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1: Fantastic Four #1 (v1)

" The Fantastic Four "
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Fantastic Four #1 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: George Klein
Colourists: Stan Goldberg
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: November 1961
Release Date: August 1961
Story Arc: -
Pages: 25
Cover Price: $0.10
Times Read: 2,471                 Times Rated: 1283
Plot Flags:    
Universes:   Earth-616  
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Fantastic Four #1 (v1)
Fantastic Four #2 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #27 (v1)
2: Fantastic Four
#2 (v1)
3: Tales to Aston...
#27 (v1)
Expanded Order
Tales of Suspense #34a (v1)
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Tales of Suspense #37a (v1)
Universe Tag
Fantastic Four #1 (v1)
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Rawhide Kid #25a (v1)
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Rawhide Kid #25c (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #34a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #37a (v1)
Rawhide Kid #25a (v1)
Rawhide Kid #25c (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
The Fantastic Four is introduced to the world and their origin is revealed. They must battle the Mole Man and stop his plans for vengeance.
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  The Thing
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Thing in the mainstream continuity. The Thing next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1).
  Mr. Fantastic
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Mr. Fantastic in the mainstream continuity. Mr. Fantastic next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1).
  The Human Torch
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Human Torch in the mainstream continuity. The Human Torch next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1).
  The Invisible Girl
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Invisible Girl in the mainstream continuity. The Invisible Girl next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1).
  The Mole Man
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Mole Man in the mainstream continuity. The Mole Man next appears in Fantastic Four #22 (v1).
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Tricephalous in the mainstream continuity. Tricephalous next appears in Avengers West Coast #54.
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Giganto in the mainstream continuity. Giganto next appears in Fantastic Four #264 (v1).
  Ugu the Neolithic
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Ugu the Neolithic in the mainstream continuity. Ugu the Neolithic next appears in Fantastic Four #347 (v1).
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
This is the first appearance by The Fantastic Four in the mainstream continuity. The Fantastic Four next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1). This story contains groups origin story as a flashback..
NYPD last appeared in Young Men #24a. NYPD next appears in Fantastic Four #3 (v1).
National Guard
National Guard last appeared in Tales to Astonish #9c (v1). National Guard next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Fantasti-Flare next appears in Fantastic Four #2 (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes

Issue Notes

This issue is considered by most to be the start of the Silver Age of comics, and where the reading order starts.

Additionally, this story is split into 3 chapters.
1)The Fantastic Four
2)The Fantastic Four Meet the Mole Man
3)The Mole Man's Secret

Why Essential Notes

Besides it being the intro for the Fantastic Four this issue is also considered the beginning of the Marvel silver age. Really one of the most essential issues you could read.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
   January 15, 2018
In its simplicity and banality, this story contains all the beauty of the Silver Age comics.

The origins of the Fantastic Four is not just the story of how the group of superheroes, later become legend, has obtained its powers, but are also the origins of the legendary Marvel Universe, in which the adventures of his superheroes go on even today, beyond fifty years later.

Simply, a story to read and enjoy like an old wine.
   October 17, 2017
Hard to believe this is where it all started. This was Kirby, Lee, and lightning in a bottle. All thanks to Joan Lee encouraging Stan to go out on his own terms by writing a comic he would be proud of. The rest, as they say, is history.
   August 7, 2017
What would be an average story is ruined somewhat by a forced dilemma.

The action comes from a hijacked plane, and an assassination attempt. But the real story is about an ordinary man having a heart attack, and his wife blaming the Vision.

But instead of coming across as a real dilemma, it just seems that the woman is being unreasonable. It doesn't make sense. Why would she expect the Vision (a superhero) to save her husband? Or hold him to task afterwards?

   June 12, 2017
This issue is a classic and a must read for anyone who calls themselves a comic book fan. Despite the Stan Lee campiness and the 60s tropes this issue still holds up today. Jack the Kings art is not to go unnoticed for it is splendid and engaging.
   November 11, 2016
It's almost impossible to review something like this -- the very first chapter of what we now know as "The Marvel Universe," for pity's sake -- in anything like a cogent or rational manner, ultimately. There's the comic in question (FANTASTIC FOUR #1) as a cultural artifact, and essential building block of an entire half-century spanning mythos... and then there's FF #1, the actual *comic story*, itself.

And said "actual comic, itself" is -- quite frankly -- simply not all that *good*, really; certainly not in comparison to what Marvel's closest rival, DC Comics, was publishing at that exact same point in time (Gil Kane-era GREEN LANTERN, Infantino FLASH, Kubert HAWKMAN, etc., etc.). Kirby's artwork, here, isn't even on a par with the stuff he'd done only a year or two earlier, in CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN; and Stan Lee's story is little more than just another one of those interchangeable "giant monster" yarns he'd been monotonously churning out for the better part of a decade by this point, padded out to full-issue length.

I ultimately split the difference and awarded it three stars -- midpoint between Great and Awful -- solely due to its aforementioned (and inarguable) place in comics lore and legend. Not so much an actual comic, all these years later, as it is a historical artifact.
   March 28, 2016
The Thinker isn't much of a villain, and there isn't much of a plot, but the Thing makes it all better when he says to Reed "Bah! You talked so much that I got over my anger!"

