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7: Fantastic Four #4 (v1)

" The Coming of ... Sub-Mariner! "
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(3.45)
 
Fantastic Four #4 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Sol Brodsky
Colourists: Stan Goldberg
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: May 1962
Release Date: February 1962
Story Arc: -
Pages: 23
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,675                 Times Rated: 826
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #3 Go to Issue #5
 
FULL ORDER

Tales to Astonish #29a (v1)
Incredible Hulk #1 (v1)
Fantastic Four #4 (v1)
Incredible Hulk #2 (v1)
Amazing Fantasy #14 (v1)
5: Tales to Aston...
#29a (v1)
6: Incredible Hul...
#1 (v1)
 
8: Incredible Hul...
#2 (v1)
9: Amazing Fantas...
#14 (v1)
 
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
The Sub-Mariner has returned! Calling upon his mighty sea creature army, he will have his revenge on the human race. It’s up to the Fantastic Four to stop him.
Issue Detail Divider
 
Character Appearances
 
Main Characters
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #3 (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Fantastic Four #5 (v1).
     
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #3 (v1). The Thing next appears in Fantastic Four #5 (v1).
     
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Fantastic Four #3 (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Fantastic Four #5 (v1).
     
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Fantastic Four #3 (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Fantastic Four #5 (v1).
     
Villains
  The Sub-Mariner
The Sub-Mariner last appeared in Sub-Mariner Comics #32d. The Sub-Mariner next appears in Fantastic Four #6 (v1).
     
 
Group Appearances
Atlanteans
This is the first appearance by Atlanteans in the mainstream continuity. Atlanteans next appears in Fantastic Four #6 (v1).
   
     
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Fantastic Four #3 (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Fantastic Four #5 (v1).
   
     
NYPD
NYPD last appeared in Fantastic Four #3 (v1). NYPD next appears in Amazing Fantasy #15 (v1).
   
     
Issue Detail Divider
 
Issue Notes
 

Issue Notes

This is the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner in the Silver Age.

This is the first appearance of the shortened tag line, "Worlds Greatest Comic Magazine!"

The story is split into 5 chapters:

On the Trail of the Torch!
Enter the Sub-Mariner!
Let the World Beware!
Sub-Mariner's Revenge!
Return to the Deep!
 
Issue Detail Divider
 
Issue Review
 
by yack: Namor!!!! I did not mind Namor at this point as he did not get whiny yet.... and his connection later on with Sue is interesting.
 
 
 
 
by TStarnes: The fourth issue of The Fantastic Four pics up shortly after the team defeated the Miracle Man in issue number three. The team is dealing with the loss of the Human Torch who quit in the final pages of that issue. That of course is just the setup. The crux of this story revolves around the re-appearance of the golden ages Sub-Mariner, for better or worse.

It is clear that Stan had a point of view when writing this issue. The issue starts with, and barrels headlong through, a message of anger overtaking reason. From the resolution of the previous Torch/Thing feud, and their continued fighting, to Namor's anger at someone who had moments before helped him, Lees message comes through. That however is the end of the praise for Lee's writing.
 
 
 
 
Issue Detail Divider
 
Issue Synopsis
 
The story opens to Reed and Sue expressing concern over Johnny’s decision to leave to leave the team at the end of the previous issue. Ben, in his usual cantankerous manner, expresses indifference and Reed then blames him for Johnny’s absence. A brief flashback to the FF’s battle with The Miracle Man and his monstrous creation is shown. Reed proclaims that the team is ineffective without The Torch and he will do whatever it takes to find Johnny and bring him back into the fold. The three then board the Fantasticar and set out to search for him.

Later, Johnny is back at Swanson’s Garage working on car modifications with some high school chums, as The Thing, following a hunch, approaches from the outside. Ben ambushes Johnny by punching through the wall and hurling insults. The two exchange barbs and blows, but as Ben nears a cornered Johnny, he unexpectedly reverts to human form. Johnny seizes the opportunity and flies away as The Torch, while an anguished Ben again changes into The Thing.

Seeking to throw the others off his tail, Johnny travels to the Bowery and rents a room in a flophouse, where he discovers an old comic from the 40s featuring The Sub-Mariner. This jogs the memory of a house resident, who directs Johnny to an unusually strong “old man” who is revealed to actually be an amnesiac Prince Namor.

In an attempt to revive The Sub-mariner’s memory, Johnny drops him in the ocean, which does in fact trigger the return of Namor’s faculties. A revived and invigorated Sub-mariner then leaves for Atlantis. Upon arrival, he discovers his homeland destroyed and erroneously concludes the carnage was caused by human atomic testing. He returns to Johnny and issues an edict of revenge upon the human race.

