Fantastic Four to pull the Doctor into the room. As Doom struggles with the Thing, he falls through the portal and into space.[Continuity 11] With their enemy seemingly vanquished, the Fantastic Four escape through the window to safety. In the aftermath of the battle, the other members of the Fantastic Four realize that Reed is the only one fit to lead them.

Appearing in "The Infant Terrible!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #24.

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Other Characters:

  • Reporters and Photographers
  • Infant Terrible's parents
  • "Big Joe" (First appearance) and Other Mobsters
  • NYPD
  • Tom (First appearance)

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Synopsis for "The Infant Terrible!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #24.

After the Fantastic Four put on a photoshoot for publicity they head back to the Baxter Building in the Fantasticar.[Continuity 12] En route they are shocked when suddenly a massive milk bottle materializes around them, trapping them inside. Breaking free and descending into the city below, they witness other impossibilities: strange walls erected in the street stalling traffic, a massive toy top, and a robot that multiplies every time the Thing strikes it. When Times Square is suddenly filled with an army of robots, Reed deduces that sound will affect them and has the police sound their sirens. When bombarded by the cacophony of emergency sirens, the robots vanish.

With the immediate crisis over, the Fantastic Four spot the source of all this chaos: a small green alien whose antenna can project reality altering energies.[Continuity 13] Sue tries to use her invisibility to sneak up on the creature, but it is startled by the arrival of some photographers and lashes out with its power, sending a rain of meteors down. While the Fantastic Four are busy dealing with this new threat, the alien creature slips away unnoticed.

With the news of this creature on the loose, a mobster named Big Joe tracks down the alien and takes advantage of his powers. When Big Joe realizes that the alien must be a child, he and his men ply it with candy and ice cream. Back at the Baxter Building, Reed has come to this same conclusion and has dubbed their alien menace the Infant Terrible. Reed warns his teammates that unchecked, the Infant Terrible's powers are without limit, making him not only a global threat but a universal one as well. Reed sends out the rest of the team to locate the Infant while he works on something in his lab.

Meanwhile, Big Joe appears to have succeeded in tricking the young alien into doing his bidding when the Infant uses his powers to help steal an armored truck filled with money. This plan backfires when the Infant transforms the money into a pig, flying money bags, and mud. Big Joe tries another approach by coaxing the alien to increase the size of a diamond for him. The Infant Terrible initially complies, but then changes the diamond into an egg. Finally fed up, Joe orders his men to shoot the alien, but before they can, they are discovered by the Fantastic Four. After they subdue the mobsters, the FF follow the Infant Terrible, but it is already frightened and creates a monster out of rocks to defend itself. While his teammates deal with this new threat, Reed manages to use his communications equipment to make contact with an alien ship in their solar system.

By this point the Infant Terrible has had enough and returns to the city, unleashing the full force of its power. Just as the alien ship arrives, the Infant begins doing the one thing that Reed feared would happen: it begins using its powers to pull the sun closer to Earth. Before this can wipe out the entire planet, the Infant Terrible is stopped by the occupants of the alien ship that turn out to be members of the same race. In the panic below, Alicia Masters stumbles around blindly trying to find her beloved Ben. As she falls over, the Fantastic Four pass by in the Fantasticar and pull her off the road before she can be run over. In the aftermath of the chaos, the Fantastic Four learn that the aliens who came for the Infant Terrible were the alien's parents who had lost track of their wayward child. With the Infant placated, the aliens then take their son and return to the stars.

Appearing in "The Hulk Vs. the Thing"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #25.

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Synopsis for "The Hulk Vs. the Thing"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #25.