Seriously, that's pretty much the one redeeming thing (hah!) In this drab comic. Uninspired settings, a villain who wouldn't make it into a Saturday morning cartoon circa '88, an android with an off switch, and a plethora of ridiculous plot devices.

By far my favorite moment of villainous stupidity is the off switch on the android. Who would ever decide to build an autonomous super weapon designed for close combat and place an off switch near a likely grapple point? Consider as well the fact that a villain named the Thinker would take Reed's DNA research, blindly create a weapon from the notes, and send it into mortal combat against the one person who would immediately be able to recognize it's greatest weakness. For shame Stan, for shame.

Despite Reed's new approach to anger management, this may be my least favorite Fantastic Four so far. One star for the laughs, one star for an evil sidekick with "Awesome" in the name, and one star for Willy Lumpkin saving the day. Not really, I'm getting tired of seeing deus ex machina all the time. Two stars.
   July 14, 2015
Nuclear missles fired over cities by The National Guard... A world run by nuclear power... Gargoyles and Giant Lizard Men and Stone Men and a Moleman... Tunnels running through the earth's core...Space rockets that can land on Earth via autopilot... Kind of makes the Fantastic Four seem tame by comparison. I'm not sure how one can rate this 4 stars. It may have spawned great future works, but as a standalone, it's kind of a hodgepodge of garbage. Or maybe it's just missing 4 Unicorns, 2 Martians, an elephant, some Commies and a disintegrating ray. Moleman's sad tale and blind monk skills push it to 2 stars.
   September 26, 2014
There are a few reviews for this issue already, I'm going to try and bring two new aspects however. I'm completely new to comic books. That's right. I can literally count the number of comics I may have read on one hand...unless you count Calvin and Hobbes. The second aspect, is I want to try and look at and actually rate the different aspects: Story, art, characters/villains, and the overall enjoyment. Being new to comics I feel that I have the benefit of not being jaded by newer and "better"... (continued)
  Read Full Review ...
   February 13, 2014
I've heard it a ton of times, but not really read it until now. First, I have to get over the reality disconnect. Of course, a book that details the theft and flight of a rocket into space can't be all good. Getting over my perspective disconnect is tough. It's hard to look at the book from the eyes of some rabid kid. I keep finding myself exploring it as a man, and not seeing a ton of redeeming qualities in it. Until I got to the Mole Man. Sad, pathetic little Mole Man. Who looks... (continued)
  Read Full Review ...
   January 1, 2014
It was a pretty descent issue
   December 2, 2013
Even though any fan of the Fantastic Four knows the story inside and out, there’s still a lot of pleasure to be had revisiting their first appearance, at the dawn of the Marvel Age. Like most of the company’s central creation myths, this is a story we’ve seen retold and refined again and again over the years, but even though I’m not enough of a scholar to point you to the best telling of the FF’s origin story ever, 52 years later, Kirby and Lee are still in with a shout.

The most... (continued)
  Read Full Review ...
   July 3, 2013
Four adventurers hijack a rocket to head into space and find themselves bombarded by cosmic rays. Gifted with strange powers they have no second thoughts about using their new abilities to help humanity. Their 1st adventure brings them into the underground realm of the Mole Man who wants revenge against an uncaring surface world. Who could have imagined, on reading this first issue, what a unique and amazing universe would be built from this starting point?
   October 27, 2012
Ah, Fantastic Four vol. 1 #1, the beginning of The Marvel Age of Comics, and my beginning in my reading of the Marvel Reading Order. To preface, I have developed a certain fondness for The Fantastic Four despite my limited experience with the group, so I am definitely excited to see how they started.

The first thing that jumps out about the issue is, without a doubt, Jack Kirby’s cover art. While the white background that seemingly trails off into nothingness is somewhat off-putting,... (continued)
  Read Full Review ...
   October 5, 2012
Here we go, the first issue in the modern Marvel continuity and the first in the reading order. I think I should start with a warning that I am not a big fan of early silver age stuff. These comics were all geared at a pre-teen audiance, and it shows. This is before the writting in an issue was given much thought, and it clearly shows. While generally the plots themselves and story construction is pretty good, everyone is portrayed as very “arch”. And the dialog is painful. But, I think... (continued)
  Read Full Review ...
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
A flare arcs into they sky and the words "The Fantastic Four" explode into the sky.

While having tea with friends, Susan Storm turns invisible and races for a cab. Ben Grimm is in a clothing store trying to find the right coat when the flare alerts him. He explodes through the doorway, rips through the street, and follows his way through the sewers until he reaches his destination. Working on his car, Johnny Story is sheathed in flame as he sees the signal, flying into they sky.

Mistaking him for a threat the military fires heat-seeking missiles at Johnny. Trying to outrun them he burns out his flame. As he falls from the sky a pair of arms reach up and toss the missiles into the sea. The arms then catch Johnny and pull him inside. He greets all three of the new arrivals.