Johnny uses a flare to summon the others, and he explains Namor’s threat to the now reunited team. In his rage, The Sub-Mariner summons the slumbering undersea beast known as Giganto, and using an ancient horn directs it to attack New York City. Various conventional means are used to defend the city from Giganto to no avail, and it’s concluded that the only way to stop the monster is with a nuclear bomb!

The Thing volunteers to strap a bomb to his back and sets out to enter the beast through its mouth. The bomb explodes, killing the monster, and Reed and Johnny rescue an incapacitated Ben.

Namor reappears and issues more threats as Sue approaches invisibly and attempts to snatch away his horn. The two then scuffle and Namor falls head over heels in love with Sue, who also appears to harbor amorous feelings. Sue offers to become Namor’s bride if he will spare the human race, which further enrages him and he attacks Reed, Johnny, and Ben. In a last-ditch effort, The Torch is able to generate a tornado of heat, which sucks up Giganto and The Sub-Mariner and deposits them out to sea. The Sub-Mariner angrily vows to return at the close of the story.
 
 
Issue Detail Divider
 
Comments
   
 
  Vic Says:    
  2011-10-20 01:29:23  
  It's issue four and I feel like Stan has run out of ways for the team to use their powers...

The Torch uses his flame to... Shave Namor? Sue gets invisible to... Look around? Reed uses his ability to stretch to... Grab someone off a moving motorcycle?

But for some stupid reason, I kind of enjoyed this book.
 
 
 

  fragsel Says:    
  2011-11-05 05:54:48  
  Let me get it straight: Johnny finds a homeless man, shaves him, set him free, then goes after him, and they fight...

Duuuuuuuuuude, it's just like John Woo's "Hard Target"!!!!

Next Month: Marvel Presents Namor, The Sub-Mariner in "Hobo with a Shotgun (3-D)"
 
 
 

  Psikonetic Says:    
  2012-06-16 00:25:19  
  Welcome to the mainstream marvel universe Namor! While the issue ends up being another creature feature fight, we still get Namor's first appearance in the modern continuity. Still gotta love the Silver Age Sensibilities here. Sue turns invisible so Johnny doesn't spot her first, yet still drinks a soda in this form to scare patrons, Johnny uses his flames to shave, the meta way in which the FF read Marvel comics, the giant bomb strapped to Thing as he enters the whale creature; it's all there and I love it. You have to keep the Silver Age in mind when you read this, but if you can, it's a pretty decent .  
 
 

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-06-20 20:39:29  
  I liked this issue, granted there were flaws. The conflict with Thing and Torch at the beginning was good, although it happens far to frequently. It basically stayed on par with FF #3, without the crappy ending. As the poster above me stated, keeping the Silver Age in mind this one is a good read.  
 
 

  Wady Says:    
  2012-07-17 22:06:09  
  It was a nice way to introduce Namor to this universe stream. All in all a good comic.  
 
 

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-07-23 05:41:21  
  Nice to see Sub-Mariners first silver-age appearance.  
 
 

  Nick Says:    
  2012-07-23 14:08:24  
  I agree with that anonymous twat. It's my non-login alter-ego.  
 
 

  alexanderalexanders Says:    
  2012-07-26 19:14:21  
  Out of the limited comics I have read so far, Namor is my favorite villain.  
 
 

  Borealis Says:    
  2012-09-07 01:54:39  
  My four-year old graded this one 'cool.' He likes the Sub-Mariner, and the big monster was great. For myself, I liked the issue and its importance...up until the last page. A human tornado? Really?!  
 
 

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-14 17:42:25  
  I quite enjoyed this, despite some obvious flaws. It's a big step up from the previous two FF issues, and Nanor is a character that I am quite fond of. Also, I got a kick out of the visual of Ben with a nuclear warhead strapped to his back.  
 
 

  ringsting Says:    
  2012-10-16 08:37:19  
  I love how the atomic bomb that thing carries on his back starts ticking once the sea monster bumps into him.  
 
 

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2012-10-23 10:38:34  
  So this monster just eats things and then the things just stay in its stomach for hundreds of years untouched? If its not digesting these things then why does it eat in the first place?  
 
 

  allenryals Says:    
  2013-01-11 17:31:16  
  Submariner is one of my favorite characters in these early stories. Good to see him join the MU.  
 
 

  Trebek Says:    
  2013-02-23 17:13:26  
  For being nobility the Sub-Mariner was not very appreciative of having his memory restored.  
 
