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105: Fantastic Four #20 (v1)

" The Mysterious Molecule Man! "
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Fantastic Four #20 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, George Roussos
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Dick Ayers
Colourists: Stan Goldberg
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: November 1963
Release Date: August 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 22
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,287                 Times Rated: 665
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #19 Go to Issue #21

Strange Tales #114a (v1)
Strange Tales #114b (v1)
Fantastic Four #20 (v1)
X-Men #2 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #6 (v1)
103: Strange Tale...
#114a (v1)
104: Strange Tale...
#114b (v1)
106: X-Men
#2 (v1)
107: Amazing Spid...
#6 (v1)
Expanded Order
Strange Tales #114a (v1)
Universe Tag
Strange Tales #114b (v1)
Universe Tag
Fantastic Four #20 (v1)
Universe Tag
X-Men #2 (v1)
Universe Tag
Amazing Spider-Man #6 (v1)
Universe Tag
Strange Tales #114a (v1)
Strange Tales #114b (v1)
X-Men #2 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #6 (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
The Watcher warns the Fantastic Four of a danger to the whole solar system. A man who was a mere atomic technician until an accident scarred his face but also gave him the ability to control molecules, becoming the Molecule Man!
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #19 (v1). Mr. Fantastic next appears in Strange Tales #115a (v1).
  The Invisible Girl
The Invisible Girl last appeared in Strange Tales #114a (v1). The Invisible Girl next appears in Fantastic Four #21 (v1).
  The Thing
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #19 (v1). The Thing next appears in Fantastic Four #21 (v1).
  The Human Torch
The Human Torch last appeared in Strange Tales #114a (v1). The Human Torch next appears in Strange Tales #115a (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Alicia Masters
Alicia Masters last appeared in Fantastic Four #19 (v1). Alicia Masters next appears in Fantastic Four #21 (v1).
  Uatu the Watcher
Uatu the Watcher last appeared in Fantastic Four #13 (v1). Uatu the Watcher next appears in Tales of Suspense #49b (v1).
  The Molecule Man
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Molecule Man in the mainstream continuity. The Molecule Man next appears in Marvel Two-in-One #1.
Group Appearances
The Fantastic Four (Roster I)
The Fantastic Four last appeared in Strange Tales #114a (v1). The Fantastic Four next appears in Strange Tales #115a (v1).
Yancy Street Gang
Yancy Street Gang last appeared in Fantastic Four #15 (v1). Yancy Street Gang next appears in Fantastic Four #23 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Fantasti-Flare last appeared in Fantastic Four #5 (v1). Fantasti-Flare next appears in Strange Tales #115a (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes

Issue Notes

The letter page in this issue contains a letter from future Marvel writer and editor Mark Gruenwald.

Also in the letters page for this issue is a letter from George R. Martin, better known as George R. R. Martin the creator of Game of Thrones.

Why Essential Notes

This is the first appearance of the Molecule Man.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-24 13:14:07  
  Reed: "And it looks organic! Ben, this proves that some form of life must exist in outer space!" So the aliens visiting town every week didn't prove anything? New Yorkers in the Marvel Universe see aliens more than they see people.

Sue decides to just poke it with a stick. Hahaha Girls are dumb. :P

The Watcher repeatedly states that he's forbidden to interfere, but in his second appearance he's already interfered twice. I don't think I believe him.

Does Stan Lee ever learn how magnets work? Or that people are not magnetic? Magneto will be extra dangerous in his hands.

How did an atomic whatever it was provide Molecule Man with a magic wand?

Probably the weakest FF story so far in my opinion.

  Webslinger Says:    
  2012-04-22 19:57:57  
  The Watcher simply doesn't have that respectful aura that is yet to be developed, I like him a lot, but this appearance was bad. Didn't think of that, but srly, why the wand?  

  Bob Says:    
  2012-06-20 02:45:12  
  Yancy Street Gang to the rescue! Only part I liked.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-07-07 20:00:27  
  The Molecule Man had potential, yet this issue didn't fully use it. Could have been better but it was still decent. I could definitely name a few worse FF stories out there.  

  aramina Says:    
  2012-07-17 23:55:23  
  I feel like this is the only time the fact that they tend to destroy city property has actually been mentioned. Yeah, it was just one line, but it's been bothering me since issue #1.  