The scene changes into a flashback of the quartets origin. Worrying about the Russians beating them into space, Reed Richards, Johnny and Susan Storm, and Ben Grimm sneak into a special rocket and blast into space. Reaching orbit the group is hit by cosmic rays right before they crash into Earth. They each begin to transform, Susan turning invisible, Johnny manipulating flames, Reed's body becoming elastic, and Ben turning rocky and huge. After a brief argument the group agrees that they will use their powers for good, and form the Fantastic Four, each taking a new name for themselves.

Back in current times nuclear power plants across the globe are mysteriously caving-in. The final attack a giant monster crawls out of the ground and attacks the soldiers there.

Boarding a jet, the Fantastic Four head to Monster Isle where Mr. Fantastic has come to the conclusion that the attacks originated from. When they land, the group is immediately attacked and must fight off monsters. Reed and Johnny make their way into the Earth where they find the Valley of the Diamonds where they are blinded and attacked by the Mole Man.

Having the group incapacitated, the Mole Man gives a speech about his origin highlighting how he was ridiculed by humanity and finally driven underground. He tells how he was made blind and trained his other senses to astonishing levels, eventually building his underground lair.

Ben and Sue, still on the surface, defeat the monsters and also head into the cavern where they discover their team mates. While the Mole Man continues his description of his planned vengeance, the subdued members of the Fantastic Four are freed and the group fights the Mole Man's monster army. The group defeats many of the creatures and runs for the exit, with Johnny sealing in the cave entrance to block the monsters inside. As their jet flies away from the island it explodes, sealing the Mole Man and his creatures from the surface world.
Issue Detail Divider
  jacfalcon Says:    
  2011-10-29 12:17:36  
  It's almost like I could HEAR the narrator from the old animated Marvel cartoons.  

  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-15 22:55:48  
  Central City? I thought the plan was always for the Marvel Universe to be set primarily in New York?

And I have to agree with the earlier posts, although this was much better than I was expecting after reading the first few issues of Avengers. Why put the whole city in a panic, have Ben destroy one store and two roads and Johnny melt a car just to say, "look at these pictures. We need to think of something to do?" Couldn't they have had their pow wow fifteen minutes later and got there in a sensible manner? haha And Reed Richards, one of the most intelligent people in the Marvel Universe though that leaving Mole Man in his cave, the same one that he and his creatures built in the first place, would be a victory? C'mon Stan.

Even though the dialog was typical Stan Lee, I think you can see that it was better before he started the so called Marvel Method in which he basically described Kirby's drawings.

  TStarnes Says:    
  2011-11-15 23:30:01  
  It switches to being New York somwhere around issue 3 or so.  

  TStarnes Says:    
  2011-11-30 17:19:45  
  When compered to other stuff published at the same time or just before it is a giant step forward. Only reason people get down on it is when comparing it with more modern issues.  

  Atrus Says:    
  2011-11-30 17:27:24  
  I struggle with how to rate this. Most of the negative things I would say are simply Silver Age conventions that are pervasive.

Still, this is far from the worst intro issue I've ever read, and I think it flows much better than many, many silver age issues I've read (Green Lantern, I'm looking at you).

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-05-26 17:33:28  
  From a continuity standpoint, there are mysteries to unravel here. First off, the Human Torch is hardly an unknown commodity in 1961 (assuming that the events in the comic occur in the "real world" about a year or so before the comic is published) because there was a Human Torch around during the World War II years, barely 15 years previously. Indeed, Johnny Storm is reading a Sub-Mariner comics in issue 4 and then discovers the Sub-Mariner alive, so Johnny must know that he's not the first being to evidence Human Torch-like abilities. Of course, we know that Stan Lee had not yet decided to incorporate all the older Marvel/Timely continuity yet, but still, looking back at this issue, in the sense that it is less of a fictional story and more of a semi-accurate depiction of reality from Earth 616, we need to make sense of this apparent discrepancy.  

  Psikonetic Says:    
  2012-06-12 23:37:40  
  Here we go! Time to give the entire Marvel Universe a read, in order to boot. How can you rate this any less than 5 stars? This does start our entire journey and, even if rough around the edges, it is the start of things to come...  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-06-14 16:06:48  
  This issue didn't really make sense. First of all, why would the Fantastic Four think that by sealing the entrance to the cave that they would stop the monsters and the Mole Man? The main monster was ripping through Earth's crust to destroy nuclear plants, he could easily burrow another entrance to the cave. Second, as another poster pointed out, if Reed was so smart he would not have left the Mole Man. Maybe these storyline problems were common in the Silver Age, but idk.  

  TaoTaomona Says:    
  2012-07-08 08:56:36  
  Although the storyline may be dated (40+ years in my case) the issue is the first of the Silver Age comics and outlines the origin story of the FF that will stand the test of time. When ranking this issue I recommend looking at: Kirby's artwork (excellent), Lee's development of iconic characters (awesome), and rank it no less than 5 stars.  

  olgamon Says:    
  2012-07-14 17:32:11  
  "Oh Ben, if only you could stop hating Reed for what happened to you"
basically, you look like an alien rock, everyone is terrified of you, your life changed forever and you can't even get clothes in your size. GET OVER IT!