 

  minicheddaz Says:    
  2013-03-02 17:29:59  
  i really hate how namor is reintroduced to the MU. its just silly. the rest of the story is great though.  
 
 

  skalchemist Says:    
  2013-04-26 13:25:16  
  I give this four stars just for the idea of Ben strapping a nuke on his back and then voluntarily getting eaten by a giant monster. That is just awesome.  
 
 

  skabeaters Says:    
  2013-05-02 13:58:08  
  I've never been a fan of the Submariner. I guess I grew up in a different time, but I think he looks like Spock in briefs.  
 
 

  FoxyShoxzy Says:    
  2013-06-06 22:18:48  
  This was definitely a step up from the previous two issues of The Fantastic Four.  
 
 

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-13 15:01:29  
  The FF is tied to the Timely era and Marvel as a cohesive universe begins. I'm curious, in the Marvel Universe, are the SubMariner comics true stories, fictionalized accounts of true events or totally fictional stories?  
 
 

  Azuran Says:    
  2013-07-24 23:14:41  
  Namor looks so much better with the beard and long hair. He should have keep that look forever. It really hides his flat head really well. Other interesting facts from this issue is that Sue thinks it’s okay to drink random soda glasses from other people while invisible, nuclear bombs were really easy to get in the 60’s, Torch is powerful enough to create tornadoes (Thor who?), and Namor believes proposing to a girl as soon as you meet them is the right move.  
 
 

  TheGrandIgloo Says:    
  2013-08-13 16:49:51  
  Ah, Prince Namor. Is this love? This is love.  
 
 

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-08-20 01:25:30  
  Namornado. Coming soon to SyFy.  
 
 

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-08-25 18:17:34  
  The background art was pretty good in this one. I liked them bringing Namor back. I'm looking forward to learning alot about Namor in the future.  
 
 

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-09-23 08:20:16  
  I like the idea of resurrecting old characters from before the Silver age. What I don't understand is why there are comics in their universe of actual super heroes. Wouldn't they be called news papers if they were actual stories about actual people? Also, it seemed a little too convenient that there was a comic for the Sub-Mariner in the place where the Sub-Mariner was staying and Torch just happened to find both of them within a matter of minutes from each other. Anyways, I'm not very familiar with the Sub-Mariner, but his motivations seem a little lopsided to me. I hope they do something interesting with him in the future.  
 
 

  Locust75 Says:    
  2013-11-23 17:51:59  
  5 stars for the 1st modern app of Namor even in red shorts.

Cover Me Bad - Such a great cover. I know the Thing is still wearing his boots in this issue, but they look like little booties on the cover!

Sons of Mularky - It's crazy that the biker is so happy to be accosted by Reed, and not upset about his bike wrecking.

Nick Swanson - Once again the Thing tears up a building and a car with no consequences.

Gentle Ben - Do you think that the Thing changed back into Ben because he got too excited about roughing up Johnny?

Thar She Blows - Ya gotta love Giganto! Pacific Rim has nothing on King Kirby. Also, what if the critter inside Giganto just wanted out, and got excited when it saw Ben? You know coming up to ask for help, and Ben just clobbers it.

Pop Art - The image of the jack being used to get the atomic bomb on the Thing is just priceless!

Flame Off - You would think Johnny would use the ol'tornado trick more often.

'Nuff Said - “Come on, ya mangy bum, tear this phone book in half! Tear it I said!”-A Bowery Derelict
 
 
 

  Bramwell Says:    
  2013-12-06 02:33:36  
  1. Chapter 1 seems like filler. Sue screwing with the public, MF harassing a cyclist for no good reason, Thing destroying the wall of a garage instead of just walking in the door.

2. I find it to always be disappointing when the characters in the books reference comic books. It just breaks the suspension of disbelief.

3. Sub-mariner has one of the most interesting faces in comics.

4. Its good to see New York. Real cities is one of the pleasures of the Marvel universe.

5. Chapter 4 is good. I like Giganto.

6. Ben's journey into Giganto is ludicrous and Sue giving up to the marriage idea is also a bit sudden.

All told, 3 stars from me (3.5 if I could do it)
 
 
 

  Spernst Says:    
  2014-05-09 00:23:37  
  So was Namor a wino for all those years?  
 
 

  Schabenc Says:    
  2014-05-10 13:27:07  
  Not a big fan of Submariner  
 
 

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-03 12:19:17  
  Nice to see Namor but oh boy, his beard's going to stick with me...  
 
