Appearing in "The Fantastic Four"
- Fantastic Four (First Appearance and Origin for Entire Team)
- Mole Man (First appearance) (Origin revealed)
- Overseer (Behind the scenes)
- Citizens of Central City
- Taxi driver (First appearance)
- National Guard
- French Soldiers
Races and Species:
- Fantasti-Flare (First appearance)
- Marvel-1 (First appearance) (Unnamed) (Destroyed)
- Fantastic Four's private jet
Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four"
A shadowy figure fires a flare out of a window. The flare forms the words "The Fantastic Four!"[Continuity 1]
Susan Storm is having tea with a friend. When she sees the flare, she turns invisible, gets into a cab,[Continuity 2] and offers the surprised driver a banknote when she reaches her destination.
Ben Grimm is trying to find a coat that fits him. A clerk in the haberdashery sees the flare. Grimm bursts out of the too-small door, rips a manhole out of the street, follows the sewers, and bursts out when he thinks he has reached his destination. He is struck by a taxi which is wrecked.
Johnny Storm is working on his latest hot rod in a service station. The mechanic sees the flare, which turns into the number 4. Johnny bursts into flame and flies away, destroying his car. The authorities treat him as an enemy attack, so he reluctantly melts the jets that come after him. A nuclear heat-seeking missile locks onto him, and, just as Johnny's flame starts to fade, an impossibly long pair of arms grab the missile and throw it out to sea.
Johnny's savior is the same man who fired the flare. He greets Susan, Ben, and Johnny with the words, "There is a task that awaits us ... a fearful task!" But how did these four people become so fantastic?
To beat the Communists into space, scientist Reed Richards, sister and brother Sue and Johnny Storm, and pilot Ben Grimm sneak off into space in a rocket.[Continuity 3] In space, the four are bombarded by cosmic rays.[Continuity 4] The auto-pilot lands the ship back on Earth,[Continuity 5] where they find themselves physically transformed and possessing remarkable new abilities. Sue can turn invisible. Ben has transformed into an orange, muscular "thing" with super-strength.[Continuity 6] Reed's body became highly malleable, allowing him to stretch into any shape. Johnny's body bursts into flame, and he can fly. They decide to use their abilities to become the super-team known as the Fantastic Four. They give themselves the individual names Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, and the Thing.[Continuity 7][Continuity 8]
(Chapter 2) The Fantastic Four Meet the Mole Man!
Atomic plants in the Soviet Union, Australia, and South America have been mysteriously attacked by cave-ins. Another attack occurs in Africa, where a huge monster burrows out of the ground but is recalled by a human figure. The Fantastic Four travel aboard their private jet to Monster Isle, which Reed has deduced is the same distance from each attack. There, they are attacked by a giant three-headed monster. Reed stops the monster, but a cave-in separates Reed and Johnny from Ben and Sue. Beneath the island Reed and Johnny land in the Valley of Diamonds, which temporarily blinds them. The Mole Man appears, revealing he is responsible for the attacks.
(Chapter 3) The Mole Man's Secret!
The Mole Man explains his origin. Having been ridiculed by humanity, he went off alone in search of the legendary land at the center of the earth. Eventually, he washed ashore on Monster Isle. Making his way through a cavern, he was caught in an avalanche and rendered almost blind.[Continuity 9] However, due to his other heightened senses taking over, he mastered the subterranean creatures[Continuity 10] and built himself an underground empire.