  Wady Says:    
  2012-07-17 16:35:05  
  Marvel sure has evolved since this it's first comic  

  JobberMP Says:    
  2012-07-20 19:52:58  
  I have to agree.. This gets the cheese factor. In a good way of course.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-07-23 05:30:03  
  I expected this to be a bit cheesy, & it was, but in a good nostalgic way. A bit like watching an old B-Movie. I know that I loved these earlier stories when I was a child but they don't make much of an impression now. I am still going to attempt to go through the list in order though as I find that they have an innocent charm.  

  Nick Says:    
  2012-07-23 06:43:03  
  Cheesy but nostalgic to read, a bit like watching a B-Movie.  

  Nick Says:    
  2012-07-23 14:03:44  
  Just thought that I would point out that the comment marked anonymous above me is actually me. I forgot to log in. Doh!  

  TStarnes Says:    
  2012-07-23 21:51:35  
  Check some out some time...they were pretty bad.  

  alexanderalexanders Says:    
  2012-07-26 16:26:04  
  This is an excellent start to the series. The voice for the thing in my head sounds like if Batman and Danny Devito has a baby. I know, weird right?  

  Borealis Says:    
  2012-08-27 15:07:12  
  My son enjoyed reading his first-ever comic. Where better to start him then at the beginning of Marvel history? His favorite parts: the Human Torch flying, and his first view of some of the mighty Marvel monsters. He also is having fun learning the characters' names. Not bad for a four-year old, just starting to learn his reading. This is going to be a fun ride.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-13 10:15:52  
  I loved the Mole Man's origin and appearance. First issues are always fun, and this one was really good. The cover's deceptive, but it's still pretty iconic and great.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-09-16 21:02:37  
  The one that started it all! Campy story but still a good read!  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-09-18 15:58:44  
  Four great characters introduced in an amazing story that will start an amazing adventure of friendship and loyalty. WOW!  

  Vic Says:    
  2012-09-26 01:08:59  
  While I appreciate the fact that this issue didn't do the obvious thing and open with the rocket launch, it really doesn't have much else going for it. Bad dialogue. Dumb plot. In fact, parts of it barely make sense.  

  fragsel Says:    
  2012-09-26 01:10:36  
  I'm sorry but every time i read that issue i can't stop laughing. "BEFORE THE GUARD CAN STOP THEM" - he's sure not trying hard enough. Is that military facility during the cold war? My comic book shelf is better protected. Or what's the point of all that unnecessary destruction: wall, manhole cover, car, another car in service station, planes... And the best: nuclear warhead exploding "harmlessly" over the sea "far from the shore". Are you sure it's far enough?

Don't get me wrong - I love that first issue, but not always for right reasons.

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-04 20:59:30  
  To boil down my full length review to a more manageable size, this issue is a landmark achievement for the medium and can still hold up today if you're willing to put up with cheesy silver age narrative conventions. That said, it really is more notable for what it eventually led to as opposed to what it is, so don't expect a masterpiece. Overall, quite a good issue.  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2012-10-27 22:42:51  
  This issue has no letters page, for those keeping track of such things.  

  Adrian Says:    
  2012-11-20 14:44:12  
  I like the molemans sweet glasses, they remind me of Bebop from ninja turtles.  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-12-05 07:33:00  
  Yeah, those are pretty bitchin'. Personally, I'm more a fan of his cape because it is entirely too big for him. It's like he got it as a super villain hand-me-down.  

  niknak203 Says:    
  2013-01-04 11:22:49  
  It's an okay issue. Pretty average for the 60's. Some parts can be confusing or over-explained. I rate it at a 3/5.  

  allenryals Says:    
  2013-01-11 17:25:46  
  I'm already pretty deep into the reading order, but I just now joined the site. So I'm going to go back and rate and comment on the issues I have read so far. This was a good issue. It was the origins to the FF and Moleman 'nuff said.  

  Trebek Says:    
  2013-02-17 20:05:59  
  Not a bad start to the Fantastic Four. I am a little disappointed with the Mole Man in this issue simply because his powers seem to be a stick and a really bright room.  

  minicheddaz Says:    
  2013-03-02 17:39:21  
  i have to like this because its the first fantastic four and first marvel comic as we know it! from an interest point of view its fun to watch these early silver age characters we know and love from the books evolve. some are mind blowingly amazing, some are bloody dreadful. this is the origin and i say a good debut. had i have read this when i was nine i would have loved it and that is the thing to remember, they were intended for kids at the time, but we as adults also can get hooked on these stories and take a lot of enjoyment from them. can you say comics nowadays are for kids with cyclops setting up a black ops team in which wolverine and co slash and chop and hack their enemies to death? i say thee nay!  

  cmerc00n Says:    
  2013-03-05 01:59:34  
  I don't care what all you criticizers have to say. It might be campy, okay it's definitely campy, but it started the silver age. A comic that is so monumental that it effectively ends the old era of comics is not something to look at with mockery.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-03-08 06:41:38  
  I like this comic. It has a good beginning to the fantastic fours origins and the mole man is a really good super villain.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-04-12 06:16:52  
  I always assumed Sue said "I-I can't turn invisible FAST enough!!" meant that she tried to turn invisible so the creature wouldn't see her, but didn't do it fast enough to escape its notice and was consequently grabbed. Doesn't that make complete sense anywar, though?  

  skabeaters Says:    
  2013-04-29 22:20:57  
  I'm glad we beat the commies to this!  

