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42: Fantastic Four #11 (v1) [A Story]

" A Visit With the Fantastic Four "
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Fantastic Four #11a (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Dick Ayers
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: February 1963
Release Date: November 1962
Story Arc: -
Pages: 11
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,116                 Times Rated: 589
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #11b Go to Issue #12

Journey into Mystery #89 (v1)
Fantastic Four #11b (v1)
Fantastic Four #11a (v1)
Tales to Astonish #40 (v1)
Strange Tales #106 (v1)
40: Journey into ...
#89 (v1)
41: Fantastic Fou...
#11b (v1)
43: Tales to Asto...
#40 (v1)
44: Strange Tales
#106 (v1)
Expanded Order
Journey into Mystery #89 (v1)
Universe Tag
Fantastic Four #11b (v1)
Universe Tag
Fantastic Four #11a (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales to Astonish #40 (v1)
Universe Tag
Rawhide Kid #32a (v1)
Universe Tag
Journey into Mystery #89 (v1)
Fantastic Four #11b (v1)
Tales to Astonish #40 (v1)
Rawhide Kid #32a (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
Willie delivers fan mail to the Fantastic Four, causing the team to reminisce about times before they gained super-powers.
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Fantastic Four #11b (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Strange Tales #106 (v1).
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Fantastic Four #11b (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Strange Tales #106 (v1).
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #11b (v1). The Thing next appears in Strange Tales #106 (v1).
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #11b (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Strange Tales #106 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Willie Lumpkin
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Willie Lumpkin in the mainstream continuity. Willie Lumpkin next appears in Fantastic Four #15 (v1).
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Fantastic Four #11b (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Strange Tales #106 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Fantasticar MK I (Flying Bathtub)
Fantasticar MK I (Flying Bathtub) last appeared in Fantastic Four #10 (v1). Fantasticar MK I (Flying Bathtub) next appears in Marvel Team-Up #1 (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes

Issue Notes

This issue is the first appearance of FF support character Willie Lumpkin.
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Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  Locust75 Says:    
  2015-01-24 10:16:46  
  'Nuff Said - "I-I hadn't wanted to mention it, Reed, but I've gotten some letters lately--some disturbing letters!"-Sue  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2015-01-26 03:38:56  
  This one is all so meta... with Reed criticizing all of us.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2015-01-26 22:12:35  
  I thought this story was great. Reed, a member of the OSS, this organization was a predecessor of the CIA. Sweet. And maybe I'm just a big softy, but I gotta admit I got kinda choked up over Sue's birthday surprise. The team is meshing together well, like a family.  

  Redsvetz Says:    
  2015-02-04 09:43:43  
  -I suppose in '62, this back up feature was pure gold--anything had to be better than an Impossible Man story.  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-02-17 00:02:38  
  So....it's not that the Invisible girl is a worthless superhero, it's just that she's more like Lincoln's mother. Get back in the kitchen, woman! Wow, I wonder what these writers think about black people? Oh yeah, there aren't any. Maybe they are behind the scenes doing super-laundry and cooking super-food.  

  bigcat1969 Says:    
  2015-03-12 22:25:23  
  Oddly in the digital comic at Marvel.com, they flipped the two stories and this is actually the 'A' story. It doesn't make much difference just an oddity.  

  ViolentPhlegm Says:    
  2015-06-07 17:31:42  
  I never really understood the reader dislike for Sue when I originally read the Fantastic Four run. But lately, I've been reading the Torch stories in Strange Tales and she is completely useless there so I kind of get it now.  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2015-07-22 04:48:11  
  Oh man fan mail.  

  Urgat Says:    
  2015-10-28 08:44:34  
  After the last (good) Issue of FF, it is definetly gettng worse with this one...and i thought it will get better *sob*... hoping for the next  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 10:35:35  
  This is kinda cool. A very creative comic for the time.  

  Shioxus Says:    
  2015-12-22 00:31:02  
  I knew you would be back for that one Locust75... haha well played.  

  yack Says:    
  2015-12-22 12:37:08  
  Wow I'm amazed that Mr. Fantastic didn't demand a beer from Sue!  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-06 18:10:20  
  • This is a trip down memory lane for me.

