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598: Fantastic Four Annual #4

" The Torch that Was "
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Fantastic Four #4
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Joe Sinnott
Letterers: Sam Rosen
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: November 1966
Release Date: August 1966
Story Arc: -
Pages: 19
Cover Price: $0.25
Times Read: 558                 Times Rated: 315
Plot Flags:  
Go to Issue #3 Go to Issue #5a

Strange Tales #157 (v1) [A Story]
Strange Tales #158 (v1) [A Story]
Fantastic Four #4
Fantastic Four #57 (v1)
Fantastic Four #58 (v1)
596: Strange Tale...
#157a (v1)
597: Strange Tale...
#158a (v1)
599: Fantastic Fo...
#57 (v1)
600: Fantastic Fo...
#58 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
The Mad Thinker is back with a new plan to bring down the FF! Will his new super-computer and the return of a classic character spell the end of Marvel's original super hero team?
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Strange Tales #156a (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Strange Tales #156a (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Strange Tales #156a (v1). The Thing next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Strange Tales #156a (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Wyatt Wingfoot
Wyatt Wingfoot last appeared in Fantastic Four #56 (v1). Wyatt Wingfoot next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
Lockjaw last appeared in Fantastic Four #56 (v1). Lockjaw next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
  Phineas Horton
Phineas Horton last appeared in Marvel Mystery Comics #39a. Phineas Horton next appears in Avengers #133 (v1). He appears only in a flashback.
  The Mad Thinker
The Mad Thinker last appeared in Tales of Suspense #72a (v1). The Mad Thinker next appears in Avengers #39 (v1).
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Quasimodo in the mainstream continuity. Quasimodo next appears in Fantastic Four Annual #5c.
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Captain America Comics #78d. The Human Torch next appears in Marvel Super-Heroes #16b (v1).
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Strange Tales #156a (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
The Inhumans
The Inhumans last appeared in Fantastic Four #56 (v1). The Inhumans next appears in Fantastic Four #57 (v1).
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Issue Notes
  • The original Human Torch (Jim Hammond) has his first Silver Age appearance in this issue.
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Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  Mr. M. Says:    
  2012-07-25 19:56:08  
  I love the idea of bringing the original Human Torch into picture. Execution could be better but still. I always enjoy reading Golden Age heroes in 'centemporary' environment, except for Namor. Also Quasimodo's finale is a nice idea and even touching in its corny way.  

  Webslinger Says:    
  2013-03-06 23:05:14  
  Quasimodo finale was a nice idea, I second that.  

  Robareid Says:    
  2013-07-12 06:23:11  
  Mad Thinker and only went grey at the end there  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-08-12 12:56:13  
  The Torchbattle was great as was the new character of Quasimodo but the Thinker is still a lame villain.  

  Raistlin903 Says:    
  2014-01-20 21:58:38  
  Return of the Original Human Torch was actually a pretty good story......  

  duncanm Says:    
  2014-02-25 17:06:54  
  Well it was cool to see the original Torch in action again, but what the heck is up with Quasimodo? That thing is just weird. He looks like the Hulk with Down's Syndrome...  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2014-05-03 11:25:41  
  The original Torch looks ike they put so much more effort into his design when he's enflamed.  

  gloomyharvester Says:    
  2014-08-04 00:22:23  
  That ending with Quasimodo; shades of HAL 9000. Although this was several years before 2001, so more likely HAL was an echo of Quasimodo. Nice touch, at any rate.  

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2014-09-01 14:43:27  
  I agree, the original Torch looks much better. While I like the idea of bringing the original flame head back, I thought the story was lacking. I gave it 3 stars.  

  specialque Says:    
  2014-09-08 08:38:19  
  After reading Marvel Comics: the Untold Story I've been somewhat dreading reading this issue since the story behind it is all kinds of disgusting. Basically, the year this issue was about to come out Carl Burgos was about to finally get creator credit and ownership of the original Human Torch character because Marvel hadn't used it in years. Marvel had no reason to bring the original Torch back, but because this happened to be the year where Burgos would get ownership over the character he created, Marvel created this issue specifically to destroy his chances of ever owning the original Human Torch.

That said, this was the first time that I've ever been happy that a Fantastic Four story was mediocre and just not very good. I liked how the story ended, but the original Torch's reappearance was every bit as pointless as its history suggests, so now I can one-star this atrocity with no problem.

  Safis Says:    
  2014-09-23 23:30:00  
  I love the way each of the Torches was drawn in a unique style. This way it was easy to keep track of who's who. It also reminds me of the solo Human Torch stories and in particular I noticed how much better the art has gotten in the intervening years!  

  MattzLadd Says:    
  2014-10-15 16:40:56  
  Much flame. Good issue. I too prefer ol' Jim's hairstyle.  

  skerit Says:    
  2014-11-03 17:16:11  
  Quasimodo made me think of Tyrion a lot.

And yes, the original torch looked much better.

  opusaug @ specialque (original post):    
  2014-11-09 15:22:36  
  Cry me a river. Nobody put a gun to his head when he cashed his check.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-11-29 18:27:18  
  3 stars for the 1st modern app of the original Human Torch, and the 1st app of Quasimodo!!!

Insider - Is this the 1st time to have a table of contents on the inside cover?