  FoxyShoxzy Says:    
  2013-06-02 12:40:57  
  I understand this book marked the beginning of the Silver Age of Marvel Comics, and for that reason alone I gave it 3/5 stars. I appreciate the slight nod towards Jules Verne.  

  At The Gates of Dawn Says:    
  2013-07-28 16:42:37  
  This is the beginning! Words can't describe how I love this issue! I will always regret reading this later in life. Even 50 years after the story and the characters are entertaining as always!  

  rook420 Says:    
  2013-07-31 17:25:28  
  Wow! I realize this was the issue that started it all but honestly, that was pretty terrible. I realize that nostalgia and the landmark event causes some leeway when rating this thing, but really it’s a weak story and a great introduction to the grind I will have to endure while trudging through the silver age. It’s gonna be a long road…  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-08-18 18:09:10  
  Introduction of the Fantastic Four. 'Nuff said.  

  Henda Says:    
  2013-09-08 16:30:48  
  The origin of the Fantastic Four was carried out very well. The relations between the members of the Fantastic Four were also described in more depth and emotions than I had expected from the first Silver Age comic. Although the story concerning the Mole Man was sometimes really absurd and naive (but honestly, what in Silver Age is not), the overall feeling from the first Silver Age comic is really great!  

  Durango55 Says:    
  2013-09-15 20:13:46  
  The one that started them all. Even with it's imperfections, this issue had some many elements in place that would end up defining Marvel. Flawed heroes, spectacular action sequences. an colorful villains with a touch of pathos. Plus a good dislike of the "commies". All we need is some crazy device powered by "magnetism"...

Fun things about this issue:

- the vaguely futuristic looking sewer.
- the poor sap who car is destroyed by the Thing. I wonder if he ever got reimbursed?
- Ben sheds his clothing at the store, yet apparently gets fully dressed (including trenchcoat, glasses, and hat) again when he rejoins the rest of the team on page 8. I guess this could be explained with Ben's discomfort at his appearance, as at this team his transformation had happened in the recent past.
- I'd forgotten that Sue was Reed's fiancee (as she states on page 9). Makes Sue's future waffling between Reed and Namor in upcoming issues a bit more distasteful.
- Reed appears to be MUCH old (like Sue's dad older) in this issue. Maybe Sue did have her reasons for waffling...
- Johnny gets to go on the rocket because "he's tagging along with sis". O-kaaaayy...
- Good thing the rocket was protected by a guard who did not notice the car with four people in it. Oh yeah, Reed got them in. Launch site Security was a lot different back then.
-Always liked Kirby's rendition of cosmic rays, even though it's ridiculous.
- I love how Ben says "Bah!" to everything.
- I never liked that in the early days, Johnny had a limited amount of time to "flame on". It was so arbitrary when he'd run out of flame. Glad this limitation of his power was eventually disguarded.
- As they decided to form a team, everyone's new super-hero name reflects their power/appearance, except

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-09-23 04:42:50  
  The FF are more interesting than I expected them to be, but I still like the X-Men better.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2013-11-17 20:10:42  
  This is the grandaddy issue that started it all. So, it gets 5 stars from me!

Cover me bad - I always wondered who tied up Reed? The monster perhaps? Or, was it just Reed trying to show how FANTASTIC he is by getting out of it?

Imperius Rex - When Reed causally tosses the nuclear missle out to sea. He's lucky that Namor has amnesia during this time period!

Gentle Ben - On page 13, panel 6 you meet the Ben we all know and love!

All I smell are Molasses - Say what you will about the Mole Man, but the little guys got style. Check out his swinging pad! Yeah Baby, Yeah!!!

'Nuff said - “Bah! Everywhere it is the same! I live in a world too small for me!”-Thing

  Bramwell Says:    
  2013-12-02 02:36:42  
  1. I absolutely love the first page of this book - it is a great introduction to the early Marvel style of storytelling.

2. Central City :)

3. Good character intros

4. Check the three panels at the top of page 7 - beautiful

5. Page 10 is a masterpiece. Great visual balance.

6. Commence creature feature....

7. Page 18 - the first Mr.F parachute :)

8. Page 23 - "Now, before I slay you all, behold my master plan!"- comic book culture in a single sentence.

This book may be epic for historical reasons but it also stands on its own.

5 stars.