  Gym1963 Says:    
  2012-07-19 22:27:21  
  Electricity is made of molecules? People are attracted to magnets? Poor Stan's knowledge of even the most basic science was beyond pitiful! And maybe someone can explain to me how the Watcher is suddenly able to interfere (even more than usual!) right at the end of the story by taking the Molecule Man away - why couldn't he have done that in the first place and saved us all a rather silly story?  

  chrisWhite Says:    
  2012-08-01 23:51:21  
  Thomas, maybe he ment in the vacuum of outer space itself, not like on a planet somewhere in the universe. That bit definitely made me do a double take.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-18 16:05:04  
  That Watcher is full of crap. "I can never interfere!" *the Watcher proceeds to interfere*
A great issue though. I liked the Molecule Man. I liked the solution that they pulled out of their rears to beat him, too.

  sputnix Says:    
  2012-10-05 00:01:51  
  As someone who`s major is chemistry, this issue hurts in not only it`s basic and absolute failure in how atomic structures work but the lack of continuity with the space rock with reed saying it proves alien life even though they and others have fought aliens and they later meet the watcher whom they recognize! I typically love camp like this but f*** this issue  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-11-02 19:33:08  
  I have mixed feelings about this issue. On one hand, I like the design and core concept of the character of The Molecule Man, especially the bit about no one remembering his name. On the other hand, some of the specifics in this issue are painful, such as the organic alien thing that my fellow commentators mentioned that is present int the story for pretty much NO reason, as well as the lameness of The Molecule Man's wand.  

  ringsting Says:    
  2012-11-13 19:24:12  
  The worst FF villain by a country mile.

Flying magnets that attract people at each end and then repel each other?

Seriously these guys must have only heard a few science buzz words of the time without actually having any idea what they meant?

  Maidel Says:    
  2012-12-16 16:57:15  
  This one actually out me to sleep yesterday...  

  Dopey Says:    
  2013-02-15 05:05:21  
  Essential? Hmm... Maybe if only for the letters pages.

Mr. Fantastic has, in these first twenty comics, fought eight alien races by my count. Finding a shrivelled acorn in a meteor, he determines that there is life in outer space. Terribad.

Uatu the Watcher needs to contact the FF on the DL; so he distracts us from the awkward silence of our shell shock caused by Reed's previous statement by causing mass panic and public damages to get their attention. Unexplainable.

Uatu then warns them of impending danger before depositing them in Times Square, under a floating Baxter Building. Questionable.

After Reed makes a lucky assumption, the Fantastic Four surprise the Molecule Man, making him drop his magic wand. Then the Watcher takes him away. Thank God.

One star for the appearance of Mark Gruenwald, a HUGE Captain America contributer, AND George R. Martin, the esteemed author of HUGELY popular novels, in the letters pages of this issue.

  Dopey Says:    
  2013-02-15 05:10:51  
  I can only assume that with Stan taking an increased workload by giving the other mags more attention, he forgot that he had to write this mag too until a week or so before it was due. It's the only logical explanation for this issue being so bad.  

  Bruce Banner Says:    
  2013-03-12 15:27:53  
  God Sue is worthless......  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-25 18:03:41  
  The Watcher can't interfere unless he does. Since he was able to contain Molecule Man easily, why didn't he just do that in the first place? It makes no sense to let him start his rampage when he can be easily stopped-Watcher's rules or not.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-08-06 00:32:04  
  Granted, they've all been trotted out in future stories so the criticisms here still stand, but a lot of the "problems" people have with this issue are already explained by others. I thought it was obvious that Reed meant "alien life surviving in the vacuum of space" not "Wow! ET's exist! I'll just add that to the 20 other alien races we've dealt with this week!" Molecule Man's powers and reliance on the wand are explained waaay down the road as self-imposed psychological limitations and an incomplete understanding of his own nature and abilities. And Uatu is just a relatively progressive member of his race - much later it is explained (by Mark Gruenwald, I think, now that I think of it...) that they eventually realize that just watching is still a form of interference, so they start dying, and then realize that even that effects the universe, and so they kinda "grow up" a bit in their philosophy. They're really just fooling themselves (and badly) at this point because they feel bad about interfering too much in the past. I like that they're already trying to tackle some high-concept story-ideas - they'll take one panel to show and finish with an idea that a lot of later comics would spend multi-issue arcs exploring (not that one way is better than the other, I for one enjoy spending a lot of time on neat ideas) and that reveals just how chock-full of ideas Stan and Jack were!  

