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479: Fantastic Four #51 (v1)

" This Man... This Monster! "
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Fantastic Four #51 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Joe Sinnott
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: June 1966
Release Date: April 1966
Story Arc: -
Pages: 20
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 737                 Times Rated: 421
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #50 Go to Issue #52

Avengers #28 (v1)
Avengers #29 (v1)
Fantastic Four #51 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #79a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #80a (v1)
477: Avengers
#28 (v1)
478: Avengers
#29 (v1)
480: Tales of Sus...
#79a (v1)
481: Tales of Sus...
#80a (v1)
Expanded Order
Avengers #28 (v1)
Universe Tag
Avengers #29 (v1)
Universe Tag
Fantastic Four #51 (v1)
Universe Tag
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #31 (v1)
Universe Tag
Rawhide Kid #52a (v1)
Universe Tag
Avengers #28 (v1)
Avengers #29 (v1)
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #31 (v1)
Rawhide Kid #52a (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
Ben Grimmís power is transferred to a scientist who tricks the Fantastic Four. When Reedís life is on the line, what plans will unfold?
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Fantastic Four #52 (v1).
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Fantastic Four #52 (v1).
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). The Thing next appears in Fantastic Four #52 (v1).
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Fantastic Four #52 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Wyatt Wingfoot
Wyatt Wingfoot last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). Wyatt Wingfoot next appears in Fantastic Four #52 (v1).
  Alicia Masters
Alicia Masters last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). Alicia Masters next appears in Fantastic Four #55 (v1).
  Sam Thorne
Sam Thorne last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). Sam Thorne next appears in Fantastic Four #61 (v1).
  Belle Thorne
Belle Thorne last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). Belle Thorne next appears in Fantastic Four #138 (v1).
  Whitey Mullins
Whitey Mullins last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1).
  Ricardo Jones
Ricardo Jones last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1).
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Fantastic Four #50 (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Fantastic Four #52 (v1).
NYPS last appeared in Daredevil #19 (v1). NYPS next appears in Tales of Suspense #80a (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes

Why Essential Notes

The Negative Zone, a common local for the Fantastic Four, is introduced in this issue.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
   October 3, 2013
Superb! Best FF issue I've ever read. Beautiful character arc for the villain. And Reed has never been so heroic, so dynamic. This is the sort of comic you show to non-comic book readers to illustrate the power of comic book storytelling. 10/10
   October 2, 2012
This issue was rather good. We see Ben moping about his appearance and losing Alicia to Silver Surfer, or, rather, his perception of said events. This is a plot point that has continued on and on, and has grown tired. I find this to be too boring. Ben doesnít see that Alicia loves him, and that in itself is a problem with the relationship. The problem has nothing to do with his appearance. He just needs to learn to accept she doesnít care how she looks, she care about him as a person.

The rest of the issue was fantastic. We see Ben transformed back into being human, and instead of relishing it, he seems to care that heís being impersonated. The Fantastic Four believe the imposter, and Reed immediately trusts his life to Ben.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
Ben Grimm is walking in the rain while wallowing in self-pity about hist monstrous appearance when a man invites him in his house. The man, Ricardo Jones, drugs Ben and then uses a machine which makes Ricardo take on the appearance and abilities of the Thing and reverts Ben to his human appearance.

Ricardo goes to the Baxter Building where Reed Richard is working on weapons to help against cosmic enemies of earth like Galactus. Neither Reed or Sue Storm suspect that Ricardo is not Ben Grimm when Ben shows up. He tries to convince Sue and Reed that Ricardo is an impostor Thing. However, they side with Ricardo.

Reed immediately asks for Ricardo's help with testing a portal to sub-space Reed has built. Ricardo is to use his strength as Thing to pull on a line to bring Reed back from the Negative Zone when needed. However, Ricardo plans to let Reed die. However, he changes his mind at the last minute. It's too late and the line breaks, so Ricardo enters the Negative Zone and throws Reed back to our reality. In saving Reed's life, Ricardo sacrifices himself. Ben Grimm becomes the Thing once again.

There is also a second minor story arc with Johnny Storm and Wyatt Wingfoot having a confrontation with a jealous Whitey Mullins.
Issue Detail Divider
  poj-poj Says:    
  2012-05-23 09:50:56  
  even after the very good arcs of the inhumans and galactus.. i found this too be the best FF i have read! FF is maybe the marvel mag i had least experience with before i started to read the order.. and i was not impressed in the start, but they have realy delivered good storyes the last 10 mags or so!  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-11-19 05:49:40  
  Great issue! Is this the first and last appereance of the fake Thing?  