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-12-16 06:47:00  
  Man, I'm reading these on Marvel unlimited and starting at the beginning, but it's so hard to read some of these early issues.  

  dewey412 Says:    
  2013-12-17 19:01:10  
  For a first issue, especially during the 60's, it did what it needed to...It introduced the heroes, showed off the power each one had, and gave a sort of mission statement....That being said, it also had the problems some comics from the 60's had...The worst, to me, being how easy they seem to adjust to the powers they were given...I know later on, things will get harder, but that would be my only real complaint!  

  opusaug Says:    
  2014-01-02 13:52:17  
  I know the origin story here, but I never read most of the early Silver Age until now going through The List. And since I was aware that some characters started in anthologies, like Thor in Journey Into Mystery, the first couple of pages threw me for a loop. I thought the FF started in their own book, so where's the rocket story? I actually went searching through the Internet for a few minutes before going back to my tablet and finding out the origin tale was actually shown in a flashback. Seemed like an odd way to start, but you can't argue with history.  

  Schabenc Says:    
  2014-05-10 13:20:04  
  You just have to love this campy adventure and the origins of the Fantastic Four! The Silver Age of Marvel Comics has begun!  

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-03 12:11:58  
  A goofy comic looking back on it in 2014, but it's a nice introduction to the Fantastic Four, an equally goofy team.  

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2014-07-24 08:27:26  
  Great first issue of one of the best comic groups in history. It gets 5 stars because the story could be released today with some minor shakeup of the dialogue and it would still hold up today.  

  Amanda Says:    
  2014-07-24 12:48:52  
  I love how they rush to their meating. Really? Was all that necessary? They couldn't have arrived 15 minutes later? No, let's melt car and scare people, it's funnier this way.  

  Spernst Says:    
  2014-08-26 22:53:46  
  Glad the Golden Age style of having several "chapters " or unrelated stories in one mag was ditched so quickly after this one. Why is it that the thing is the only one who sounds like a New Yorker in my head?  

  Ryumit Says:    
  2014-09-07 09:11:41  
  3 stars for the first FF issue. A good fun read with the origin of the FF explained.

As mentioned above the only major thing is blocking the cave entrance! they dug half way around the country already I'm sure they could get out. :)

Ah well all good standard comic writing and fun.

  mushroommunk Says:    
  2014-09-17 11:14:30  
  @jacfalcon I completely agree! I was thinking I heard the narrator while reading.

Being new to comics (as in this is really my first foray)...isn't cheesy and goofy the point sometimes? I understand it was the sixties and different, but I still liked it.

  Black Element Says:    
  2014-12-14 08:46:08  
  Story is a bit out there for a #1 lol, but lucky the moles didn't attack!  

  thedopeshow Says:    
  2014-12-19 03:50:37  
  First off, the cover would have been fantastic if it didn't have so much dialog clogging it up. Their first assembly is an entertaining yet dated scene.

The Fantastic Four's origin story was the highlight of the issue. Ben Grimm was really bullied by Sue into piloting the voyage. Which really adds to this characters tragedy. It also makes Reed and Sue look like complete asses.

The Mole Man story was pretty awful, with my two favorite highlights being;
"I had heard there was a giant creature guarding this isle" And you thought to withhold this knowledge from the rest of the group why? "See this map of my underground empire!" Can you even see it? What does a blind guy have a map? Just for this very off occasion?

  gloomyharvester Says:    
  2015-01-03 14:34:50  
  Blind, radar sense, fights with a stick. Did Mole Man go on to train Daredevil?  

  Imperator Says:    
  2015-01-11 11:36:06  
  And the story began :)  

  GroovyGolem @ Locust75 (original post):    
  2015-01-28 12:17:46  
  LOL I just got the "all I smell are Moleasses" joke.  

  Locust75 @ GroovyGolem (original post):    
  2015-01-28 12:23:50  
  Thank you! I'll be here all week! Tip your waiters, and goodnight folks! :)  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-02-15 06:43:15  
  Where did my review go?  

  Aldous Says:    
  2015-04-23 20:34:11  
  Dang Johnny, you couldn't have stepped out of the car before you flamed on? Sue, you ditch your friend and then scare a cab driver half to death? And Ben, you're the worst of them all! You could've just walked back to Reed's with your trenchcoat on, but noooooooo you had to make a big show of it and destroy everything you see. These guys are jerks.  

  rodyoungerblood Says:    
  2015-05-18 22:35:17  
  So it begins. Earth 616.
Fantastic Four #1 is completely batshit crazy, juvenile, and nutty. The loneliness of The Mole - and how the FF treated him - were extremely laughable. Case and point, in the last frame of the issue, Mr. Fantastic says, "It's best that way [letting The Moleman stay buried by Monster Isle]! There was no place for him in our world..." Ha ha, great job Mr. Fantastic. The Moleman couldn't be more correct when he said, "Even this loneliness is better than the cruelty of my fellow men!"
Well, onto FF #2.

  bizmandan Says:    
  2015-07-31 07:49:09  
  what can i say about this issue that hasn't already been said? it's a masterpeice in the sense that it started something that spawned into what we have today with the 11 million comics a week and computer games and tv shows and movies. it is also kind of terrible in the sense that, well it IS terrible, the story seems very rushed to me, the characters are very 2d and the motivations are just bewildering. having full access to contemporary comics it does make me wonder how this comic started the 616. you can kind of see the beginnings of something great, but this particular comic does seem to have an intense smell of the golden age on it. 3 stars from me :)  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-19 15:13:08  

  wingot Says:    
  2015-12-06 03:41:06  
  Cool start to the order, although Stan can definitely be a bit heavy handed with his exposition.  

  yack Says:    
  2015-12-22 10:45:52  
  Its the first what is there not to love? We all love the Mole man and feel bad for him.  

