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Appearing in "The Fantastic Four"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #1.

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Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #1.

Chapter 1

Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 0001 Title

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!

Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 Chapter 2 Title
Monster Isle from Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 001

Monster Isle

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!

Fantastic Four Vol 1 1 Chapter 3 Title

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!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #2.

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Other Characters:

  • Central City citizens
    • Oil-rig workers
    • Jewelry store employees
    • Power Plant Worker

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

  • Priceless marble statue (Melted)
  • Skrullian concealed electronic detonator
  • Skrullian anti-gravity gear and low velocity thermal bomb
  • Johnny's rifle
  • Mounted, stuffed bear head
  • Fantasti-Flare
  • Daily Bugle (First appearance)
  • The Daily Globe (First appearance)
  • Skrullian weapons
  • Skrullian medal, "Highest Award of Bravery"

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #2.

Chapter One:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 Title

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]

Part 2:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 Chapter 2 Title
Jonathan Storm (Earth-616) and Skrull Cows (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 0001

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.

(Part 3):

Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 Chapter 3 Title
Skrull-Ship (Water Tower) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 0002

The water-tower ship

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.

(Part 4):

Fantastic Four Vol 1 2 Chapter 4 Title

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"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #3.

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Synopsis for "The Menace of the Miracle Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #3.

Chapter 1

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0001 Title

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.

Chapter II:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 2 Title
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.
Baxter Building from Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0001

Click to Enlarge

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.

Chapter III:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 3 Title

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.[2] The Human Torch burns the monster down;[3] 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.

Chapter IV:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 4 Title

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.

Chapter V:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 Chapter 5 Title
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.
Fantastic Four (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 0002

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!"

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 24] 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 25]

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 26] The Sub-Mariner threatens to use the horn to summon more creatures. An invisible Sue grabs the horn and runs away with it.[Continuity 27] 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 28]

Appearing in "Prisoners of Doctor Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #5.

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Locations:

Items:

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Synopsis for "Prisoners of Doctor Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #5.

Part 1:

Victor von Doom (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 5 0001

Johnny, while reading an issue of The Incredible Hulk, compares Ben to the monster.[Continuity 29] 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 30] Doom demands Sue as a hostage, and she agrees, going to the roof.

Part 2

Fantastic Four Vol 1 5 Part 2 Title

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 31] they go to a tavern. Two pirates tell the barmaid to serve the strangers drugged grog.[Continuity 32]

Part 3

Fantastic Four Vol 1 5 Part 3 Title

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 33]

Part 4

Fantastic Four Vol 1 5 Part 4 Title
Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 4 0001
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 34] 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.

Part 5

Fantastic Four Vol 1 5 Part 5 Title

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 35]

Appearing in "Captives of the Deadly Duo!"

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

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Antagonists:

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Locations:

Items:

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Synopsis for "Captives of the Deadly Duo!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #6.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 6 Part 1 Title

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 36] 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 37] 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 38]. Doom manages to convince Namor that they should work together to destroy the Fantastic Four and take over the world.

Part 2:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 6 Part 2 Title
Victor von Doom (Earth-616) and Namor McKenzie (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 6 0001

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[4]. 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.

Part 3:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 6 Part 3 Title

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 39]

Part 4:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 6 Part 4 Title

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.

Part 5:

Fantastic Four Vol 1 6 Part 5 Title

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 40] 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.