  spbailey9101 Says:    
  2013-08-10 09:14:10  
  Well I feel like a black sheep haha. I'm not particularly a fan of the misconception of science, but the fact that molecule man finally made an appearance was enough to make me love this comic.  

  wedgeskywalker9 Says:    
  2013-09-24 15:40:42  
  This title has been in a rut lately. Molecule Man is just dumb (why does he have a wand?), although I know he's going to improve a bit as time goes on. The action wasn't particularly exciting, and there wasn't much else going on here. I did like Kirby's depiction of the Watcher, although I think Goldberg's colors are really what made him stand out, and the Yancy Street Gang bit was fantastic. 2/5.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-10-20 14:15:20  
  I think I'll like the Watcher in the future... he sure interfere too much for what he claim but he seems overly important! The Molecule Man is average and he really likes the air molecules! An another magnetic fail from Stan...  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-24 20:00:53  
  I thought the idea of Molecule Man was pretty interesting and I loved his design with the bolts on his face. I only wish he didn't have a wand and that the Fantastic Four had actually defeated him on their own.  

  kat_ducat Says:    
  2013-10-24 22:49:12  
  They talk so much about what they're about to do, or are doing; it's getting beyond ridiculous.


  Durango55 Says:    
  2013-10-28 19:57:53  
  "Back torch - back! He's far more powerful than we!"

Who wrote the cover copy? Yikes.

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-11-18 22:20:14  
  Why does Molecule Man have a freaking wand..?!? Decent story and art, plus I love the Watcher. 3 stars.  

  VenomousIntent Says:    
  2013-12-07 02:01:52  
  Silver Age science hurts the mind.  

  MediocreMan Says:    
  2014-02-01 04:57:41  
  Seriously, had Stan Lee never actually held a magnet in his hand? As a kid, did they not have those alphabet magnets that you would try to stick on everything just to see what magnets stuck to? Didn't ever try to stick one to himself?  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-02-08 09:54:08  
  1 star for the Molecule Man who I could never get into. Even later in Secret Wars he was still annoying.

High & Mighty - It's odd that Utah the Watcher feels the need to put down the Molecule Man before he gets his power. "small, puny, ridiculous looking".

Never A Cop When You Need One - Where did that one cop go that was firing at the blue sphere earlier? He could of put a bullet in Molecule Man's head when he was busy with the FF...problem solved!

Blowhard - Ugh, the Molecule Man explains himself more than Reed even! Come on Thing clobber'em!!!

Yancy St Rules - Now Thing owes them one!

Backtrack - Ok, I like the giant slide that the Molecule Man uses.

'Nuff Said - "I'm just a nobody...a nothing! I work like a dog and no one even knows my name!"-Molecule Man

  edrlima Says:    
  2014-02-09 04:59:46  
  Worst Science mistakes ever - Positive and Negative magnets (in reality magnet poles) attract, not repel, each other. And there are no such thing as electricity molecules.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-03-18 18:14:51  
  Hoo boy, what a stinker!

It redeems itself 1 star simply for this line: "I heard about your accident, Mr. --eh --eh, whatever your name is! Carlessness cannot be tolerated by Acme Electronics! So, you're FIRED!"

The poor bastard probably didn't even see it coming!