  • It is always a joy and a heartbreak to see Reed’s attempts to cure Ben.

  • Background stories are always welcome and this one is no exception. Great character development.

  • The heroes really break the fourth wall as an out-of-the-box way for writers to reply to their fans about their questions and concerns. This also confirms that Sue’s apparent uselessness was also a concern back in these days.

  • This story is light, refreshing and delicious as a sorbet.

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-03-22 16:56:09  
  Nice way to handle questions instead of answering them in the letter page like most would. Was a nice change.  

  Katryn Says:    
  2016-05-20 07:41:07  
  Good to know that even back then people had a problem with how much of a waste of space Sue was. She's actually one of my least favourite characters so far.  

  ScottG12 Says:    
  2016-10-23 16:02:07  
  The worst issue so far. First of all, I hate the fact that they're so self aware, it ruins the fun of it all. Secondly, retelling the origins again is a bit too much, it could be easily summed up in a short paragraph on the first page, no need to repeat it over 3 or so pages. And the biggest problem is the fact that they broke the fourth wall by addressing readers complaints of the lack of heroism from Sue. These were legitimate issues readers were having with her and Stan should've worked on her character rather than wasting space treating the readers like assholes. It's incredibly frustrating.

My first 1/5 in the order

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-10-23 17:22:23  
  "I...I'm so choked up I don't know what to say"
"First time I ever heard a female admit a thing like that"
Oh Ben, the possibility of innuendo is just delicious!
Willie Lumpkin makes his first appearance though, so that's not nothing

  noahsell Says:    
  2017-06-04 18:08:56  
  "Blanketty Blank fans"-Willie Lumpkin  

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-11 10:15:10  
  I gave this one an extra star for The Defense of the Invisible Girl. Stan and Jack were trying to get her more into the stories but at this time, her powers were more passive and defensive, more of a scout than a warrior. But I would defend to the death the right of Sue Storm to exist. As my favorite Web-Head said, "The Invisible Girl is the best thing about the over-rated Fantastic Four."  

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-11 21:38:04  
  I loved the meta story and secret origin of the FF. The new info about WWII was great. Interesting that the flashback removes Sue calling Ben a "coward" and replaces it with him being "scared".  

Issue Detail Divider
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)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Letters Page

Dear Stan and Jack:

      Do you mind telling us who wrote the story for FF #8? It was probably the greatest one we've ever seen. The only mistake was in the art department. The Puppet Master's teeth were a little too big for him. Otherwise the story was terrif! Also, we agree with Angry Artie Star that if you throw out Sue Storm tell us where you throw her because we'll make a beeline for that place, too. We also agree that the FF should be in the movies. So count this letter as a vote in favor.

James Barnhill & Larry Berry
2813 Malta Place
Las Vegas, Nevada

Thanks, guys. But you must be the only two readers left who don't know that Stan Lee writes the stories and Jack Kirby draws them. As for the FF being in the movies, many, many fans have written enthusiastically to agree with H. Sher's idea. In fact, in a future issue, we'll print some of the many suggestions for casting which we've received, as soon as we can sort them all out.

Dear Stan and Jack:

      I believe congratulations are in order. The FF have been in existence for over a year. It has been an interesting year. Twelve months ago I purchased a new comic book which styled itself "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine." It was not, however, this modest declaration which drew me to the book, but rather the sight of the Human Torch. The first and second issues did little to support your boast. You were not even the best comic of your type. I was about ready to abandon you when issue #3 came out. In that issue, you began to show some style. With the appearance of Sub-Mariner in #4 you began to pick up speed. The creation of Dr. Doom in #5 was another inspiration. To boot, your principles have taken on definite form. The four of them began their lives as mannikins [mannequins] mouthing pious platitudes. They have matured into warm, vibrant personalities, each with his own strength and weaknesses. They are, in short, human, yet credibly more than human. The Torch-Thing feud has been handled well, and I hope to see it continued. I've noticed, however, that the Thing seems to be learning to control his temper. This, too, I think is good. He seems to do more good when his brute strength is directed by a cool head then when, as in early issues, he goes on destructive rampages. Under the head of complaints, I have only one. It concerns the Invisible Girl. Now let me make it plain that I don’t want her eliminated. She has too much potential for that. My complaint is that her potential is seldom utilized. I object chiefly to the fact that in eight tries, she has been captured by four of the villains. I think she would make a better action character than a hostage. In summation, I cannot say you've fulfilled your claim to being "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine," but you've done much towards correcting your early flaws. I am confident that a poll of comic readers would rank you in the top ten.

