> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 4  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 2

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"A whole blamed city block is missin!! Too bad it ain't Yancy Street!"

- - Thing, page 4

The FF take to the skies in their fantastic Fantasti-Car!


Fantastic Four #31
October 1964 • 21 pages

Publication Date: July 9, 1964

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2

I: Feature Story: "The Mad Menace of the Macabre Mole Man!"

Pages: 21

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Chic Stone
Letters: Sam Rosen

First Appearance: Dr. Franklin Storm

Villain: Mole Man

Guest Appearance: Avengers: Captain America, Giant Man, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp; Dr. Franklin Storm

Gadgets & Technology: Transistorized Detector, Hover Cycle, Zeta-Ray Gun

Synopsis: Manhattan is rocked by tremors! The Fantastic Four are tossed about the Baxter Building and the tremors cause the Thing to have a major mishap in the bathtub! Reed orders everyone into the Fantasti-car but Sue stays behind. After scanning the front page of the newspaper, something about the front page picture distresses her- in an article describing a fugitive from a prison break. Reed can't helpbut wonder about her moodiness, but he has to rush off to respond to the emergency without her.

Ben, Johnny and Reed fly over a hole the size of a city block in the middle of midtown. It’s so deep Reed can’t stretch to the bottom and threatens to freeze Johnny with its icy temperatures when he tries to plumb its depths. The Mole Man watches them on a closed circuit television. He cackles as his plan is working perfectly, and hedecides that all he needs is the right hostage to insure its success.

The three men return to the Baxter Building but Sue is gone. Reed finds a note just as another tremor hits and bats them around the room. After the tremor winds down, he reads the note: Sue has gone down to police headquarters, on the very block the radio newscaster has announced has just disappeared!

The police headquarters sinks deep into the Mole Man’s lair. His Subterraneans round up the citizens while Mole Man searches for the Invisible Girl. Sue turns invisible but the Subterraneans don’t use conventional sight, and are able to find her with their radar senses. They grab her immediately and bring her to the Mole Man so he can use her as a hostage against the Fantastic Four.

As soon as the team learns the Mole Man has Sue, they take the pogo plane and descend deep into the hole. As they drop, giant steel tentacles dart out to slash the plane to ribbons. Johnny flies out and melts them with two fire blasts. The Mole Man responds with missiles that release spores that douse his flame. Ben pilots the plane through a whirlwind and they finally arrive in the Mole Man’s domain, resting atop the roof of the submerged police headquarters building. Thing thrusts his foot through the fuselage, tears through the plane open and carries Johnny and Reed out.

The Mole Man shows off his hostage and tells the Fantastic Four that they must not hinder his plan to conquer the surface world. Further, the team must go back to the surface and stand in the way of all opposition! A jet of pressurized air sends the three back to the surface where the Avengers are surveying the situation to try and solve it. The Fantastic Four try to halt the other heroes but a fight breaks out. Once Reed explains the situation, Thor gives him 24 hours to stop the Mole-Man. If they cannot defeat him by then, the Avengers will.

Reed builds an underground detector and they sweep the streets for Sue’s exact location. Johnny melts a tunnel straight into the ground and they use an experimental hover cycle to reach her prison. The Torch melts through Sue’s cell walls and they plow through an army of Subterraneans. The Thing knocks the entire army back as Reed reverses the machine that pulled the city blocks down.

The Human Torch is dodging the Mole Man’s Zeta Ray machine. He heats the gun destroys it,but the damage causes a chain reaction. The Fantastic Four barely have enough time to escape as the domain explodes.

Sue is injured in the explosion and they rush her to the hospital. Her condition is critical. The doctoron staff tells Reed that only one surgeon has ever performed a successful operation in such a situation, but he is a fugitivefrom the law. That very man enters the hospital, however, because he has heard Sue Storm is fightingfor her life. He is the fugitive Sue saw in the paper that morning; Dr. Storm, Johnny and Sue’s father. Johnny recognizes himand rushes up to greet him, but Dr. Storm has no time, he must save Sue! The operation is a success, and he saves the life of his daughter. Afterwards, he willingly goes with the police back to prison, but not before he takes in a privatemoment with Johnny standing over Sue in her hospital room.

--synopsis by Jonathan Clarke, aka doesitmatter, with Gormuu

--letter pages and house ads provided by Crusher Creel

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #31-40 and Annual #2

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


Ann #2

FF #31

FF #32

FF #33

FF #34

FF #35

FF #36

FF #37

FF #38

FF #39

FF #40


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