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Quote1 We of the Fantastic Four did not choose to be "super-heroes". We are just ordinary people who fate selected to be more than human. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we did not lose our human foibles when we gained our powers. Quote2
--Susan Richards

Appearing in "The Coming of... Sub-Mariner!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #4.

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Synopsis for "The Coming of... Sub-Mariner!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #4.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 0001 Title

Chapter 1:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 1 Title

The Human Torch has quit the team. Reed, Sue, and Ben use the Fantasti-Car to search the city for him. Johnny, though, has gone to Swanson's Garage to work on cars. Ben, on a hunch, goes to the garage.

Chapter 2:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 2 Title

Unable to use his flame because of the gasoline around him, Johnny faces an angry Ben without his power. Ben backs him into a corner, but, before the Thing can hit Johnny, he changes back to his old, human form. Johnny uses the distraction to leave the garage, flame on, and fly away. Ben immediately changes back to the Thing.

Johnny goes to the Bowery to find accommodations. Once in his bunk, he reads a 1940s comic about the Sub-Mariner. Another guest of the establishment notices what he's reading and says, "We got a stumble-bum right here who's as strong as that joker was supposed to be!" He hands the bearded "stumble-bum" a phone book and tells him to tear it in half. The man refuses. The others attack him but get swatted away. The man complains that he can't remember anything: "Why have I spent the long years here, in a fog, with my mind a blank??" Johnny says, "Flame on!" ignites one finger, and burns off the man's beard. He looks just like the Sub-Mariner, pointy ears and all.

Chapter 3:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 3 Title
Johnny carries the man out to sea and drops him into the water. Back in his native element, the Sub-Mariner remembers who he is.[Continuity 1] He goes to his home, Atlantis.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 page 13 Atlantis
It lies in radioactive ruins, a casualty of atomic testing. The Sub-Mariner returns to New York and tells Johnny that he will retaliate by destroying the human race.[Continuity 2]

Chapter 4:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 4 Title
The rest of the FF, back at the Baxter Building, see Johnny's flare rise from the waterfront. They take the Fantasti-Car to meet him and learn about the Sub-Mariner's revival.
Giganto (Atlantean Beast) (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 0001

the original Giganto

Out at sea, the Sub-Mariner finds Giganto, "the largest living thing in all the world," and the Horn of Proteus that can rouse him. He leads the creature towards New York, which begins an evacuation. The army bombards Giganto without effect. The Thing comes up with a daring plan: strap a nuclear bomb to his back, get inside the monster, and leave it there to destroy it. While Giganto takes a nap, Ben carries the bomb down its gullet.

Chapter 5:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 Chapter 5 Title

With seconds to spare, Ben makes it out of the monster's maw.[Continuity 3] The Sub-Mariner threatens to use the horn to summon more creatures. An invisible Sue grabs the horn and runs away with it.[Continuity 4] The Sub-Mariner tackles her. She becomes visible. "If you will be my bride," says the Sub-Mariner, "I might show mercy to the rest of your pitiful race!" She responds, "How can I make such a choice?" He threatens again to use the horn. Sue says, "I—I'll do anything—I'll become your bride!" Johnny, though, forms a tornado that pulls the Sub-Mariner into the air and drops him in the ocean. The horn falls to the bottom. The Sub-Mariner swears, "I'll be back!"[Continuity 5]

Appearing in "Let There Be... Life!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four Annual #6.

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  • Flight Harnesses (First appearance)
  • Fantastic Four repellor units
  • Annihilus's raiding ship
  • Annihilus's rail plane
  • Annihilus's Flying Gun-Ship

Synopsis for "Let There Be... Life!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four Annual #6.

With Sue about to give birth at any moment, her life is at risk unless Reed can secure Element X, an element only found from a single source in the Negative Zone, that will save her and the baby's life from the risk posed by the very cosmic rays in Sue's body.