Location - So, I guess the Inhumans Great Refuge is now in the Himalayans. When, before it was in the Andes!!! (FF 47)

Man's Best Friend - Ol' Lovable Lockjaw! I always thought it would be cool to have him pop up more in other titles. Seen in the background just chewing on things!

Flame Off - So, Johnny goes all the way from New York to the West to try out his power!?

Inconceivable - And of course, the Mad Thinker calculated that Johnny would be in that area, and built a lab there months in advanced!!??

Splash - Great image of the Torches head butting each other!

Just For Men - @Robareid: I agree; the Mad Thinker was so scared it turned his hair white!

Loose Ends - How are Reed, Sue, and Ben supposed to get back home? Lockjaw teleported them before. Did Reed just left the original Human Torch at the Mad Thinker's base alone with Quasimodo???

'Nuff Said - "He was amazing! There seemed to be nothing he couldn't do with that flaming body of his!"-Impressionable Reed

  ClownShoes Says:    
  2015-06-10 12:00:10  
  ...and like a sitcom, eveyone's back where they started at the end of the story (mostly regarding Johnny, Wyatt, and Lockjaw teleporting in at the start and out at the end)


  g2thet Says:    
  2015-06-18 19:02:52  
  The original human torch in modern marvel. Decent story, could have been better.
3 Stars

  Vancelot Says:    
  2015-07-22 23:40:03  
  Good fun for an Annual. I enjoyed it a lot.  

  Bramwell Says:    
  2015-07-23 03:32:14  
  The Torch fighnt was good and I actually like the art for the original torch better. I'm also starting to really like Lockjaw. There's something magical a put a giant dog randomly telepprting around.  

  Beaustaff Says:    
  2015-09-09 11:02:26  
  I thought this issue was just meh.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2015-12-02 18:07:44  
  I liked that this annual maintained the existing continuity of the main storyline without just being a one-off story.

Gotta love that old Silver Age sensitivity with Ben calling Wyatt "Geronimo."

And speaking of Wyatt, is anyone else disturbed by how smooth and shiny he always looks? It's a little weird.

I thought for sure Locust's 'Nuff Said quote would be the one about Johnny heating up his body for maximum penetration. Oh well!

  wingot Says:    
  2016-05-17 23:44:41  
  I enjoyed it but it did also feel very short, especially for an annual. Possibly part of why it was enjoyable though.  

  Russ Says:    
  2016-10-01 09:41:30  
  It could've been better but the story was still pretty good. I couldn't help but chuckle at Quasimodo's sentiments at the end of the story but it did have some pathos behind it, which isn't a bad thing at all.

And the way the android Torch was drawn was fabulous. (Sorry, I really can't call him the HUMAN Torch). I honestly don't care if it was a gratuitous, unnecessary appearance; characters are created to be used if they're liked well enough. And maybe Marvel WAS getting mail asking about the original Torch.

As far as @specialique's comment goes, I know there were new Torch stories published by Atlas in 1954-5, and then Johnny Storm's publication in 1961 likely rendered the copyright issue moot anyway. Carl Burgos attempted to bring a lawsuit to Marvel concerning rights and ownership of the Human Torch in 1964, but nothing came of it. I'm not really an expert on copyright laws, but I don't think the rights would've automatically reverted to Burgos in 1966, although he and Marvel were clearly in dispute at the time. Anyway, that's my two cents on the subject. Anyone else have anything that can shed light on this?

  skabeaters Says:    
  2016-12-10 18:32:02  
  I finally get it! You've got to fight fire, WITH fire!  

  TonyRolloBrownTown Says:    
  2017-03-19 15:54:25  
  Johnny's more annoying than Anakin from Attack of the Clones. No joke.  

  dadoodoflow Says:    
  2017-03-20 21:30:06  
  Any panel contains Lockjaw is instantly five stars  

  kungfufan Says:    
  2017-04-17 11:12:02  
  Liked the return of the original Human Touch (I'm a reader of Golden Age too), and hope he'll be back, but by golly, for an annual, that story went by quick. Quasimodo was sorely underused, hope we'll be seeing him again too.  

  JonahBlack Says:    
  2017-05-25 11:25:31  
  Oh my god, enough about Crystal! Now that Jane Foster is out of the picture, this is my least favorite 'relationship' in the order (though, I'm not reading Daredevil, so YMMV).

I mostly liked the rest of it, and I really liked how Lockjaw was used - especially him taking them all to the Thinker's hideout.

  Leander Malurt Says:    
  2017-06-19 11:21:17  
  Fun average annual, but this time was a good average. Then there's the introduction of the original Human Torch. Not only was that pretty cool, but the fact that Marvel already then cared about and wanted to finish the old and forgotten characters (unlike Cap) is brilliant. So 4 stars for this ish  

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Issue Letters Page

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Trades, Collections & Reprints
Buy Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 6 Online
Get information on Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 6
Buy Fantastic Four Omnibus, Volume 2 Online
Get information on Fantastic Four Omnibus, Volume 2
Issue Detail Divider
Date User Name Update
   May 23, 2014 TStarnes Updated the listing for Phineas Horton.
   May 23, 2014 TStarnes Updated the listing for The Human Torch.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for Lockjaw.
   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.
   July 22, 2013 fragsel Updated the listing for The Inhumans.
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