Reed Richards has once again created a formula he believes will cure the Thing. However, this time, Ben is uninterested in a cure, because his girlfriend Alicia Masters loves him the way he is.[Continuity 14] When Reed presses the issue, the Thing destroys the beaker containing the cure, much to Reed's frustration. When Alicia later arrives, she informs the group of the latest news about the Avengers' manhunt for the Hulk.[Continuity 15]

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the Hulk flees from the authorities. With a cordon surrounding the area, the Hulk forces some truck drivers to stow him in the back of their truck. As he sleeps, the Hulk reverts to Bruce Banner.[Continuity 16] When the truck is stopped at a checkpoint, Banner flees into the desert. Banner seeks shelter in a nearby cave, hoping that he can find Rick Jones and get help. Unfortunately, the stress causes him to transform into the Hulk once again, and Hulk seeks shelter in his cave.[Continuity 17] Elsewhere, the Avengers and their ally, Rick Jones, search the nearby wreckage for clues to the Hulk's whereabouts. As their search turns up nothing, the Hulk learns that the Avengers have replaced him with Captain America and decides to get revenge against them.[Continuity 18] The Hulk then bounds off to New York City to face them.

Back at the Baxter Building, Reed suddenly collapses while working on an experiment and Johnny is sent out in the Fantasticar to fetch a doctor. Along the way, he spots the Hulk trashing the streets and flames on to face the gamma-spawned monster. The Torch is no match for the Hulk and is quickly defeated and his flame smothered. As the news of the Hulk reaches the Baxter Building, Reed tells Ben and Sue to deal with the Hulk instead of him, leaving them to worry that his sudden illness is grim and their leader might die. When they arrive at the scene, Johnny is still fighting a losing battle against the Hulk. Sue protects her brother with her invisible force field but soon passes out from the strain. That's when the Thing steps in for a rematch against the Hulk.[Continuity 19] As the Thing and the Hulk battle it out through the city, Reed tries to leave his bed to help the team but finds that his malady has made him too weak to do anything. Ben and the Hulk's battle takes them onto the George Washington Bridge. Exhausted, Ben tries to get a reprieve by trying to bind the Hulk in one of the bridge's tension cables.

Meanwhile, Sue returns to the Baxter Building with a doctor and the prognosis is grim: Reed has been afflicted by an unknown virus, and all the doctor can recommend is bed rest. Meanwhile, the Hulk defeats the Thing in battle and moves on, seeking his revenge against the Avengers. Left behind, the Thing picks himself up and follows after the Hulk, intent on stopping him.

Appearing in "The Avengers Take Over!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #26.

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Synopsis for "The Avengers Take Over!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #26.

Continued from last issue...

Following his defeat, while battling the Hulk, the Thing pulls himself up and starts the fight anew as an army of soldiers and news crews watch. Watching this on television, Mister Fantastic tries to go into action but is still too weak from his illness to do anything. Out of concern, Sue calls for an ambulance and hands over the formulas that Reed had been working on, so the doctors can try to cure him. Also at the hospital is the Human Torch, who has been patched up following his failed battle with the Hulk. Realizing that the Hulk is still on a rampage, Johnny flames on and heads back into battle, despite his injury.

He catches up to the Thing and the Hulk, who are still brawling, and tries to lend Ben a hand. When the Hulk swats the two away, the soldiers step in by firing a mortar shell at the Hulk, but he easily deflects the shot. Johnny is winded after the conflict, and Ben tells him to stay put while he continues after the Hulk. As he plods along, Ben shrugs off an attempt by reporters to interview him. Meanwhile, the Hulk has retreated into the subway, where he commandeers a train to ride toward Avengers Mansion. When he arrives, he finds that the Avengers are waiting for him, and a battle breaks out. Outnumbered, the Hulk grabs Rick Jones and then flees the scene, unaware that the Wasp is following him.