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-03-21 17:29:10  
  1. Cheers for the Watcher...boos for the Watcher getting involved
2. Strange way to try to kill Reed
3. Woot for the Yancy Street Gang!
Good stuff...3 stars

  nanok88 Says:    
  2014-04-19 21:09:25  
  Seriously, the science mistakes keep getting worse in each comic. Positive and Negative magnets do in fact attract each other, not repel as it appeared in the comic. Overall the comic's story was ok, aside from the bad science.  

  zengosm Says:    
  2014-05-02 11:42:05  
  These comics are pretty enjoyable if you can look past the lousy science. Molecule Man's power is pretty cool, they just didn't use it to its full potential.  

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-25 14:23:18  
  I liked this issue! The Molecule Man was a pretty interesting villain! Nonetheless, I have complaints. Firstly, how does Reed not have proof of alien life after all those alien encounters? Secondly, where did the Molecule Man get a magic wand? Why would he need one? And finally, that is not how magnets work.  

  Ryumit Says:    
  2014-09-05 12:07:36  
  The worst FF issue so far for me. If you read the comments above its basically everything I would say.

Meteor - Duh
Magnets - Hmm
Sue - Useless
Watcher - Interfering

1 star for a poor issue.

  rook420 Says:    
  2014-09-26 16:14:40  
  What are molecules?
Reed: “In simplest terms, Johnny, They’re the smallest groups of atoms which compose any element.”
Wait... what?!
I thought Reed was supposed to be the most brilliant scientist in the world! It seems like he hasn’t passed high-school chemistry. Elements are the smallest distinct forms of matter found at the atomic level. You need to COMBINE elements to make a molecule. Atoms, which are the basis of elements, compose molecules. It’s not the other way around.
Well, what can one expect from a writer who hasn't understood how magnetism works or that electricity is not an element or a molecule.

  Baumi Says:    
  2014-10-02 08:23:03  
  ACME Electronics sure sounds like a nice place to work for: If get exposed to radiation in a workplace accident, you don't get compensation payments or anything like that – no, you get fired for being "careless"...  

  J-Smack Says:    
  2015-01-29 15:33:27  
  I'm just happy the Yancy Street Gang showed up.  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-03-07 05:34:17  
  The smallest unit of an element is 1 atom. A molecule is composed of 2 or more atoms. A rotating body, does not put something into orbit, gravity does. One can not make themselves fall faster than terminal velocity, without another force, by willing it. Etc, etc, etc. Did anyone at Marvel attend high school, or perhaps use their eyesight, ever? I understand that we have come a long way since then. But it seems to me as though cavemen would have had a better grasp of the laws of physics than Stan the Man.  

  Aldous Says:    
  2015-05-01 23:34:12  
  That's two issues in a row that Ben has mentioned how much he hates Follow the Leader.  

  Hovis Says:    
  2015-09-23 15:51:26  
  I've read all the books up to this one in the Order but I must have missed the part where Thing has a problem with the Yancy Street Boys. I know he's been talking about them for the last 20 issues but....  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 11:19:55  
  Follow the leader. We get that you are to old for it calm down.  

  wingot Says:    
  2015-12-06 04:44:42  
  I have the power to do whatever I want with every molecule in existence. I can convert anything into anything.

Oh no, I'm being attacked by a super team that's never been stopped, how do I defend myself? I know, I'll put distractions in place and change everything in the environment to get in their way.

Oh wait, no. Why don't I just convert their very own molecules to gas or water or something else... you know, because people are made of molecules? Found that *very* difficult to swallow that he would do magic tricks instead of just vaporising anyone that tried to stop him.

  wingot Says:    
  2015-12-06 05:00:00  
  Sigh, should have read to the end of the comic before commenting ...  

  TonyRolloBrownTown Says:    
  2015-12-20 18:50:44  
  While I fully admit this comic was... "Clunky?" at times, as people have stated in the comments above, I still found the story vary enjoyable.  

  gonzo Says:    
  2016-01-02 21:35:09  
  I'm waiting for the screwball science in these early issues to be endearing. It hasn't happened yet.  

  Shioxus Says:    
  2016-01-14 23:31:57  
  I just want to point out that on page 2 panel 1 Reed says that the acorn thing means there's life in outer space. Someone already mentioned that in and of itself is ridiculous since they see all sorts of aliens.

