Sunday, September 29, 2013

Marvel in the 1960's: Fantastic Four # 1

         The comic starts with people looking at a cloud saying. The Fantastic Four. Below cops are talking. one wonders what it means. Another that it is making crowds panicky. A third says their are rumors of an Alien Invasion. Above a figure holds a smoke flare gun and says. It is the first time he had to use the gun and prays it will be the last time. It is also stated he is the leader of the Fantastic Four.

       In another part of town. Sue Storm is having tea with a society friend when her friend points out the signal. At this Sue turns invisible and thinks their is no turning back. As her friends looks for her she leaves thinking it is time for the world to meet the Invisible Girl. Outside in a rush she knocks people over and shocks them. She comes to a empty cab and gets in. The driver drives around for a bit. After awhile she gives him money and get freaks out.
        As she keeps trying to give him money she freaks out and drives off fast. She is happy to see she is completely invisible. The scene turns to another part of town at a men's clothing store. To a big man in a trench coat. The store clerk states he has nothing in his size. The man is annoyed at this when the clerk spots the words and wonder what they mean. The man takes his coat off and shocks the man. He is a big man-thing. Who is happy to be out of the coat.
        As he breaks through the doorway he wonders why it is built so narrow. A man outside calls him a monster. Cops nearby began to pull their guns out to taking no chances. A cop shoots and misses and the man-thing opens up a manhole and jumps into the sewer. After traveling for a bit he is happy to be at his destination. With no manhole he makes his own oping in the road in front of a car.

       The car is not able to stop in time and it smashes into him as he keeps walking  people run from him and think he is a martian. Several minutes later the police show up to see that the area is deserted and ponder the strange things happening. The scene that turns to a local car repair service station. A man to a young man says the car is going great Johnny. Johnny  makes a comment but before he can replay.
        He friend sees the signal turning into the number four. At this Johnny starts to burst into fire until he becomes a human torch. He adds finishing his comment that being this is the one thing he likes more than cars. As he starts to fly somewhere people below are shocked and try to figure out what he is.
        Soon the Mayor of the city(Central City) orders a emergency older and calls the governor to alert the national guard. Washington DC also sends Jets in. They see Johnny and get to close to him. It causes their planes to melt and for them to bail out. He is happy they are safe. However, suddenly a nuclear tipped missile homing on his heat source starts to follow him.

       Suddenly, the stretched out hands of someone grabs the missile and a voice says. Got it. The arms than toss the weapon into the sea. Suddenly, Johnny turns human again and starts to fall. The man from the start is the one with the arms and uses his elastic body to catch Johnny. They than go through the window. After this the man is happy they are all here.
        The scene flashes back in time to before the group became this way. The elastic man is Dr. Reed Richards. Ben Grimm is angry and fearful of flying a space ship due to the unknown effects of cosmic rays. Sue calls him a coward. This get's him angry and he agrees to pilot the spaceship. They drive to the ship and sneak by guards as they don't have official clearance. Before they can be stopped they blast off into space.
        Soon they get higher and come to the cosmic ray storm area. With a rak tac tac tac tac they are hit and the rays hit them. Strange things start to happen to them. Johnny starts to feel like he is on fire. Ben meanwhile starts to feel so heavy that he can't move or do anything.


        Around this time the ships auto pilot comes on and sends them back to earth with a rocky landing. Reed is happy to be alive. Sue is sad that they failed. Ben expects nothing less. A bit later Sue says she feels funny. She starts to turn invisible and everyone is shocked. They wonder how long it will last. Johnny if she will stay like this. Just as quickly as it started she turns normal again.
         Reed is happy she is all right. Ben starts to get annoyed and angry at him and the two began to fight each other with words at first. Suddenly, He turns into the Thing and lefts a tree to swing at Reed. Reed uses his powers and he gets out of the way. He than uses his arms to cover Ben. He wonders than what happening to all of them.
          Nearby, Johnny starts to burst into flames. He than learns that he can fly until the time limit of his powers is up. Reed starts to make a speech when Ben interrupts him and says. We have to use their powers to help mankind. The four than all take code names.  Johnny the Human Torch. Sue the Invisible Girl, Reed Mr. Fantastic. Last to go put their hands on theirs is Ben who will go with the Thing as Ben is no more.