  Kyle759 Says:    
  2016-02-15 05:18:54  
  I think before anyone can call this cheesy, a requirement should be to read some DC super hero books that were put around the same time.

5 stars, no question

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-02-28 01:47:20  
  Yes, it is a classic. And yes, an interesting story. But man, how terribly wrong and annoying were the heroes at the time! By page 8:
- Sue probably caused years of psychotherapy to a taxi driver;
- Ben has destroyed a doorway, ripped a manhole, emerged through a street and smashed a car;
- Johnny has ruined a car he supposed to repair;
- and Reed probably blew up all marine life in a mile radius.
All this very casually.

That being said, I'm still fascinated by the origin story of these four characters and how they discovered their powers. How so differently Ben and Johnny react to the changes. Flames and flying, cool! Rocky look, uncool!

It is amazing how Mr. Fantastic's power can be so useful, while at the same time look so silly.

Reed and Johnny look adorable in their pajamas on page 19.

Did the Mole-Man seriously manage to have tunnels connecting all major cities in the world?

Ben should consider a carreer as a stripper. Has anyone counted how many times he takes off his clothes in this story?

The monsters on the last page are hilarious. They remind me of Monsters Inc.

4 stars for the Entertainment and because it is such a milestone in comics history.

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-03-22 14:22:13  
  Interesting start to the series. Was never a real fan of the Fantastic Four but I like it so far.  

  J-hat Says:    
  2016-03-25 08:38:08  
  So it begins. Not a huge FF fan, but it seems a lot of people are so hopefully I can get into them before it's all said and done.


  Carlo Says:    
  2016-04-26 17:16:45  
  I rated this one 5 stars because it's frigging FANTASTIC FOUR #1, ok?  

  Shentenza Says:    
  2016-05-05 03:43:46  
  This is where my journey begins. I have read a few modern FF comics and I was never a huge fan, the main reason for that is the complicated jib jab talking from Mr. Fantastic.

But after reading the Nr. 1 I have to say I had a fun time reading it. Of course it has it's flaws, but still it is enjoyable and funny for different reasons.

  Schabenc Says:    
  2016-05-08 21:42:26  
  The origin story is classic, but the story of the Mole Man is just...meh  

  McQueen5150 Says:    
  2016-05-14 21:53:39  
  It's campy, but I like it. I love the idea that a team doesn't get along.  

  Katryn Says:    
  2016-05-20 00:13:55  
  Space safety is for chumps! And commies! Those dang commies.  

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-10-16 22:30:32  
  Ah, the beginning of the beginning. I've gone through nearly 200 of these things with chronological guide from this site, and this remains one of the issues I look to most fondly. Though from here are spawned dozens of Torch solo stories that are better off dead than read. 4 stars for a flawed but enjoyable start to the self-proclaimed "Marvel Age of Comics", 1-2 stars for a host of upcoming Strange Tales.  

  hawkeye64 Says:    
  2016-10-22 17:38:05  
  The beginning of Marvel's Silver Age alone makes this 5 stars for me.

And, yes, it does come across as cheesy and juvenile at times. However I tend to put myself in the right frame of mind. Meaning that I try to read this as if I was living in 1961 and it just came off the press and with a childlike mindset. For comparison read this and then read a DC comic at the same time and you will see how much of a breath of fresh air this was at the time.

The Mighty Marvel Age of comics has begun.

  spb Says:    
  2017-01-11 13:49:40  
  5 stars for because this comic is important for marking a new age in comics

the moleman story is pretty bad but all the monsters he summons are fun and wacky


  Zaktks32 Says:    
  2017-02-07 14:56:42  
  The FF start operating in Central City in FF #1. Then, FF #2 doesn't specify where the FF are settled (but presumably still in Central City). After that, in FF #3, they are based in New York, without telling when they move or why they moved... they don't even tell they moved at all! They are just there all of a sudden!!

Probably Stan Lee never wanted them to go through any moving in the first place, and he just changed his mind about giving the team a fictional city (since that was the tendency back then: Metropolis, Star City, Gotham, etc.) and placing them in the real NYC; he was just learning on the run, right? Maybe he hoped noone would notice or care? But people did notice afterwards, and writers had to come up with a 'they actually moved' explanation.

Just go and read "FF: First Family" with this idea in mind and you will notice it actually fits. Joe Casey seemed to have shared this theory.

  Nenriel Says:    
  2017-02-13 02:48:50  
  While it may not hold up that well own it's own, the art is good, and it's really not too bad in the context of the Silver Age. And of course, it's a relic, a true piece of history. It kind of boggles my mind a bit to think about the fact that, at one time, this was the *only* appearance of the FF (or of Mole Man for that matter). Add in the fact that this is basically Marvel Comics #1 by most accounts and it's hard not to recommend this one.