Traveling into the Negative Zone, Reed, Ben, and Johnny are captured by Annihilus, whose Cosmic Control Rod has the element that Reed needs; however Annihilus, obsessed with the immortality the rod provides refuses to part with it. Stealing the rod, Reed, Johnny and Ben are chased all over the Negative Zone dodging the various threats and opponents set against them by Annihilus.

Trapped on a floating rock drifting towards the barrier between positive and negative matter (and a very explosive death), Reed is forced to give up the Rod to Annihilus, but not without siphoning out some of the Element X needed to save Sue and the baby's life. Escaping Annihilus and returning to the positive matter universe, Reed and the others rush to the hospital with the element. Some time later, Sue gives birth to a healthy baby boy with no further complications.

Appearing in "Childhood's End"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #245.

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  • Marvel-1 (Only in flashback) (Unnamed)

Synopsis for "Childhood's End"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #245.

Susan Richards is participating in an interview on the television program "Woman to Woman" hosted by Barbara Walker. Right off the top, Walker's begins to irk Susan by referring to her by her maiden name. When Sue correct Walker, the newswoman suggests that the belief that Sue is accepting the "subservient role" to her husband Reed. Sue corrects her by saying that she loves her husband and that it was her choice to take his last name when they got married. When Barbara questions her use of the codename the "Invisible Girl" as counter to a "liberated woman" of today would use, Sue again explains that she doesn't make herself a prisoner of labels. Barbara continues her interview showing an early photo of the Fantastic Four prior to their rocket flight, and footage of it's take off an internal cameras during the cosmic ray storm that gave them their powers. After going over the powers of the other members of the Fantastic Four, Barbara asks if Sue feel's her own powers are overshadowed by the others. Sue shows the contrary opinion by using her invisibility powers to create a column that lifts Barbara high above the stage. Sue then goes on to explain that with her powers she was able to rescue the Fantastic Four during their first battle with Doctor Doom, as well as knock out the Hulk. Barbara continues to dig deeper, bringing up Sue's past love affair with the Sub-Mariner. Sue brushes it off as youthful indiscretion and that after she made up her mind about Reed and they were married, she has maintained a friendly relationship with Namor. Sue then goes on to explain that the Fantastic Four are more than just a team of super-heroes, that they are a family and she has a role with them as wife and mother. Meanwhile, in the control room of the studio, the crew notices that the Fantasti-Flare has been fired into the sky, but none of them are willing to interrupt Barbara's interview due to her tyrannical nature on the set.

Soon after the interview is ended and Barbara expresses her regrets that Sue couldn't be "completely open" with them. Sue resigns to the fact that she could not convince Walker of anything and takes a cab back to the Baxter Building. When she gets into the main lobby, she is shocked to find that her selenoid belt buckle is not calling the elevator to the main floor. Suspecting trouble, Sue uses her powers to lift herself up to the top floors of the Baxter Building. Fearing that they have been vulnerable while Reed has been busy reconstructing the top floors of the Baxter Building, Sue frantically searches for her teammates. She comes across the unconscious body of Reed. She is relieved that he is still alive but she believes that his mind has somehow been shut down. Further down the hall she finds the Thing in the same condition. Turning invisible, Sue then searches their headquarters further. In on the of the rooms, she finds Johnny being restrained by a strange man with long hair and a beard wearing nothing but rags. The man rants about finding answers and tries to probe Johnny's mind. Not finding what he is looking for, the man also shuts down Johnny's mind and tosses him aside. Raging like a madman, the mysterious intruder turns and is actually able to see Sue even though she is invisible.

Dropping her invisibility, Sue tries to flee and when her attacker almost catches her, she tosses her overcoat on him. The man simply reforms it into an outfit for him to wear. When Sue tries to hold him back with an invisible barrier, he causes her great mental pain, simply by touching it. When the man gets too close, Sue bombards him with a flurry of invisible spheres and flees further into the Baxter Building. Entering Ben's quarters, she sees that the doors were blown open and inside Franklin's nanny robot HUBERT had been destroyed, leaving her to wonder what happened to her son. When the man sneaks up on her and places a hand on Sue's shoulder, the Invisible Girl turns his hand invisible. The ruse works, and the man panics as Sue flees once more. Back at the Woman to Woman studio, the tech crew alerts Barbara Walker that there is a news story about a battle going on at the Baxter Building. Seeing this as a golden opportunity for her career, Barbara orders the crew to get a mobile van rolling so they can try to capture footage for their Sue Richards interview. However when they arrive they find that the police have already cordoned the area off and are refusing to let anyone pass.