 

  rook420 Says:    
  2014-07-15 12:00:06  
  I kept expecting The Thing to run inro Pinocchio while he was in Giganto.  
 
 

  mushroommunk Says:    
  2014-09-18 18:33:46  
  I'm not a fan of their endless bickering. I'm hoping that tones down moving forward.  
 
 

  horror4life Says:    
  2014-12-21 04:55:59  
  Page 3 panel 6: I'm not sure why being invisible would help her with searching for Johnny.
Page 4 panel 4: Is reeds plan really to just ask teens if they saw Johnny?
Page 4 panel 7: it's probably just my reprint but I love how that guys hair is red.
Pages 5 and 6 just enforce my hatred of the thing.
Page 7 panel 9: I know I'm supposed to feel bad for the thing but I honestly don’t care about that jerk.
Page 8 panel 2: Man's hotel doesn't sound like a good place to be for a 16 year old.
Page 12 panel 5: Considering the fact that in the sea Johnny can't "flame on" and that old guy is at the bottom of the sea it seems Johnny didn’t think about his plan very well.
Page 16 panel 7: The first but definitely not the last.
Page 18 panel 4: I can't even begin to explain what's wrong with that plan.
Page 19 panel 1: Just gorgeous.
Page 20 panel 5: Poor Giganto he was used and he paid the price.
Page 23 panel 7: I'm sure we'll never see this horn again.
3 stars for a good start that unfortunately became a Creature Feature.
 
 
 

  GroovyGolem @ horror4life (original post):    
  2014-12-21 07:34:35  
  Regarding never seeing the Horn of Proteus again... never say "never" in the Marvel Universe. ;-)
 
 
 

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-02-15 10:00:40  
  What happens to the motorcycle when Mr. Fantastic plucks its rider? How is that cool?  
 
 

  Aldous Says:    
  2015-04-24 13:40:12  
  Strap a nuclear bomb to your back? Well sure Mr. Thing, we've got one right here!  
 
 

  rodyoungerblood Says:    
  2015-05-20 19:23:37  
  Apparently, if you're Sue Storm and it's the early 60s, you're only two super powers are being invisible and marrying men.  
 
 

  jfw1980 Says:    
  2015-06-01 02:23:54  
  Great! I loved how Namor has amnesia and is homeless. Beginnings of the marvel soap opera  
 
 

  Shintetsuken Says:    
  2015-07-30 19:55:08  
  I actually really loved this issue. Definitively learning that the Golden Age comics were actually part of continuity with Namor's appearance makes me want to go back and read the Golden Age Masterworks next.  
 
 

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-19 15:15:59  
  Cool  
 
 

  wingot Says:    
  2015-12-06 04:22:10  
  Cool fight between Namor and the F4, and establishes Namor well.  
 
 

  CeeNote12 Says:    
  2016-01-16 21:35:59  
  I really was entertained by this issue. I thought Sue freaking that kid out with the soda sip was hilarious. Whe Johnny gave Namor shave and haircut I thought he looked a bit effeminate. The motorcyclists were straight outta The Wild Ones starring Marlon Brando.  
 
 

  yert1981 Says:    
  2016-02-02 20:07:09  
  Fun issue. I've always thought bringing Namor back through this issue is really one of the more interesting and creative wrinkles of the silver age. Otherwise the same cheesy story with some more of the annoying Ben and Johnny angst and unnecessary recapping the previous stories that is a staple.  
 
 

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-02-28 16:07:59  
 
  • First, Kirby's artwork is constantly improving, probably leveling up to his best years in the Golden Age. So the pencil work had to be able to compare with the master's art of Bill Everett. Everett's perfect curves and underwater universe was unparalleled. Let's trust Kirby to achieve that at some point. His underwater panels are pretty close.

  • Sue, what is the matter with your bad habit of using your power in public and freak people out? What are you trying to achieve? With all the property damage made by your teammates, you ought to keep a low profile when you can. And the guys in the team seriously have no respect for property. Because soon enough, bad manners will get you hate mail.

  • I'm pretty sure Reed would not have received the same reaction if he lifted today's bikers.

  • I can't help but feel bad for poor Ben on page 7 last panel.

  • Love the fact that Johnny ended up in a bowery house. Makes him look more... normal. We don't get much of the day-do-day issues with super-heroes. The kid had to sleep somewhere so they made good use of the situation to set up his encounter with Namor.

  • I really cannot believe Namor would have let himself shave in that matter by anyone.

  • The whole scene with the Thing having bomb jacked onto his back and slowly taking it into the creature's mouth while it sleeps was totally ridiculous, but so delicious!