Meanwhile, on the surface, Ben wrestles a rock monster. Ben and Sue find their teammates listening to the Mole Man's plan to invade the surface world. He sends his monster army against the Fantastic Four. Whilst Johnny distracts the biggest one, the team flees through a tunnel, which Johnny seals shut behind them. After the Fantastic Four escape in their jet, Mole Man destroys the island so the surface world cannot trouble him again.[Continuity 11]
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 12]
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 13] 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 14] 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 15] 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 16][Continuity 17][Continuity 18][Continuity 19]
Appearing in "The Menace of the Miracle Man"
- Fantastic Four
- United States Army
- Lt. General Fredricks (First appearance) (Unnamed)
- Unnamed police commissioner
- Joe (First appearance)
- Several New Yorkers
Races and Species:
- Fantasti-Car (First appearance)
- Fantasti-Copter (First appearance)
- Pogo Plane MK I (First appearance) (Seen in hangar)
- Intercontinental Passenger Missile (First appearance) (Seen in hangar)
- an atomic tank
Synopsis for "The Menace of the Miracle Man"
The Miracle Man is performing at a theater. He points out the Fantastic Four and mocks them. He claims his powers are far greater than theirs and demonstrates by growing into a giant, turning into a cloud, and controlling thunder and lightning. He even upstages the Thing in a test of strength. While they head home in the Fantasti-Car, Reed wonders whether they could defeat the Miracle Man if he were a criminal. Meanwhile, the Miracle Man plots to bring a monster statue at the Bijou movie theater[Continuity 20] next door to life and use it to terrorize the public.
At the team's new headquarters, the Baxter Building,[Continuity 21] Johnny is watching live coverage of the premiere of "The Monsters from Mars" at the Bijou on television. Sue Storm comes in with new costumes for the entire team, including a helmet for the Thing.
Johnny spots the Miracle Man, who gestures and brings the monster to life. It attacks the crowd and then vanishes. The Fantastic Four call the commissioner, who has received a note from the Miracle Man declaring his intention to conquer the world. The team is authorized to stop the Miracle Man.[Continuity 22][Continuity 23]
Mister Fantastic finds the Miracle Man and his monster robbing a jewelry store, but the Miracle Man hits him with a brick. The Human Torch finds them stealing the army's new atomic tank and confronts them.
The Invisible Girl and Thing see the fight and join in. The Thing removes his helmet and rips off his costume before joining the fight.[Continuity: 1] The Human Torch burns the monster down;[Continuity 24] it was made of wood and plastic. The Thing and the Human Torch are defeated, and the Miracle Man escapes in a truck with the tank in tow, although the Invisible Girl hides aboard unseen.
Back at their headquarters, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four wait for Sue's signal. Johnny pokes fun at Ben, who loses his temper. A fight breaks out between the two, and Johnny storms off. Meanwhile, the Miracle Man is hiding the atomic tank at a junkyard, when he discovers Sue and uses his powers to put her under his command. He has Sue signal the rest of the team with the Fantasti-Flare. Ben and Reed take off in the Fantasti-Copter. Johnny sees the signal from a corner soda fountain and flies toward it.
At the junkyard, the Miracle Man fights Ben and Reed, and escapes with Sue and the tank again. Johnny appears, and the three follow the Miracle Man in an antique racing car. Johnny flies ahead and uses his flames to create a flash that temporarily blinds the Miracle Man, who loses his powers. In fact, he never had powers at all; he was merely a clever hypnotist. Reed brings Sue out of her trance, and the Miracle Man is apprehended.
The Thing is annoyed when he perceives that Johnny is getting all the credit for stopping the Miracle Man. Johnny, having had enough of the Thing, quits the team and flies away. Reed wonders what would happen if he were to become their enemy.
Appearing in "The Coming of... Sub-Mariner!"
- Namor the Sub-Mariner (First Silver Age appearance) (See chronology)
- Giganto (First appearance) (Death)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Coming of... Sub-Mariner!"
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.
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.
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 25] He goes to his home, 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 26]
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.
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.
With seconds to spare, Ben makes it out of the monster's maw.[Continuity 27] The Sub-Mariner threatens to use the horn to summon more creatures. An invisible Sue grabs the horn and runs away with it.[Continuity 28] 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 29]
Appearing in "Prisoners of Doctor Doom!"