Suddenly there is an explosion from within the Baxter Building, and Sue is sent flying out -- protected by an invisible bubble. She safely lands by creating a cushion on the street below. Barbara manages to break past the police cordon and begins asking questions. Sue tells Barbara that it's too dangerous and that she and everyone else needs to get away. Before she can say anymore, the strange attacker exits the Baxter Building and floats down to the street below. He is confused by the appearance of both woman and demands answers. When the mystery man grabs her, Sue looks into his eyes for the first time and finally realizes who he is: her son Franklin. When Sue' voices this, the man recoils and suddenly the memories begin flooding back to him. The man-child recalls how his powers flared up while trying to solve a Rubix Cube, transforming him into the form he now wears and confused as to his own identity. Suddenly, Reed, Ben and Johnny -- now back to normal -- exit the Baxter Building to investigate what is going on.

Reed is shocked by this news and suggests that they get Franklin inside so he can run some tests. Just then Alicia arrives on the scene and is reunited with Ben. Reed tells Franklin that he must return himself to his proper age, otherwise his powers may burn out his body. Franklin agrees, but before he does he goes to Ben. Explaining how his father's last attempt to turn Ben back to normal caused a permanent regression to his previous dinosaur-skin like form, Franklin uses his powers to try and restore Ben. However instead of changing him back to his human form, Ben is returned to his trademark rocky exterior and Franklin is restored to his proper age. Reed explains to Ben that Franklin was unable to restore Ben to normal, so the boy undid the permanent nature of Reed's last transformation. Satisfied with this, Ben decides to take Alicia out. When he is out of ear shot, Reed explains to Sue that the real reason was more likely the fact that Ben has had fears that Alicia only loves him for being the Thing and that Franklin reverted him back to his previous rocky form so as not to cause mental trauma by restoring Ben back to human form when he is not mentally capable of accepting the fact that Alicia loves him for who he is, not what he looks like.

Solicit Synopsis

Explore exciting moments in the Marvel’s First Family history and celebrate Marvel’s 80th Anniversary with the return of MARVEL TALES! This anthology series shines a spotlight on fan-favorite characters, features timeless stories, and highlights some of Marvel’s most impressive talent from the past eight decades. Reprinting the birth of Franklin Richards in Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6, the first appearance of Namor the Sub-Mariner in Fantastic Four (1961) #4 and a special Invisible Woman story in Fantastic Four #245.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Sub-Mariner #1 specifies that Namor was stricken with amnesia by Paul Destine using the Helmet of Power. Saga of the Sub-Mariner #6 specifies that this happened circa 1959.
  2. Also in Sub-Mariner #1, it states that the ruins that Namor came upon in this issue were really part of an Atlantean outpost decimated by atomic testing. The true Atlantis resided near Antarctica until it was decimated by Destiny. As per Saga of the Sub-Mariner #7 the people of Atlantis had fled to the Atlantic to set up a new kingdom under the rule of Byrrah.
  3. Giganto was not the only of its kind, as multiple other similar creatures have since been seen. Fantastic Four Vol 5 #3 shows an entire thriving race. It has been explained that the Gigantos were created by the Deviants as seen in Marvel Universe #7.
  4. The Horn of Proteus was recovered by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #3
  5. Following their encounter with Namor, Reed and Sue were pulled forward in time to the future of Earth-60166 where they met numerous versions of their future selves who were gathered by their Earth-60166 counterparts to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary as seen in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1. The Sue Storm of this era identifies herself by expressing her doubts on marrying Reed after meeting Namor. When Reed and Sue are returned to the exact moment that they were taken from, they retained no memory of the festivities.

See Also

Footnotes



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