Back at the hospital, the doctors have succeeded in formulating an antidote that instantly cures Mister Fantastic. The Fantastic Four regroup and head out to stop the Hulk, once and for all. They spot the Hulk on the street as he is stunned by the Wasp, who is using her Wasp's sting in his ear. Distracted, the Hulk is ambushed by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four at the same time.[Continuity 20] However, the two groups are uncoordinated and get in each other's way. During the confusion, the Hulk bounds onto a nearby construction site. After a brief squabble about who is best suited to stop the Hulk, both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four agree to work together. This time, the two teams proved too much for the Hulk.[Continuity 21] In the ensuing chaos, Rick tosses a gamma-ray treated capsule into the Hulk's mouth.[Continuity 22] This triggers a transformation into his alter-ego as he falls into the Hudson River. It's Bruce Banner who surfaces from the water and is swept away by the current.[Continuity 23]

In the aftermath of the battle, Rick is commended for his bravery and the Avengers and Fantastic Four part company as allies.

Appearing in "The Search for Sub-Mariner!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #27.

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  • Air-Sea Speedster

Synopsis for "The Search for Sub-Mariner!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #27.

Sue is surprised when she sees Reed using a device that projects his thoughts and sees that he is thinking of her. When trying it on Ben afterward, the Thing conjures up images of Doctor Doom, frightening him. When Reed asks Sue to try it on she declines, not wanting to have her thoughts revealed. When Ben starts asking Reed why he hasn't asked Sue to marry him, Reed tells both Ben and Johnny that he plans on doing just that.

Meanwhile, in his abandoned kingdom, the Sub-Mariner broods over his desire to have Sue Storm as his bride.[Continuity 24] When he orders the last of his followers to assist him in capturing her, they decline and abandon him as well. Deciding to deal with things himself, Namor disguises himself and travels to the surface world. At the Baxter Building, he incapacitates both the Thing and the Human Torch before revealing himself to Sue. Namor demands that Sue return with him into the sea and become his queen, but when she refuses to comply, he gasses her and takes her prisoner. When Reed returns from his shopping trip with an engagement ring, he is shocked to hear from Ben and Johnny that she had been kidnapped by the Sub-Mariner yet again.[Continuity 25] Suddenly becoming furious, Reed goes after Namor alone, fighting off Ben and Johnny when they try to calm him down.

Without Reed to guide them, both Ben and Johnny are unable to track down Namor. They reach out to the mystic known as Doctor Strange. Seeing Johnny's flaming message in the sky, Strange sends his ectoplasmic form to meet them at the Baxter Building. Doctor Strange agrees to help, and his form ventures out to find Namor's kingdom. Finding it, he confirms that Sue is safe before returning to tell Ben and Johnny her location. Meanwhile, Reed finds Namor's domain and attacks the Sub-Mariner. As Reed gains the upper hand, Namor's troops return to their king.[Continuity 26]

Back at the Baxter Building, Doctor Strange teleports Johnny and Ben to help Reed in battling the Atlantean soldiers. As Reed struggles with Namor, Ben holds off the soldiers while the Torch frees his sister. When the Atlanteans try to flood the chamber, the two siblings work together to stop the room from filling with water. Namor regroups with his soldiers and gets a powerful cannon, however when they fire on Ben and Reed, they discover the weapon apparently has no effect. It turns out that they were being protected by Sue's force field. She tells Namor that she does not love him and that she truly loves Reed. Observing from afar, Doctor Strange sees this as an opportune moment to step in and teleport the Fantastic Four aboard Reed's submarine. While Namor is disorientated, the quartet makes a hasty retreat. Despite Sue's claims that she loves only Reed, he is convinced that she only said so in order to protect him from Namor, leaving him in doubt about proposing to her.[Continuity 27]

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

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #28.

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

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #28.

The Thing is moving Alicia Masters' latest sculpture which this time represents himself, as Reed and Sue are reading the latest newspaper reports about the mysterious mutant heroes known as the X-Men.[Continuity 28] When telling the others about it, the Torch recalls how he recently fought alongside Iceman.[Continuity 29] 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 30] 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.

Appearing in "It Started on Yancy Street!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #29.

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Synopsis for "It Started on Yancy Street!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #29.

