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Image:Quote1.png It is the first time I have found it necessary to give the signal! I pray it will be the last! Image:Quote2.png
-- Mister Fantastic

Appearing in "The Fantastic Four!"

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Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four!"

A shadowy figure fires a flare out of a window. The flare forms the words "The Fantastic Four!"

Susan Storm is having tea with a friend. When she sees the flare, she turns invisible, gets into a cab, and offers the surprised driver a bill 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's reached his destination.

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. 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 grabs the missile and throws 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 sneaked off into space in a rocket. In space, the four were bombarded by cosmic rays. The auto-pilot landed the ship back on Earth, where they found themselves physically transformed and possessing remarkable new abilities. Sue could turn invisible. Ben transformed into an orange, muscular "thing." Reed's body became highly malleable, allowing him to stretch into any shape. Johnny's body burst into flame, and he could fly. They decided to use their abilities to become the super-team known as the Fantastic Four. They gave themselves the individual names Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, and the Thing.

(Chapter 2) The Fantastic Four Meet the Moleman!

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 Moleman'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. However, due to his other heightened senses taking over, he mastered the subterranean creatures 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. While 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.

Notes

  • This story has been designated as the official beginning of the Earth-616 Marvel Universe.
  • The monsters of Monster Isle were later retconned into Deviant Mutates.
  • The crash site of Reeds' Rocket is identified as North of Ithaca, New York in Fantastic Four # 245
  • Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch and the Thing all appear next in Fantastic Four #2.
  • The Mole Man appears next in Fantastic Four #22.
  • Giganto appears next in X-Men: The Hidden Years #20.
  • Tricephalous appears next in Avengers: West Coast #54.
  • The unnamed cab driver appears next in Tales of the Marvel Universe #1.
  • The Fantastic Four wore blue and white flight suits in the first printing of Fantastic Four #1. All subsequent reprints and flashbacks feature the more familiar purple and blue flight suits.
  • This issue is reprinted in Origins of Marvel Comics and Fantastic Four (Pocket Books).

Trivia

  • The Mole Man's name is spelled "Moleman" in this issue.
  • In late 1961, no one in the US really knew how conditions in space would affect a human being, since the first man in space was a Russian, Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961. (The first American, John Glenn, went into space in February 1962.) At the time gamma rays were a real concern that later proved groundless. The cosmic rays in this story were later retconned into a freak confluence of gamma rays, sunspots, and other phenomena.

See Also

Recommended Reading

  • None.

Links and References

  • FF Plaza
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This article uses material from the "Comics:Fantastic Four Vol 1 1" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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