Notes

Continuity

  1. This issue is considered the start of the Marvel Universe. It was first coined as Earth-616 in Daredevils #7, however as Marvel began incorporating super-hero stories from their predecessors Timely and Atlas Comics, the first appearance of Earth-616 has been retconned back to Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 which feature the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner.
  2. The cab driver that drives Sue early on in this story is seen again in Fantastic Four #160.
  3. Prior to their rocket flight, 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. When Reed and Sue are returned to the exact moment that they were taken from, they retained no memory of the festivities.
  4. 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. Thus all such references should be considered topical references. 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 Richards' space flight, updating concepts so that they were not considered dated more modern readers. Such as: Fantastic Four #2 states that Reed was attempting to reach Mars. Other stories since then have generalized where his destination was supposed to be. Later in 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. 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. Fantastic Four #543 stated that Richards was testing faster-than-light space travel.
  5. There are conflicting accounts as to where the Fantastic Four's ship crashed. First it is stated that the crash site of Reeds' Rocket is identified as North of Ithaca, New York in Fantastic Four #245 and Thing #10. Fantastic Four #296 states that the ship crashed in Stockton, New York. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #13 depicts the Fantastic Four crash landing on an island out on an unspecified ocean, while Fantastic Four Vol 3 #60 states that they crashed outside of Central City, California.
  6. The Thing is depicted here with dinosaur-like skin, he maintains this appearance until he eventually he developed his trademark rocky appearance by Fantastic Four #10. Marvel Two-In-One #50 went on to explain that the Thing's form continued to mutate after his initial transformation.
  7. What caused the Fantastic Four to mutate and gain their powers has also been expanded upon over time. Fantastic Four #1 simply states that it was cosmic rays that caused the mutations. Other interpretations are: Fantastic Four #197 goes on to state that it was not just cosmic rays that caused the Fantastic Four to get their powers. It states that sunspot activity caused flaring through the Van Allen Belts causing an increase in neuron activity. The combination of this and the cosmic rays caused the mutations. Fantastic Four #529-532 posits that the cause of the cosmic ray storm was actually a message being transmitted by a creature called the Entity who was seeking out those who seek universal truths as he did. This same storyline also shows Reed Richards going back to the dawn of the universe and his views of himself and his teammates were ingrained on the original cosmic rays that would eventually imprint the Fantastic Four's unique abilities.
  8. Events surrounding this issue have also been expanded outside of retelling how the Fantastic Four got their powers. Fantastic Four: First Family #1 tells what happened to the Fantastic Four from the moment they crash landed and were taken into government custody to Reed Richards beginning to set up the Fantastic Four prior to their battle with the Mole Man. The rest of the series happens between Fantastic Four #2 and 3
  9. The Mole Man's origins were expended in Daredevil Vol 3 #10 and Marvel Universe #4-7.
  10. The monsters of Monster Isle were revealed as having been created by the Deviants as per Marvel Universe #7.
  11. Although Monster Island appears to be destroyed in this story, it actually endured the blast as it was later visited by the X-Men on three occasions thereafter in X-Men First Class Vol 2 #2-3 and X-Men First Class Special #1, and X-Men: The Hidden Years #22. Marvel Universe #7 specifies that the monsters that live here were also created by the Deviants centuries earlier.
  12. 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.
  13. This is the first issue where the Human Torch uses his catchphrase "Flame on!"
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. The Skrull cows return as major players during the Kree-Skrull War depicted in Avengers #89-97.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. The depiction of the Bijou Theater in this story should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The Bijou was demolished in 1982
  21. The setting of this story is never explicitly given, but the location of the Baxter Building is later given as New York City. Some facts about the Baxter Building: (1) Prior to the Fantastic Four living here, it was briefly the headquarters to the All-Winners Squad in the 1950s as revealed in All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1. The top floors of the building had recently been reconstructed prior to the FF's residency there following the events of Marvel: The Lost Generation #11. (2) The building was suggested to the Fantastic Four by their military liaison in Fantastic Four: First Family #3 (3) The headquarters was co-designed by Reed and his colleague and former teacher Noah Baxter, as revealed in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #38. (4) Per Fantastic Four #244, Reed purchased the top five floors outright, although he was forced to sell them later when the group hit financial problems in Fantastic Four #9.
  22. As revealed in in Fantastic Four: First Family #3 their uniforms were based on the space suits the team wore into space.
  23. This story provides a schematic of the FF's headquarters in the Baxter Building for the first time. This version shows the Fantastic Four habituating at least three floors. The schematics are expanded upon in Fantastic Four Annual #1.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. The Horn of Proteus was recovered by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #3
  28. 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.
  29. Johnny Storm is seen reading a copy of Incredible Hulk #1. The Hulk made his first guest appearance in Fantastic Four #12.
  30. First appearance of Doctor Doom, his origins were expanded upon in Fantastic Four Annual #2 and Books of Doom #1-6. It was revealed in Astonishing Tales #8 that Victor was attempting to contact the netherworld in order to search for the lost soul of his mother Cynthia.
  31. The crew that Ben commanded as Blackbeard had previously served Red Lucy Keogh, a prior incarnation of the Scarlet Witch as shown in Marvel Comics Presents #60-63.
  32. In our history, Blackbeard was a documented person (real name Edward Teach) rather than a legend. He practiced piracy for 27 months, beginning in 1716. If Teach existed in the Earth-616 universe is unspecified.
  33. Thing's time as Blackbeard was interrupted by a time traveling Doctor Doom and Iron Man in Iron Man Vol 2 #11.
  34. Doom is seeking the Stones of Merlin in this story, while they are lost at sea in this issue they were eventually resurfaced in Dazzler #3-4.
  35. The Fantastic Four's battle with Doctor Doom upon their return to the present was revisited and expanded upon in Hulk and Thing: Hard Knocks #1-2.
  36. This issue features the first mention of the Yancy Street Gang, however the gang does not make a physical appearance until Fantastic Four #15. While it is established that they are a gang that originates from the Thing's old neighbourhood, it is later revealed in the Thing #1 that a young Ben Grimm, used to be leader of the gang before his life turned around. It was his departure from the group that led to their animosity toward him.
  37. The Fantastic Four's costumes are noted as being made to withstand the extreme conditions of space, requiring only the addition of a space helmet. They are also said to be made from Unstable Molecules, which are mentioned for the first time in this issue.
  38. Doom mentions the destruction of "Atlantis" by atomic testing, which was first depicted in Fantastic Four #4. However Sub-Mariner #1 clarifies that this was merely an Atlantean outpost.
  39. Kristoff Vernard revisits Doom's plot from this issue, with considerably more success. He succeeds in launching the Baxter Building into the sun in Fantastic Four #278, although the team survived.
  40. Namor is depicted as having the ability to discharge electricity like an electric eel. The ability to mimic the abilities of other sea life are mostly phased out by his appearance in Fantastic Four #14.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. The Fantastic Four's classic blue costumes debuted this issue. The Thing discarded his costume (and helmet) mid-issue. Parts of this costume were worn by Ben at different occasions later in his career: First in Fantastic Four #239, Ben was forced to wear his costume so as not to frighten the already panic-stricken people of Benson, Arizona. Although he had the helmet along with him, he did not wear it. Ben started wearing a similar helmet after being wounded by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, but it lasted only a brief period (until Fantastic Four #386).
  3. The events of this story are witnessed from the perspective of other characters who would become active superhumans: The Sub-Mariner: Namor's time as a homeless derelict prior to this story were revealed in Tales of the Marvels: Inner Demons #1, parts of that story overlap with this one. Spider-Man: Peter Parker observes Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch battling the monster from afar in Spider-Man: With Great Power... #3.
  4. Fantastic Four #4



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