Fed up with the constant aggravation of the Yancy Street Gang, the Thing leads the FF down into Yancy Street, but the streetwise gang forces the FF to flee the scene. After yet another explosive package is sent to the Baxter Building, Thing convinces the FF to go once more to deal with the Yancys, once and for all.[Continuity 31]

However, this is all a ruse planned by the Red Ghost, who attacks the FF with his Super-Apes. During the fight, Red Ghost takes Johnny prisoner, forcing the rest of the team to surrender. Taking them aboard a spacecraft, the Red Ghost dumps the FF in an airless area of the moon to perish, in revenge for his last defeat at their hands.

Breaking free and protected by Sue's force field, the FF tunnel to the Watcher's citadel.[Continuity 32] They are greeted by the Watcher, who is contacting them from light years away to advise them they are allowed to stay in his home while he's away, so long as they do not tamper with any of the technology found there.[Continuity 33]

Disobeying the Watcher, they use a device to draw the Red Ghost back to the Moon, where they have a rematch. During the fight, the Red Ghost gets a hold of one of the Watcher's weapons. It creates a strange portal when he activates it, and he ironically becomes its victim when he is knocked into it by Sue.[Continuity 34] With their master defeated, the Super-Apes retreat to their ship.[Continuity 35] The Watcher returns. He is not upset by the FF's actions, but cannot permit them to stay in his home, so transports them back to Earth, where the Thing is glad to be home, even if they did materialize on Yancy Street.

Appearing in "The Dreaded Diablo!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #30.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Baron Hugo

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • The World's Rich and Powerful
    • Featherstone
  • Dracula (Mentioned)

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Items:

  • Diablo's Alchemy Potions
    • Unbreakable Solution
  • Daily Bugle

Synopsis for "The Dreaded Diablo!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #30.

While on vacation in Transylvania, the Fantastic Four get lost exploring the forests and come across an ancient castle, and they are told to stay away from it by Baron Hugo. However, that night the Thing answers a call to the castle and unwittingly frees the master alchemist Diablo.

When the FF arrive to see what happened to the Thing, they find that Diablo has almost succeeded in restoring Ben to his human form. When Reed tries to attack Ben for betraying them to Diablo, Ben defends the Alchemist, hoping that he can succeed where Reed had failed.

Diablo then begins selling his Alchemy potions the world over, and takes Transylvania under his control. Meanwhile, he tricks Ben into taking a potion that turns him into the Thing once more. The Thing then returns to the FF and leads them in trying to stop Diablo. When Diablo manages to capture his friends, the Thing smashes through the castle and frees his friends and traps Diablo back in the holding cell he was originally trapped in, before bringing the castle down with one powerful punch.