      Such progress in so short a time should be commended. One more thing before closing: I agree wholeheartedly with Comrade Sher that the FF would do well in the movies. I'm also in general agreement with his "casting." Gregory Peck, Troy Donahue and Tuesday Weld would do well as Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, and Invisible Girl. For the Thing, however, I would recommend Lon Chaney, Jr. rather than Steve Reeves.

Larry Tucker
1707 Lucile
Wichita Falls, Texas

Heck, Larry, it would look silly to change our slogan to "ALMOST The World's Greatest Comic Magazine"! Besides, after reading your letter, the Thing tells us not to worry. He says you're probably just one of the Yancy Street Boys!

Dear Stan and Jack:

      I think the FF are the best super-hero group ever made! I say they should be on TV! I don't car who plays the roles, but they should be on. Mr. Fantastic's name is okay – so is the Thing's. Don’t dare get rid of Invisible Girl! Please re-publish the first issue for those of us who missed it. How come in the FF mag they all live in a big city, but in STRANGE TALES, the Torch and Sue live in a small town called Centerville? What gives? Anyway, you have easily the best comic mag ever printed. By the way, how long can the Torch keep his flame on? Have the Thing change to Ben Grimm more often. And thanks for a great mag.

Billy Rintz
1024 S. Oak Street
Hillsboro, Illinois

Let's quickly answer Billy's letter point by point: Thanks. So do we. Okay. We won't. Maybe someday. They don't all LIVE in the skyscraper – that's just their headquarters. Thanks. No definite time – depends on his physical condition and on how long he had his flame on the previous time. Okay. You're welcome. (Whew!)

Hey, you guys,

      What happened? The last issue I have is #5 and now I pick up #8! This proves that the FF is the greatest! If a fella isn't careful, they're sold out before he can get a copy. Around here the closest place to buy comics is the drugstore. New shipments come in on Tuesdays, and I've been going for my copy on Thursday, so by the time I got there they were gone. Luckily, I went on Tuesday last time and I got a copy! I'd like to know if I could get #6? I've heard a lot about it and wondered if I could somehow get that famous issue from you. (No one wants to trade for it.) And now for my big question – What happened to the Thing's boots? He wore them in #4!

Kurt Dagenais
141 Second St.

East Providence 14, Rhode Island

Sorry, Kurt, as we mentioned in a previous issue, we have no back numbers for sale. BUT perhaps one of our other readers will notice your letter and come to the rescue. As for the Thing's boots, it looks as though he just got tired of wearing them. He probably figured that when a guy looks the way HE does, no one will notice whether he's barefoot or not.

Dear Stan and Jack:

      Thanks a million. You have brought enjoyment back to comic books for me. I have been reading all different types of mags for about eight years now and have been bored stiff. After the first year or two, every story I read was practically the same with a few minor changes and I found myself buying them purely from habit. Every new comic hero seems to be a duplicate of another with an extra power or so added. That is, all except the FF. I must admit, I first started to buy your mag from habit, but every time I read one of them I derived more and more pleasure from it. Finally, after reading #8 I turned to the front and read it over again and again and again. I used to throw comics away before, but from now on I'm saving every FF I can get my greedy little hands on. One request: If anything comes of the fondness which Alicia showed for the Thing, don't let it dangle on and on like other mags do. And now, every time I get bored I'll just open one of your books and escape to a world of wonderful realistic fantasy.

William Paul
112 O'Grady Street
Fall River, Mass.

Thanks, Bill – and we'll do likewise with your letter.

Dear Stan and Jack:

      How old are Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Invisible Girl, and the Human Torch? My cousins and I play Fantastic Four all the time.