  Simply_Amazing Says:    
  2012-11-19 05:51:56  
  Great issue!
Anybody know if this is the last we saw of the fake Thing?

  spencer617 Says:    
  2013-04-20 09:34:43  
  To the best of my knowledge that is the last of the fake Thing.

I have always loved this issue, definitely one of the best.

  MrRsBB Says:    
  2013-06-16 01:37:20  
  best ever drawing of the Thing: pg 16- The art here is simply stunning(5)  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-08-07 13:53:31  
  One of the rare Marvel deaths that stays intact.
Proof that an issue doesn't have to be part of a major arc to be a classic.
But as smart as Reed is, couldn't he think of a couple questions only the real Ben Grimm could answer?

  Raistlin903 Says:    
  2014-01-06 18:04:37  
  I find the first appearance of the cosmic things in marvel to always be interesting....... I mean I really couldn't even tell you what the Negative Zone was from this issue..........  

  dpaone Says:    
  2014-02-07 09:21:33  
  Great single issue! We also learn the Wyatt Wingfoot is Jim Thorpe's son. FF continues to be one of my favorite books in the mid-1960s.  

  MediocreMan Says:    
  2014-03-01 02:43:18  
  Now this is a story! I read this book when i was a kid and 35 years later it's even better. Kirby's art is fantastic even compared to a dozen issues ago and the dialogue isn't half bad either. THIS is the Reed Richards I know and love, not that Milquetoast version in the FF movie!  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2014-04-19 13:10:38  
  Drinking coffee at the KKK, but seriously why did they spell the coffee shops name with k replacing the cs?  

  scottyjrules Says:    
  2014-05-14 15:38:16  
  One of the best issues of FF ever written, hands down...  

  metasynthie Says:    
  2014-06-19 08:25:57  
  Jack and Reed build an amazingly convoluted "Cube" and take us on a mind-blowingly phantasmagoric Negative Zone journey, complete with photo-collage and imminent doom.
Ben forgets that he could probably prove his identity by saying something only Reed knows, but Reed is so annoying that he'd probably come up with some alternate explanation to discount that. The two buddies still get one of the best stories ever, yet another with a twist based on Stan's "your physicality underlies your character" principle, so that if you're in the body of an ever-lovin' hero, you become heroic. (Personally I suspect that adopting Ben's speech patterns may have had even more to do with it.) Amazing moment of drama when Ben turns orange again right before knocking on Alicia's door.
It turns out, however, that having a huge forehead ridge might not mean you're a hulking stupid brute; you could also be a scientist who's physiognomically primed to turn into a Thing duplicate,
Even the interestingly mundane diner-roughhousing-and-ambitious-football-coach backup story with Johnny is interesting despite its collegiate cliches.

  gloomyharvester Says:    
  2014-07-27 21:18:09  
  FF is on an amazing run right now, owning everything else in the order. I'd honestly rather read several issues of Johnny at college right now than anything Daredevil and the X-Men have been doing of late.  

  specialque Says:    
  2014-08-08 12:06:57  
  There's nothing quite like reading one of the classics. Fantastic Four's been spanking the other comics with its sheer sustained quality here.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2014-08-10 23:28:32  
  Dang Wyatt Wingfoot is a big mofo.
This seemed like a one-shot filler issue, but I did like the interactions that went on with Johnny and Wyatt at college. Plus, intro of Black Panther next issue...I can't wait.

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2014-08-22 06:32:17  
  No big villains? No epic battles? No problem! What a fantastic issue that not only dwells into drama of each member of the FF, but into the would be villain too and the villain getting a gargantuan chance at redemption. We get more info about Wingfoot, albeit just a little. 4 stars for all the aforementioned.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-09-23 20:40:12  
  5 stars for one of the best stand alone stories ever!!!

Cover Me - Another King Kirby Klassic Kover with Koffee!!!

Inspector Spacetime - @Raistlin903: I agree, the road to the Negative Zone is a long bumpy one! Also, didn't Reed already conquer subspace back in FF 37 when he visited the Skrulls?

Win One For The Gipper - Everyone calls Coach Thorne, Coach Thorpe in this issue!

A Thing By Any Other Name - And, yes this is the last appearance of faux Thing. Although, he does have a brother...

'Nuff Said - "We've no time for Prima Donnas here!"-Reed

  mrcreek Says:    
  2015-05-10 16:05:13  
  it's really been a golden streak for the FF stories, since the beginning of the Inhumans saga. I don't know (yet...) how long it can go on, but #51 is a gripping standalone tale, one of the best I have ever read in my life.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2015-06-16 04:54:50  
  Wow, what a tale!