The Torch melts the castle down to slag, and the FF take their leave, lost once again in the forest.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Because of the Sliding Timescale an explanation needed to be made to explain how Nick Fury has remained youthful even though he was born in the 1910s and fought in World War II. Marvel Spotlight #31 explains that Fury has been kept vital thanks to injections of the Infinity Formula which has kept him young since the war.
  2. Nick Fury joined the OSS after the bombing of Hiroshima between August 6 and 9th of 1945, as revealed in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #38. He remained in foreign intelligence when the OSS was later replaced by the CIA.
  3. This story states that Reed Richards and Nick Fury met during World War II when Reed was a member of the OSS. This was depicted in Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #3. However per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 this story could not possibly happen. As the modern age "slides" forward to be in line with dates of publications, Reed cannot have fought in World War II. Reed's military service should be considered topical in relation to the era of publication per the Sliding Timescale. Since the publication of this story there has been one possible explanation. 4 #4 features a story where Reed recalls his grandfather John Richards who was a paratrooper who fought during World War II. This places a member of the Richards family as being active during the war. As such Reed and Nick's exchange can be interpreted by modern readers in two ways, either (a) Reed met Fury during his own time in the military without any reference to World War II or (b) that Fury was recounting an encounter with John Richards.
  4. This story implies that the real Adolf Hitler might not have been dead and casts question regarding the identity of Hate-Monger and if he is the real Hitler or not. This concept is historically accurate in that in real life during World War II, there is record of Hitler using at least one body double. This idea was first established in the Earth-616 universe in All Winners Comics #11 when the Destroyer attempted to assassinate Hitler to find his home full of impersonators. The real Hitler was slain by the original Human Torch in 1945 as depicted in Young Men #24. The "Hitler" seen here is actually a clone as revealed in Super-Villain Team-Up #17. That story states that these clones were made by the geneticist Arnim Zola. When the original Hitler died, his mind was transferred into a clone body, a process which has continued even after the death of the clone depicted here.
  5. This issue marks the first expansion of Sue's powers; however the nature of her powers early on in her career was expanded in Fantastic Four: First Family. That series states that Sue always had the ability to create invisible force fields and could turn other objects invisible. However, at that time, she had little to no control over them. Often, she was only able to use them out of reflex.
  6. The Mole Man states that Monster Island was destroyed following his previous encounter with the Fantastic Four back in Fantastic Four #1. However, the island actually endured and has been seen many times since. Chronologically it was next visited by the X-Men in X-Men First Class Vol 2 #2-3.
  7. Although it is implied that the Mole Man perished when his island sank at the end of this story, he resurfaces alive again in Fantastic Four #31.
  8. The Time Platform here is actually a duplicate of the one created by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #5. The original platform is still in Doom's castle, as seen in Avengers Annual #2. Fantastic Four Annual #11 explains that although this is referred to as "Doctor Doom's" time machine, it's actually a duplicate that Reed built.
  9. Per the Thing #1, the animosity the Yancy Street Gang shows towards the Thing stems from the fact that he previously used to be the leader of the gang. His departure from the group was seen as a betrayal.
  10. Upon Doom's apparent demise at the end of this issue, the force keeping the Terrible Trio in another dimension was severed and they were returned to Earth, as revealed in Strange Tales #122.
  11. Although Dr. Doom appears to perish once again by being lost in space, he survives thanks to an impromptu rescue by Rama-Tut in Fantastic Four Annual #2.
  12. The photo being taken of Reed, Ben and Johnny on the splash page in this story ends up on the cover of Life Magazine as seen in Marvels #2
  13. The aliens in this story are identified as the Elan in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #3
  14. This is the first time Ben mentions his Aunt Petunia, who raised him after his parents died. She does not make an appearance until many years later in Fantastic Four #238.
  15. The Avengers had been hunting down the Hulk since he quit the team in Avengers #2. The Hulk was seeking revenge against the Avengers following his battle with them in Avengers #3.
  16. In this story Banner is referred to as "Bob Banner". Per Incredible Hulk #1 it was established that Banner's first name was Bruce. Calling him Bob Banner in this issue was an error on the part of writer Stan Lee. When this mistake was pointed out in the letter pages of Fantastic Four #28, Stan declared that Banner's legal name was Robert Bruce Banner. While often things in letter pages were dismissed in continuity, this was one of those rare cases where it has become part of long-running continuity.
  17. The Hulk's transformations to and from his alter ego Bruce Banner became unstable since Avengers #3.
  18. At the time of this story, the Avengers had recently replaced the Hulk with Captain America after they recovered him from years of suspending animation in Avengers #4.