What really gets me though is that a mere TWO PAGES later (pg 4, pnl 4) Stan says in his info bubble about the Watcher that he's from outer space.... that coupled with the fact that the FF 4 clearly remember him made me chuckle at the ridiculousness there.

  hendrica Says:    
  2016-01-28 22:57:57  
  So I accept the premise that the molecule man can't change organic molecules, but wouldn't he have still been able to rearrange the molecules of the "coating" the FF covered themselves with?  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-04-01 18:52:13  
  • That’s my line – “Ben, your little show of strength is very dramatic, but now we’ll have to repay the city for one broken water main.” (Mr. Fantastic) - ‘Tis effin' time someone notes that!

  • George R.R. Martin was a fan?! How cool is that! I’ve even learned he collaborated once on a story!

  • I wonder if the Fantastic Four brand all their props. (cf. first panel page 1)

  • The Watcher must have had a blast observing everyone’s ridiculous attempt to tackle his gateway.

  • Watchers are forbidden to interfere, but how is asking someone else to act any different? Or take the villain away, for that matter?

  • Stan Lee is so pathetic in science it is offensive. Is there any limit to this embarrassing nonsense? I can happily accept any weird powers, but please don’t try to rationalize them if you don’t have the knowledge to do so.

  • This is the worst I’ve read in this series. And the art is really not doing it any good. 1 star, deserved only by the Yancy Street Gang!

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-05-13 21:28:58  
  Molecule Man was okay. I liked this issue more than I thought I would.  

  Calion Says:    
  2016-05-25 22:36:43  
  1. "Ben, this proves that some sort of life must exist in outer space!" How many different kinds of aliens have you met, fought, or helped so far, Reed? Including one you've faced twice! Are you a special kind of stupid?
2. Policeman: 'There's something confusing! I must shoot it!' I guess some things haven't changed much.
3. "Reed, what exactly are molecules?" "In simplest terms, Johnny, they're the smallest groups of atoms that compose any element!" So close, Stan, so close…
4. …aaand magic magnets again. Sigh.
5. …Electric…molecules… *headdesk* You could make a case that electricity is one thing he *couldn't* control. I wonder: Do individual atoms count as molecules here? Presumably not, as then he would be Atom Man

  Russ Says:    
  2016-07-24 20:00:37  
  "Some form of life must exist in outer space! Because the Skrulls, Kurrgo, and the Watcher aren't enough proof to a scientific brain such as mine!"
"I am the Watcher. It is my pledge to never interfere in the affairs of other races, unless I'm appearing in a Marvel Comics mag!"
Not one of the better FF stories, though Molecule Man has a lot of potential as a major league baddie.

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-07 01:18:56  
  "Reed, what exactly are molecules?"

More to the point: how does any high school student *not* suffering from profound head trauma NOT know what the @#$% molecules are, for pity's sake -- ?!?

  jemsmck Says:    
  2017-05-05 06:46:59  
  My biggest gripe is that Reed Richards, one of the smartest men in the world, needed to look at a dehydrated acorn to confirm that life exists elsewhere than planet earth. What about the Skrulls, the Watcher, Kurgo? Was he just not sure about the alien enemies they have faces so far?  

  Calion @ kent18 (original post):    
  2017-05-06 11:40:10  
  It's so frustrating. With just a *little* education or research, Lee could have made these mags a valuable educational resource. But he couldn't be bothered.  

  stiffmeyster Says:    
  2018-01-11 22:50:24  
  This is far the worst issue of F.F in the order.
Hate it from the very beginning of the story when Reed was trying to confirm extraterrestrial life.
¿And why they waste time giving us a scientific explanation of the molecules man's powers if he's gonna use a magic wand after all?

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-13 19:40:43  
  Read the letter's page: at least 2 famous people wrote in, proving Stan did not write all the letters himself lol

I had loved Molecule Man since Secret Wars I, II, and III (yes, you will see that issue one day). Good origin, but bad execution here. Still gave it 3 because he really caused havoc here and the Watcher had to interfere.

  ScottG12 Says:    
  2018-04-21 12:56:55  
  Strange glowing orb appears in New York

Johnny - Fires at it with intense fire balls
Reed - Tries to capture it by morphing his body
Ben - Rips out a water pipe and tries to get rid of it with a powerful current
Sue - Pokes at it with a stick...