This was probably the best FF artwork to date, and I place that squarely on Joe Sinnott's shoulders with his incredible inking over Kirby's pencils, although Kirby has refined the expressions on the Thing's face to perfection. He finally LOOKS like the Thing we all know and love... A brooding, 3-dimensional softy at heart. Combine that with Kirby's realization of the Negative Zone and you have an instant classic.

I found myself really engaged in this one-shot story, and although it was a bit corny, it was nice to see the villain have a mental turn-around of his own doing, brought on by wanting to imitate the very heroics he witnessed around him. As Reed said, who knows what his nefarious plan was? Ultimately, none of it mattered as he chose to make the ultimate sacrifice.

We are reminded once again, with great power comes great responsibility.

  Beaustaff Says:    
  2015-06-26 12:15:20  
  This issue was great. FF has been a bright spot, along with Spider Man, through this early part of the order for me. I do wish Ben would quit with the Alicia couldn't love me stuff it's old. But still a great read.  

  Vancelot Says:    
  2015-07-16 13:09:34  
  This was a great story ruined by the depiction of Reed Richards as the dumbest person alive. You really couldn't consider that Ben was really Ben. I guess whoever you see first is always telling the truth. I removed 1 star just for that stupidity. 3 stars.  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2016-01-10 11:05:30  
  What a fantastic tale!  

  kungfufan Says:    
  2016-09-14 13:17:14  
  I've noticed we tend to call these one-offs "fillers" - and I guess they are - but it wasn't too many years ago that one-offs were the norm. And this "filler" would rank quite highly amongst those one-offs from a few years ago. Enjoyed this one. Further development of FF as a galactic rather than local defence team. Liked that the bad guy didn't even get named or back-storied. Also enjoyed the Torch sub-plot development, more than the current Spidey college dramas.  

  Johnny Darkness @ kungfufan (original post):    
  2016-09-14 13:22:40  
  I really dislike how everyone around here calls these "filler" issues.  

  GroovyGolem @ Johnny Darkness (original post):    
  2016-09-14 16:42:17  
  I wouldn't call this one a filler... I think I called it a "one-shot." To me, a filler issue is one that just sort of spins its wheels until the next issue, usually breaking the momentum of the ongoing story due to a shortage of writers, artists, or to accommodate vacations, or to push the story to coincide with the marketing of another title on the shelf next month.

You know 'em when you read 'em, and this wasn't one of 'em!

  Russ Says:    
  2016-09-15 14:18:30  
  Pg10Pn4.....the only time any of the FF used their powers in the entire story, not counting the faux-Thing. Thumbs up, indeed, Johnny.

Page 14......WOW!

Incredible story. The Faux-Thing's death brought depth and poignancy to the tale in a way that had never been depicted in comics before. I was hoping the Order had this tagged as an essential issue, though likely for the introduction of the Negative Zone. But this issue is a tour de force of character development. So far, entry #475 is the best issue in the entire Order up to this point; it's nearly flawless.

A hundred stars, but I can only give it five.

  kungfufan @ GroovyGolem (original post):    
  2016-09-16 00:01:53  
  I stand corrected.  

  chademe Says:    
  2017-04-12 09:17:46  
  A good story, but the drama was a bit over the top for my tastes.  

  JonahBlack Says:    
  2017-04-26 13:14:17  
  I knew this was a classic, but I was uncertain how it would recover from the ridiculous exchange between Reid, Sue, Ben and Faux-thing. The entire situation wouldn't rate in the top 10 weirdest or most impossible things they've encountered up to now, and even if the were certain Faux thing was real, it made no sense that they'd brush off the seeming appearance of a doppelganger. This is all putting aside that Ben didn't even try to say something only he'd know (though I suppose this is in keeping with his character), nor did the supposed smartest man in the world ask such a question.

Nevertheless, the second half of the issue delivered completely. The art was fantastic (and fantastical). The dawning awareness and sacrifice of the Faux thing was believable and poignant. I even enjoyed the teen drama seen with Johnny and Wyatt. Five stars, despite a...*ahem*...rocky start.

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-28 00:39:12  
  Five stars. Make me cry at the end of a story, you get five stars.  

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-28 00:41:40  
  Oh, and we find out that Ben's moping has been due to our villain. Subtle but good.  

  StrictSnow Says:    
  2017-07-12 07:31:08  
  One hell of an issue. Fantastic Four is just knocking it out of the park, even compared to Spider-Man at this point.  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2018-01-15 00:18:45  
  • That's my line Ė "There ain't enuff coffee in the world to... Aw, nuts! I'm beginning to sound like a blasted soap opera!" (The Thing)

  • OK. It's one thing being able to take someone's looks and voice, but it's another to know his particular expressions. How would that scientist know that Ben calls Reed 'Stretcho'? Or even who is Aunt Petunia?