- The Fantastic Four
- Doctor Doom (First appearance) (See chronology)
- Doom's pet tiger
- Doom's pet vulture
- Doombot (First appearance)
- Blackbeard (Edward Teach) (Mentioned)
- Unnamed New Yorkers
- Errol Flynn (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Several pirates
- Mr. Spliny (First appearance)
- Hulk (Photo)
Races and Species:
- Doctor Doom's Armor (First appearance)
- Doctor Doom's Time Platform (First appearance)
- Stones of Merlin (First appearance)
- Doctor Doom's Helicopter (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Prisoners of Doctor Doom!"
Johnny, while reading an issue of The Incredible Hulk, compares Ben to the monster.[Continuity 30] Ben grabs the comic, but Johnny sets it afire. Reed and Sue stop them before they come to blows. The lights go out, despite their emergency generator. Doctor Doom, in a helicopter, drops a net over the Baxter Building. When Doom calls out to them, Reed recognizes the voice: Victor von Doom, an old college classmate. After an experiment at university, during which Doom tried to communicate with the dead but instead caused an explosion, he was expelled.[Continuity 31] Doom demands Sue as a hostage, and she agrees, going to the roof.
Doom takes the Invisible Girl aboard his ship, binding and gagging her. He then demands the rest of the FF must enter his ship and pledge not to attack him. The Thing agrees to this by sending off a flare. Doom lowers a cage over Reed, Ben, and Johnny and takes them to his castle. Once there, he tells them that he has invented a time machine and that they must retrieve Blackbeard's treasure chest from the past. With Sue as Doom's hostage, they must agree. Doom presses a button, activating the time platform they were unwittingly standing on. They appear in a port, where they come across two brigands arguing over a stolen bundle of clothes. Ben scares them off. With the clothes, they disguise themselves, including a heavy black beard for Ben. Looking for someone in Blackbeard's crew,[Continuity 32] they go to a tavern. Two pirates tell the barmaid to serve the strangers drugged grog.[Continuity 33]
Reed, Ben, and Johnny wake up in the hold of a pirate ship. Ben bursts through the deck and subdues the entire crew with the help of Johnny and Reed. When another ship appears, Ben takes command and orders his crew to attack![Continuity 34]
Johnny flames on, harasses the other ship, and raises a cloud of steam. Reed stretches to the other ship like a gangplank, over which their crew passes. A quick fight ensues. While Reed and Johnny haul a treasure chest out of the hold, the crew hails Ben as Blackbeard. Reed empties the chest, reminding Johnny that they only promised to bring back Blackbeard's chest, not the treasure itself, and he replaces the treasure with chains.[Continuity 35] On deck, they realize that Ben is the Blackbeard of legend. He refuses to return with them, ordering the crew to douse Johnny, wrap Reed in a sail, and set them adrift in a lifeboat. Before they can launch the boat, though, a huge waterspout strikes the ship and destroys it. Reed and Johnny make it to shore, where they find Ben and the chest.
The time platform appears above them and returns them to the present. Doom says that the treasure includes gems enchanted by Merlin and that they will make him "invincible." He opens the chest and discovers that he's been cheated, which gives Ben the opportunity to attack. A single punch shatters the armor—and the machinery inside. It's a robot! The real Doom, in another part of the castle, activates a screen and tells them he will draw the air from their chamber. Sue, still his hostage, sees her chance. She turns invisible and short-circuits his control panel, which explodes. Doom is caught in the blast. She runs to the chamber and opens the door. Rather than confront Doom, who Reed assumes has traps everywhere, they decide to escape. Reed stretches through a window across the moat, Ben pushes that section of wall open while Reed pulls, and Johnny uses "atomic heat" to make a path across the crocodile-infested moat. Johnny then sets fire to the castle, and Doom escapes with his Rocket-Powered Flying Harness. Before he can catch Doom, Johnny's flame runs out.[Continuity 36]
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 37] 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 38] 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 39] 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 40]
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 41] 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.
- Prologue and epilogue by Stan Lee.
- Cover art taken from Fantastic Four # 143.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
- Fantastic Four #4
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