  • The Torch really proved that he's probably the most useful member of the team, despite the short-lived nature of his flame powers.
 
 
 

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-03-22 14:27:39  
  I echo most of the comments above. Not a Submariner fan and this didn't move much in that direction.  
 
 

  J-hat Says:    
  2016-03-25 09:03:40  
  I can't tell if i like or dislike the fact that the torch's flame dies out fairly regularly, but tends to come back just in time, no one else's power dwindles from what I can tell.

Sue is basically useless at the moment.
 
 
 

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-10-17 15:14:02  
  Overly convenient power limitations, a questionable beginning of a character I've never much cared for, strapping a BOMB ONTO YOUR BACK AND DESCENDING INTO THE GULLET OF A SEA CREATURE, and yet it was still enjoyable, especially where this issue's action was concerned.  
 
 

  hawkeye64 Says:    
  2016-11-01 15:35:39  
  Good issue for the introduction of Namor to the Marvel Silver Age. I always liked how Marvel brought together their Golden Age history with the modern 616, as compared with how DC did theirs.  
 
 

  spb Says:    
  2017-01-11 17:40:30  
  didn't realize prince namor was such a homewrecker

seems like a lot of these early silver age comics start off really strong but then go too far over the top
 
 
 

 
 
Issue Detail Divider
 
Issue Letters Page


DEAR EDITOR:

      I’ve got to hand it to you. It takes a lot of guts to write “The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World” on the cover of your mag. But, in your case, the risk paid off, because I don’t think any comic reader can doubt it. The Fantastic Four has everything! Great art, terrific characters, and a more adult approach to the stories than any other mag I’ve read (except “Amazing Adult Fantasy,” which is yours, too, I understand). You are definitely starting a new trend in comics – stories about characters who act like real people, not just lily-white do-gooders who would insult the average reader’s intelligence. Keep it up and I’m your fan for life!

Len Blake
Los Angeles
California

What a letter! If we had any sense, we’d end this section right now, while we’re ahead. But, we’ve got more space to fill, so here goes…

 
DEAR EDITOR:

      Are you kidding?? What kind of super-characters are these? They’re always fighting among themselves! They have the same jealousies and personality clashes as real people! Have you flipped your lids?? Do you think comic mag readers are intelligent enough to appreciate all that good writing jazz? If you want my opinion – you’re darn right!

S. Goldberg
Forest Hills
New York

Whew! You had us worried there for a minute, S.G.! But it seems that we ARE right, for in just a short time the Fantastic Four has become the most talked-about comic mag in the country! Now, if only people will stop talking about it and start buying it…

 
DEAR EDITOR:

      Big Deal! So you finally hit a winner with the Fantastic Four! Now, what are you going to do for an encore??

Shirley Howard
Chicago
Illinois

That’s easy, Shirl! We can always come up with new titles like The Fantastic Five, The Fantastic Six, etc. – As long as we don’t run out of numbers!

 
DEAR EDITOR:

      In your second issue, in the Skrulls From Outer Space yarn, when Susan Storm holds the stolen gem and becomes invisible, the gem becomes invisible too! Explain that!

Bruce Fogel
Oak Park
Michigan

Tell you what – let’s make a CONTEST out of it! We’ll give $5.00 to the reader who sends in the best explanation. (How’s that for getting off the hook, pal??)

 
DEAR EDITOR:

      How about biogs of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? And don’t tell me that the Fantastic Four are real people, but Lee and Kirby are imaginary!

Jim Moony
Hollywood
California

We’re real enough, Jimmy boy! But everytime Kirby poses for a picture, the camera lens breaks! And whenever Lee starts to write about himself, he uses the word “I” and “Me” so much that the typewriter quits! However, we may yield to public demand in the future. (Some demand! One grubby little post card!)

 
DEAR EDITOR:

      My favorite Fantastic Four character is The Human Torch!! Why don’t you have a whole book just about him?

Unsigned
Fall River
Massachusetts

Maybe we will, Unsigned. But first, we’d like to know what our other fans (both of them) think. So let us know, huh? Which is your favorite character? And don’t be wise- guys and tell us Millie the Model and Patsy Walker!

 
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Trades, Collections & Reprints
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Buy Essential Fantastic Four, Volume 1 Online
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Story Locations
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Updates
Date User Name Update
   March 10, 2016 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   September 30, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 19, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 19, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 9, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 8, 2014 Neskit Added NYPD to the issue.
   May 25, 2014 fragsel Updated the listing for The Sub-Mariner.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for The Sub-Mariner.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Added Atlanteans to the issue.
     
 
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