         Back at the meeting we see that Reed says he has pictures to show the group. It shows a Atomic Plant behind the Soviet Unions Iron Curtain with a big hole in it.
          We see that this has happened in Australia and South America  too. Suddenly on Reed's machine in the room it shows that another cave in is about to happen. The scene turns to French Africa. Two guards are talking and one feels the ground shaking. Suddenly, he nearly falls as the ground caves in. They all thing the Earth has gone mad.
          The Installation than falls into the ground. The Soldiers suddenly see something and one shouts. What is that. It is a gigantic pair of clawed hands. It is a giant creature. The troops bring in artillery and tanks to engage it. They are useless and more so when the creature crushes a tank in one of its hands. After this a voice is heard telling the creature to return to the Earth's core.


            Back at their "Headquarters" Reed spots this event and comments on it. He has studied the cave-ins and has pinpointed  a possible base. It is called Monster Isle. Ben calls the place a fairy tale. Some time later the group arrives at the Island on their private Jet. They land on it and begin to climb a peak. They get to the top when they see eyes and a giant three headed monster attacks them.
            Sue turns invisible as the monster moves to attack and bewildered it. Reed than uses his arms to make a lasso. He than tosses it into the sea. A cave-in than starts and Reed and Johnny began to fail. Reed uses his powers to act as a parachute to slow Johnny down. Ben and Sue have not fallen down.
            The two land in a pitch black area. Johnny feels the wall and finds a trap down in the wall. It opens and flashes a light on them and blacks them out. Seemly, hours later the two wake up in strange suits. They wonder how they got them. A voice than says it is happy they are awake. They are blinded as well due to a valley full of diamonds. The voice reveals it's self to the Moleman.

           Above a monster is moving to attack Sue. The thing hears it and takes off his Coat and moves to attack it.
            He begins to attack it. He picks it up and tosses it into the sea. He get's his stuff back on and calls Reed a loud mouth. In his base Moleman sees they have never heard of him but soon shall. The world will also be under his power soon.
            In the past the surface world mocked him and was afraid of him. He began a quest to find a new land at the center of the Earth. Eventually he washed up on monster Island. He soon found a cave. It caves in and he falls. However, it cost him most of his sight.

           Not long after his luck began to change. He took control of the creatures down in the dark. He also gained mole like senses. Including a nature radar to detect attacks.His ultimate plan is to destroy all the nuclear stations and then destroy all the surface people and places. Suddenly, Sue and the Thing appear.
           Moleman than summons his most power creatures. Johnny than turns his flame on and burns out of his suit. He than flies around the giant monster. Reed than get's out of his suit. As Moleman tries to run he catches him with his arm.


           They than proceed to flee to the Surface. However, behind them and following is a army of gargoyles. Johnny from his great heat melts the soft Earth and begins a cave in. The dour than flee on their plane but without the Moleman. Behind with a big explosion the Island is destroyed. Sue wonders if they have seen the last of him and the comic ends.


I enjoyed this issue. Being a older comic it has some issues with how it is set out. However, that is a minor issue. This comic helps to establish the Marvel Universe. The Fantastic Four's city would by the next issue or just after become New York City. They would also gain their suits and the Baxter Building. This is important as it begins the process where Marvel characters appear in New York and began the Universe. This issue comes out in 1961 and starting out in 1962 Marvel would began to roll out different Heroes. Including Spider-man and also Thor. More importantly the first in early 1962 with Ant-man. This is key as by the time of the Avengers all the founding members had their own series. This was also a neat concept. DC had milt interconnected between their series but Marvel would change the way and how a shared Universe worked. Back to the Issue itself. The set up of the team was not bad and showed different people having to exist with new powers. How they got them was also pretty neat. Lastly, this series would run  until 1996 with over 400 issues before it was cancelled.      

No comments:

Post a Comment