*sigh* I hate how useless Sue is..

Issue Detail Divider
Essential Fantastic Four, Volume 1
This collection includes Fantastic 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)
Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four, Volume 2
This collection includes Fantastic Four #15 (v1), Fantastic Four #11b (v1), Fantastic Four #12 (v1), Fantastic Four #13 (v1), Fantastic Four #14 (v1), Fantastic Four #16 (v1), Fantastic Four #17 (v1), Fantastic Four #18 (v1), Fantastic Four #19 (v1), Fantastic Four #20 (v1), Fantastic Four Annual #1a
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Letters Page

Dear Stan and Jack,

      Reading your mags is a family affair around our house. My oldest brother reads SGT. FURY and SPIDER-MAN. I read the F.F., THOR, ANT-MAN, and SPIDER-MAN. My sister reads PATSY AND HEDY, KATHY, and MILLIE THE MODEL. We all read the F.F. Now that you have so many new heroes, I read nothing but MARVEL COMICS. They provide excellent entertainment for the young as well as the old. I'm going to go buy both your F.F. ANNUAL and STRANGE TALES ANNUAL. I love all your characters. The F.F. is the best magazine ever published!

James Maupin
R.R. 1 Box 19
Henry, Illinois

Many thanks, Jimmy. But, if you like something, don't be so shy – TELL us!

Dear Stan and Jack,

      TALES TO ASTONISH #45 was pretty good! Say, why not let Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne marry? They're obviously in love, and since they are going to work as a team, I see no reason whatsoever that could keep them from marriage. Please give this some serious thought.

Athens, Texas

For some reason, there was no name signed to this letter. Maybe it was written by Pym himself, the sneak!

Dear Stan and Jack,

      ZZOOWWEEYY!! Dr. Doom is the best character you have! But do me a favor – don’t let the F.F. catch him. If you've already let them catch him, then let him get away in a future issue. I'm going to take a rough guess – I believe Dr. Doom wears an iron mask. You said he wasn't a robot, yet he has square metal eyes which are grey, a grey, square chin, a steel grey triangular nose, and his whole face is loaded with screws. Then you said that you'd write a long story about it and it doesn’t take a long, meaty story to tell about an iron mask. I noticed the first picture on page 22. It was beautiful! In other words you forgot to put the lines in to show where the Invisible Girl was. I like it that way, mainly because it looks more realistic. I mean, you wouldn't walk around with a bunch of dotted lines in real life would you?? But, getting back to the comic itself, I think it is the best comic you've ever put out!

Wayne Shepard
25 Bellmore Drive
Pittsfield, Mass.

WHO wouldn't walk around in a bunch of dotted lines?? You should SEE us, Wayne!

Dear Stan and Jack,

      As an avid reader of your magazine, I think it's my duty to point out that the title of FANTASTIC FOUR #10 was "The Return of Dr. Doom!" I have no complaints about that but the title of F.F. #16 was also "The Return of Dr. Doom!" Now, what gives? If Stan Lee and Jack Kirby can think up 16 original stories for a comic, why can't they dream up an itsy-bitsy different title? In closing, I can't wait for the next issue, but PLEASE don't call it "The Return of Dr. Doom!"

Richard Cohen
722 E. 102nd St.
Brooklyn 36, N.Y.

How about if we call it "The COMEBACK of Dr. Doom"?

Dear Stan and Jack,

      We are some of the many groups of fans who have a Fantastic Four Fan Club. Each of our members has an F.F. shirt which we made ourselves, and every member of the club is waiting for the FF Annual. We also think that you should keep your pin-up pages because they're perfect for decorating our clubhouse. We just had a poll on the comics and heroes in the F.F. and here's the result: Favorite Cover: "The Return of Dr. Doom"; Favorite Story: "The Mad Thinker and His Awesome Android"; Best Villain: Dr. Doom; Best Pin-up: Picture of the Fantastic Four; Best Member: Human Torch. I suppose that after this there'll be more F.F. polls so we're glad we started it.