  19. The Thing and the Hulk previously clashed in Fantastic Four #12.
  20. This is the first time the Fantastic Four and the Avengers work together, but this is not the first time members of each team have interacted with each other: Mister Fantastic's earliest encounter with Tony Stark was depicted in Thor: First Thunder #3 prior to Stark becoming Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #39. Iron Man's first recorded contact with Reed was in Avengers: The Origin #3, and he later met the rest of the Fantastic Four in Avengers #3. In both instances, he was seeking assistance in capturing the Hulk. Likewise, Thor first met Reed in Thor: First Thunder #3, when Thor met with government officials who were nervous about his activities. He later was tricked into battling the Fantastic Four in Thor: First Thunder #5. Giant-Man first met the Fantastic Four in his previous identity of Ant-Man in Fantastic Four #16. This is the first recorded time that both the Wasp and Captain America have met the Fantastic Four. Rick Jones met the Fantastic Four during their previous clash with the Hulk in Fantastic Four #12.
  21. Thor states that Rick was training to be Captain America's partner after the death of his previous one. He is referring to the apparent death of Cap's wartime sidekick Bucky, who seemingly died trying to stop a drone plane launched by Baron Zemo circa 1945, as depicted in Avengers #4. However as per Captain America Vol 5 #8, Bucky had survived and had been recovered by the Russians, and had secretly been working as the operative known as the Winter Soldier for decades.
  22. Rick helps the Hulk escape in this story because prior to joining the Avengers in Avengers #1, Rick used to act at the Hulk's some-what sidekick, since Banner was transformed by the Gamma Bomb in Incredible Hulk #1.
  23. Banner clearly did not drown here, he reappears alive and well in Avengers #5.
  24. The people of Atlantis abandoned Namor after he saved the life of the Invisible Girl in Fantastic Four Annual #1.
  25. In this story, Reed Richards purchases a ring for Sue. However, in Fantastic Four: First Family #6 Reed had already gotten a ring for Sue. The events of Fantastic Four: First Family #6 took place between Fantastic Four #2 and #3. Since that story was published decades after the events of Fantastic Four #27, it could be considered a continuity error. However, in the context of that story, Reed never actually proposes to Sue -- just gives her the ring. One could presume that it was a promise ring or pre-engagement ring. Culturally a pre-engagement ring signifies a couple entering into a monogamous relationship with the intent of eventually getting engaged and later married. Accepting that, it can then be assumed that the ring purchased by Reed here was an actual engagement ring.
  26. The soldiers fighting alongside Namor here were some loyal followers who did not abandon him for pursuing a romance with Sue Storm in Fantastic Four Annual #1.
  27. While Reed lost his nerve to propose to Sue here, he eventually mustered up the courage to do so in Fantastic Four #35. What he doesn't know is, Sue made up her mind about marrying him the last time Namor kidnapped her. This fact is not revealed until Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1.
  28. Sue Storm's concern over the X-Men being mutants covers the overall underlying theme of prejudice that has been synonymous with the X-Men title for decades. Actual prejudice towards mutants was always implied in early issues of the X-Men but were not fully explored until later on in X-Men #8.
  29. The Human Torch mentions his team-up with Iceman in Strange Tales #120, when they battled Captain Barracuda.
  30. 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.
  31. The Yancy Street Gang torment the Thing due to the fact that he used to be leader of their gang, as seen in Thing #1. When he left the group it was seen as a betrayal.
  32. The Watcher's citadel exists on the Moon's Blue Area. Avengers #133-134 reveals that the Blue Area of the Moon was constructed 10 million years ago by the alien race known as the Kree when they were in competition with the Cotati to construct a city that could please the Skrulls, who were looking to ally themselves with whomever won the contest. When the Cotati won, the Kree slew both the Cotati and the Skrulls on the moon, launching the opening salvo of the centuries-long Kree-Skrull War. The Blue Area was abandoned not long thereafter.
  33. The Watcher is forbidden to interfere in the actions of others due to a solemn vow of non-interference. This was due to the fact that the last time the Watchers got involved in the lives of other races it led to the Prosilican race annihilating itself, as seen in Tales of Suspense #53 and expanded upon in Original Sin #0. At this time the Watcher is splitting his time between his citadel on the Moon and the Watcher's homeworld as depicted in Tales of Suspense #54-57.
  34. According to Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9 the portal the Red Ghost is tricked into crossing actually teleported him back to Russia where he was briefly incarcerated. This goes to explain how he appeared later in Avengers #12.
  35. The Super-Apes remain on the moon here. The Red Ghost later returns to them to try and pilfer technology from the Watcher again. He gets caught in the Chronospike bringing them years into the future where he encountered future versions of himself, his Super-Apes, as well as the Future Foundation before being returned to his proper time as seen in FF Vol 2 #13.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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