  • I'm sorry, but I don't buy that Reed would not be at least suspicious about the Thing when a perfect Ben Grimm look-alike shows up to warn him of the imposter, let alone trust said imposter with his own life right away.

  • It seems that Stan intends to repeat the success of Peter Parker's entourage and give a more elaborate one to Johnny. He even gave him a Flash Thomson clone. I do love Wyatt Wingfoot who is still a mystery to me.

  • Why didn't Reed explode when HE got in contact with negative matter?

  • I felt so bad for poor Ben who got his hopes crushed again just when he was about to propose to Alicia.

  • This was a great suspense, considering it's a single-issue story, but the basis for its imposter plot was too contrived for me to give it a perfect score. Cheesy as it was, I really loved all the moral and emotional struggles at the end. 4 stars.

  Shawn313 Says:    
  2018-01-24 14:20:03  
  Was wondering why the mad scientist had a Neanderthal brow. 😂  

  chrisWhite Says:    
  2018-01-28 22:53:04  
  I had a few sparky things to make fun of at the start but they were all quickly overshadowed by such a fantastic story, easily one of the best in the order so far! Kirby's rendering of the negative zone was even better than anything in Strange so far, me previous benchmark.  

  Andrill Says:    
  2018-04-13 20:11:10  
  I don't understand why everybody call this a filler. Thor against commie are most of the time filler or lot of tales astonish giant-man/wasp are to but in this issue you have.

1. Character/story devlopment with Johnny and is classmate specially Mullins
2. First apparence of negative dimension portal
3. A very good story and some question for the futur. (Exemple the situation of the impostor will explain in 90's comic) or who is Wyatt?

A filler you learn nothing and you can suppress totally of the universe without any blank.

Anyway... 4 star for me.... that's rare in silver age

Issue Detail Divider
Fantastic Four Omnibus, Volume 2
This collection includes Fantastic Four #31 (v1), Fantastic Four #33 (v1), Fantastic Four #34 (v1), Fantastic Four #35 (v1), Fantastic Four #36 (v1), Fantastic Four #37 (v1), Fantastic Four #38 (v1), Fantastic Four #39 (v1), Fantastic Four #40 (v1), Fantastic Four #41 (v1), Fantastic Four #42 (v1), Fantastic Four #43 (v1), Fantastic Four Annual #3, Fantastic Four #44 (v1), Fantastic Four #45 (v1), Fantastic Four #46 (v1), Fantastic Four #47 (v1), Fantastic Four #48 (v1), Fantastic Four #49 (v1), Fantastic Four #50 (v1), Fantastic Four #51 (v1), Fantastic Four #52 (v1), Fantastic Four #53 (v1), Fantastic Four #54 (v1), Fantastic Four #55 (v1), Fantastic Four #56 (v1), Fantastic Four Annual #4, Fantastic Four #57 (v1), Fantastic Four #58 (v1), Fantastic Four #59 (v1), Fantastic Four #60 (v1)
Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 6
This collection includes Fantastic Four #51 (v1), Fantastic Four #52 (v1), Fantastic Four #53 (v1), Fantastic Four #54 (v1), Fantastic Four #55 (v1), Fantastic Four #56 (v1), Fantastic Four Annual #4, Fantastic Four #57 (v1), Fantastic Four #58 (v1), Fantastic Four #59 (v1), Fantastic Four #60 (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Letters Page

There are no letter pages submitted for this issue. If you would like to transpose and send at letters page, you can send it to tstarnes@gmail.com. Check in the forums for information about formating the letters page.
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Issue Attachements
There are no attachements for this issue. If you know of something, let us know through the contact page or the forums.
Issue Detail Divider
Story Locations
 Negative Zone  
Issue Detail Divider
Date User Name Update
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added NYPS to the issue.
   January 9, 2018 Urgat
   November 24, 2017 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   April 6, 2016 cdolphy Added synopsis for this issue.
   April 6, 2016 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   November 1, 2015 fragsel Added Whitey Mullins to the issue.
   November 1, 2015 fragsel Added Belle Thorne to the issue.
   November 1, 2015 fragsel Added Sam Thorne to the issue.
   September 28, 2014 fragsel Added Ricardo Jones to the issue.
   March 15, 2014 Spider-Borg Changed comic details.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Human Torch.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Thing.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Invisible Girl.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for Mr. Fantastic.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Fantastic Four.
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