Other thoughts:
- I'm adding a star just because I'm a sucker for old-timey craziness. Like how personal safety has no place in a race against commies.
- I find it completely hilarious and predictable that Reed gave himself the name Mr. Fantastic with apparently no prompting whatsoever.
- I still can't figure out why Johnny had to melt that car.
- I still can't figure out how adhesive suits provide protection from light.

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-09 12:09:33  
  The Marvel Silver Age begins. I'm trying to figure out which title either was cancelled or went bi-monthly to make room for FF.

I gave it four stars because 1) The art, especially the monsters, was good. I also liked the single panel reveal of MM at the bottom of page 19. 2) We get heroes who are going to argue with each other and fight and break up and make up. It seems a bit more real today but was refreshing and cutting edge in 1961. 3) MM isn't a crook, a power-hungry dictator or some alien from outer space. He's the Count of Monte Cristo. He's out for revenge against a world that has rejected him.

Minor question: Why does the Thing keep putting on and taking off his coat and hat while on the island. Is he trying to impress the monsters with his sartorial perfection? I can see it now, monsters buying hats.

Monster Island and a flying, 3-headed monster are used here first. (There might have been earlier comics.) Toho's would appear much later.

Was it worth reading? Yes! The Mighty Marvel Age of comics has begun with a bang.

4 Stars

  SamScrolls Says:    
  2017-06-12 23:34:33  
  4/5. Fantastic Four are sassy and don't get along.  

  cls413 Says:    
  2017-06-22 11:21:13  
  I liked this a lot more as a re-read, partly because I've had time to get used to the Silver Age style, partly because I'm more familiar with the Marvel Universe and can appreciate its significance. For personal enjoyment, and taken on its own, I'd only give this story a 2-star rating, but come on... it all started here.  

  God2600 Says:    
  2017-06-27 00:21:10  
  Let's shoot nukes at this guy flying over the city! Lol  

  Deadpool7850 Says:    
  2017-10-03 11:19:53  
  And so began... the start of Marvel's Silver Age.

5/5 from me.

  beerzerked Says:    
  2017-10-08 15:45:36  
  Thank you, Joan Lee.  

  stiffmeyster Says:    
  2018-01-04 17:59:22  
  This issue has a lot of flaws indeed, but is epic although. The very beginning of the Marvel Universe.
If the resolution were better i would rate this with 5 stars. (I mean come on, beating the mole man by burying him WTF)

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-11 13:32:30  
  Check out The "Case For Kirby" on Zak-site for a completely different way to read this comic by looking at Jack Kirby's artwork and ignoring Stan Lee's script. According to this theory, this is a Challengers of the Unknown comic book with the focus on atomic radiation.  

  RobinHoodMtl @ jennychan (original post):    
  2018-02-03 16:39:44  
  Thanks for the tip, very interesting analysis. I'm not sure if I still like Stan Lee after reading it though.  

Issue Detail Divider
100 Greatest Marvels of All Time, Volume 9
This collection includesFantastic Four #1 (v1)
Essential Fantastic Four, Volume 1
This collection includesFantastic Four #1 (v1), Fantastic Four #2 (v1), Fantastic Four #3 (v1), Fantastic Four #4 (v1), Fantastic Four #5 (v1), Fantastic Four #6 (v1), Fantastic Four #7 (v1), Fantastic Four #8 (v1), Fantastic Four #9 (v1), Fantastic Four #10 (v1), Fantastic Four #11b (v1), Fantastic Four #12 (v1), Fantastic Four #13 (v1), Fantastic Four #14 (v1), Fantastic Four #15 (v1), Fantastic Four #17 (v1), Fantastic Four #18 (v1), Fantastic Four #19 (v1), Fantastic Four #20 (v1), Fantastic Four Annual #1a, Fantastic Four #11a (v1)
Fantastic Firsts
This collection includesFantastic Four #1 (v1), Tales to Astonish #27 (v1), Tales to Astonish #35 (v1), Incredible Hulk #1 (v1), Fantastic Four #4 (v1), Fantastic Four Annual #1a, Amazing Fantasy #15 (v1), Journey into Mystery #83 (v1), Tales of Suspense #39a (v1), Strange Tales #110a (v1), Strange Tales #115a (v1), Avengers #1 (v1), X-Men #1 (v1), Avengers #4 (v1), Tales of Suspense #63b (v1), Daredevil #1 (v1), Strange Tales #135a (v1), Silver Surfer #1a (v1)
Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 1
This collection includesFantastic Four #1 (v1), Fantastic Four #2 (v1), Fantastic Four #3 (v1), Fantastic Four #4 (v1), Fantastic Four #5 (v1), Fantastic Four #6 (v1), Fantastic Four #7 (v1), Fantastic Four #8 (v1), Fantastic Four #9 (v1), Fantastic Four #10 (v1)
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   February 11, 2018 TStarnes Updated the listing for National Guard.
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