Fantastic Four Fan Club
c/o Mark Gruenwald, secretary
605 North Sawyer
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

We hear that some of the Fantastic Four fan clubs are getting so exclusive that even the F.F. have trouble getting in! We want to thank all you fan club members all over the world for your terrific letters and enthusiasm. We genuinely appreciate it.

Dear Stan and Jack,

      Most fans write and tell you how great your comic mag is. Well, I agree with all of them, but I would like to tell you how I started reading the F.F. comic mag. It all began when my friend was going to the store to get a magazine. I scraped up 12¢ and went with him. I figured I might as well 'goof off' while I read a comic book. I looked at them all, and I saw this new one. (It was #2 – I missed #1) I thought it was one of the prank comics…a man that can stretch himself, a kid that can imitate a barn fire, a strong lumpy gorilla, and a girl whose vanishing cream really works!! Well, it was love at first sight, even though my hair wasn't combed. I have every F.F. comic mag except #1, and I love them all!

Dana Riell
2814 W. 8th St.
Brooklyn 24, N.Y.

Like we always say, Dana. The public's taste seems to be improving each day! On behalf of the merry Marvel Group – we thank you!

Dear Stan and Jack,

      The costumes of the F.F. and their enemies have changed since they first appeared. I think they looked better the way they were at first. For instance, the F.F. looked better with thick collars and belts, and the belts would look better with blue buckles. As for villains, Dr. Doom wore a cape in his second adventures. Why? I think he looked better without one. I also think Sub-Mariner looked better in red trunks. A great flaw in your mag is the way the Torch is always flaming on, especially in F.F. #4 and #12. And, he ought to have a girlfriend. He's getting about that age. As for Alicia, Reed should restore her sight in some highly scientific way. As Dr. Doom said, "It has been inevitable and long delayed." Sue Storm should keep her old hair style. She just isn't herself without it. Despite my few objections, I am a devoted fan of your mag. If not for the F.F., I would give up comics completely.

Karl Spence
9763 Westview St.
Houston, Texas

Hmmmm. Wonder what you write to mags that you DON'T like, Karl?

Dear Stan and Jack,

      F.F. #17 "In The Clutches of Doc Doom" was, in my opinion, one of Lee's masterpieces. The idea of having Ben (Thing) Grimm single-handedly invade Doc Doom's spaceship was a stroke of genius. Having the Thing turn back into Ben Grimm is good, but you shouldn't play it up every other issue. As a title "In The Clutches of Doctor Doom"… or is it "Defeated by Doctor Doom" … was unoriginal and gave a distasteful effect to your story. I should think that your staff of exceptional writers would be able to come up with a more appropriate title than that. I especially like the way that you had the FF trapped in Doom's ship. Each had to rely on his own special power to escape. You should have more of this in future stories. As for the good-old-doctor, he escaped safe-and-sound… (as if we hadn't suspected!) Another of the fine points in your mag was the SGT. FURY advertisement. These ads brighten up the book and you should have more of them – instead of pin-ups and information page

John Furek
1436 First Avenue
Berwick, Pa.

And yet, we've received a few letters from readers who DON'T like the ads! So what do you say, fans? Continue the ads, – or pin-up pages?

Dear Stan and Jack,

      How come we are supposed to write to "Dear Stan and Jack" instead of "Dear Jack and Stan"???

Don Keefer
4146 Allott Ave.
Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Because it's Stan's typewriter and so HE makes the rules – you troublemaker!

Dear Stan and Jack,

      I have just read F.F. #13… it is nuts! I do wish you would not include politics. The cover was misleading with the gigantic transparent hand and was cheapened by the notices plastered all over it. I have always bought F.F., but I only bought #13 for the sake of something to read. One other thing, – please, when you dispose of a villain, leave him there. After Dr. Doom escaped three times, he has made your heroes look like novices. I think all your issues are marvellous [marvelous] especially SPIDER- MAN.

Kevin Shields
364 Green Lanes
London, N-4, England

You only bought it for something to READ? What do you think the REST of us buy them for – paper dolls? Anyway, tally-ho to our British cousin!