Betty Dille
Indianapolis, Indiana

Mr. Fantastic and Ben Grimm are both in their late thirties, having graduated college when they were very young. Sue Storm is in her twenties, and Johnny was just seventeen. (We can't tell Sue's EXACT age because, being a female, she'd never talk to us again!)

Dear Stan And Jack:

      I think that the FF is the best comic mag ever to hit the newsstands! I like the Torch because of his weird powers, and besides that, my name is Johnny Storm. The FF has personality all of its own, and is different from the other crime fighters. I think that the FF Feature Page in #8 was the most!

Johnny Storm
San Pedro, California

Tell us, Johnny, would the Torch STILL be your favorite if your name was Ben Grimm?

Dear Stand and Jack:

      The Human Torch is a sensation! It made a hit with all my friends overnight. PLEASE DON'T KILL IT! We are getting a bunch of signatures ready to send in to save the Torch also.

David Lancaster
3717 Springdale
Fort Worth, Texas

Huh? Who said anything about killing the Torch? We're all for saving the Torch, but tell us, Dave – save him from WHAT?

Dear Stan and Jack:

      I just can't help myself. I'm constantly writing to you in congratulation of something or other. This time it's ish #9. First of all, the story was created on a sound premise. What other characters in the long history of comics ever had money worries? As I opened the book, my eyes came to rest on a tiny block containing the names of the writer, artist, inker, and letterer. I was glad to see Dick Ayers and Art Simek get the credit they deserve. The return of Sub-Mariner struck a responsive chord, although I think he would be a better hero than a villain. Your human touches such as Reed's losing the money in stocks, the Thing upset about the whole mess, and the hitch-hiking scene (which was worth the price of the whole book), added greatly to the characters and personalities of the FF. Could you keep Alicia around as one of the Thing's only friends? She is a strong character and would add just that much more to the mag. Why – WHY does some joker with no imagination suggest that Thor, or Ant-Man, or Spider Man join the FF? If these fans would stop and think a minute, they'd realize that one of those other heroes would steal the show. I'm kind of a writer myself and I realize that a hero by himself has to have a certain number of gimmicks or powers to sell magazines. A prime example is the Human Torch. When he made his debut in STRANGE TALES, extra powers had to be created for him. (What powers? – ed.) Thor, because he is a lone hero, is as powerful as the whole FF, but in a different way. By the way – Kong-gratulations! (That's a king-sized congrats!) Many happy returns on your birthday. As of ish #8, the FF is a year old! May you have a thousand more! One parting note: I was glad to see such stars as Jim Arness, Amanda Blake, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, etc featured in #9. It added to the realism of the fabulous foursome. Many thanks for a year of the greatest magazine in the world. P.S.: I have a complete collection of your great mags!

Sherman Howard
3776 E. 154th Street
Cleveland 28, Ohio

Sherm, it took us so long to READ your letter, that we've no time left to ANSWER it! But we appreciate your carefully considered comments, and we're sure our fans will, too.

Well, that wraps it up for this ish! Hope you enjoyed our new, expanded two-page fan section. And remember, next issue the F.F. come face to face with THE HULK in a story which we feel will be considered a comic classic for years to come. See you then.

Issue Detail Divider
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Story Locations
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Date User Name Update
   December 14, 2017 Urgat
   November 29, 2017 TStarnes Added Fantasticar MK I (Flying Bathtub) listing.
   November 29, 2017 TStarnes
   November 29, 2017 TStarnes
   November 13, 2015 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   November 13, 2015 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 20, 2015 jfpj1991 Added blurb for this issue.
   February 4, 2015 Redsvetz Changed comic details.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Updated the listing for William Lumpkin.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Added William Lumpkin to the issue.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Added The Thing to the issue.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Added Mr. Fantastic to the issue.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Added The Invisible Girl to the issue.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Added The Human Torch to the issue.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Added The Fantastic Four to the issue.
   January 23, 2015 Drax Changed comic details.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added Creator Listing.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Moved this issue.
   January 23, 2015 TStarnes Added comic into the database.
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