Dear Stan and Jack,

      F.F. #17 was greater than great. Even now I sit in awe of it, trying to do the impossible – that is, describe it. It was absolutely stupendous, the ultimate, utmost! I cannot fathom how you could fit so much action into so few pages. It will live forever as one of the greatest F.F. comics ever printed, ergo, as one of the greatest of ALL comics. In what other comic mag could you see things like a hero falling down a manhole, a heroine mistaking a toy inventor for a criminal, and the President of the U.S.A. leaving a conference that may determine the fate of the world to put his daughter to bed. The epic story, spectacular and exciting as it is, is not all that made this mag so great. The letter column was top- notch, too. I nearly died when I saw Paul Gambaccini's letter. You've really made him change his tune; that letter was a far cry from the one printed in F.F. #9. Then there's your cover boast – THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC MAGAZINE! Brilliant! You were just about the World's worst mag when you started, but you set yourself an ideal, and, by gumbo, you achieved it! More than achieved it, in fact – why, if you were only half as good as you are now, you'd still be the world's best mag!!!

George R. Martin
35 East First St.
Bayonne, N.J.

We might as well quit while we're ahead. Thanks for your kind words, George, and now – it's time for our favorite department – where we talk to you straight from the shoulder.


  • There are lots of big things happening at MARVEL – and here's just a sample…
  • We've received thousands of requests to bring back one of the most famous super-heroes of the forties: CAPTAIN AMERICA! Well, we finally decided to do something about it! But, as you know, the MARVEL Group never does things in an ordinary way – and so, you will find CAPTAIN AMERICA in the #114 issue of STRANGE TALES – he'll be appearing in the same story as THE HUMAN TORCH – but, although this isn't an "imaginary" yarn, or a "dream" story, we think you'll find a real whopper of a surprise in the tale! 'Nuff said – don’t miss it!
  • Heard about the big change in TALES TO ASTONISH?? Stan and Jack think they've found a way to make ANT-MAN a zillion times more exciting! First, they teamed him with THE WASP – but now – wait till you see his newest, and greatest change – in an 18-page super-thriller, he becomes the most daringly different super-hero of all – GIANT-MAN! We, here in the MARVEL bull-pen, are really excited about this new approach and we kinda think YOU will be too! TALES TO ASTONISH #49 – get it!
  • But, wanting to play no favorites, Stan and Jack rolled up their sleeves and personally created the new THOR tale in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, #97! We think it's the most gripping, dramatic saga of the mighty Thunder God yet presented! See if you don't agree!
  • And while we're going out on limbs with our predictions, here's still another! Just for kicks, Stan teamed up with STEVE DITKO, the great portrayer of SPIDER-MAN, to produce the current IRON MAN epic in TALES OF SUSPENSE, #47. And, for an added touch of genius, DON HECK himself inked the story – first time Steve and Don have ever combined talents. So, add Stan, Steve, and Don – and you can just barely begin to guess how great THIS one is! In SUSPENSE #47 – IRON MAN, reaching new heights of greatness!
  • We could go on all day – in SPIDER-MAN #6, the super-hero sensation of 1963 battles THE LIZARD – a super-villain with a difference! Wanna see Stan and Steve top their own best efforts? You WILL, in SPIDER-MAN #6.
  • All the mags mentioned above are on sale NOW – so you've only yourself to blame, if you miss one!
  • And now, the news you've been waiting for – the next ish of FANTASTIC FOUR (No, we haven't forgotten the LEADER of the MARVEL line) will feature a fabulous guest star! See if you can guess who it is! So, we'll see you next ish, and till then – thanks for helping to make this the MARVEL AGE OF COMICS – we think you're the greatest!

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 Blue Area of the Moon  

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Date User Name Update
   March 2, 2018 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   January 29, 2018 TStarnes Added Fantasti-Flare listing.
   November 24, 2017 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   June 19, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 19, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 19, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   January 2, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The Fantastic Four.
   October 20, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for The Human Torch.
   October 20, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for The Thing.
   October 20, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for The Invisible Girl.
   October 20, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for Mr. Fantastic.
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