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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I'm through explaining! You three are going to learn to follow orders blindly, if need be! Now let's get to that fair!"

- - Reed Richards, page 16

One of the early examples of Kirby collage!


Fantastic Four #32
November 1964 • 21 pages

Publication Date: August 11, 1964

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2

I: Feature Story: "Death of a Hero!"

Pages: 21

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

First Appearance: Mary Storm

Villain: "The Invincible Man"/Super-Skrull

Guest Appearance: Dr. Franklin Storm, Alicia Masters

Origin: Dr. Franklin Storm, Mary Storm

Death: Dr. Franklin Storm, Mary Storm

Flashback Cameo: Mary Storm

Marvel Milestones: Second Kirby FF collage

Gadgets & Technology: Micro-Electric Wave Alteration Chamber, Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter, Atomic Space-Displacer

Synopsis: Reed has placed the Thing in a chamber to alter the micro-electric waves of his body. The experiment changes him back to Ben Grimm, and Reed announces they have 24 hours to see if the change will be permanent, leaving the team to wonder what life would be like without the Thing around. Meanwhile a strange ray from space hits a volcano at Crater Isle. The peak explodes and a shadowy creature escapes, flying off in fiery path with a sense of urgent purpose.

Back at the Baxter Building, the FF and Alicia check on Ben and find out that the experiment has unfortunately wiped out his memory. Further, he's flying into a rage, attacking the "strange people"around him. Reed has to change him back into the Thing to restore his memory. Later, the Thing wonders why Reed has failed once again, and Reed doesn't let on the exact nature of his "failure"- that he did permanently change Ben back to his normal self, but he would have had to sacrifice his memory.

The creature from the volcano has made its way to the prison cell of Dr. Franklin Storm.The figure stretches in through the bars and stands over Dr. Storm, shape-shifting into his exactform, and then banishing him into the fifth quadrant of the Andromeda galaxy.

The next day Sue and Johnny are in the warden’s office, making arrangements to meet withtheir father. In telling the warden the story of her father's fate, Sue recalls how a car accident took their mother from them and their father never got over it. He couldn’t save her on the operating tableand fell into depression and gambling. When a loan shark came to collect on his debts, a struggle broke out. The thug’s gun accidentally went off and Dr. Storm went to prison on a 20 year manslaughter charge. Completely brokenby shame and remorse, he refused to defend himself in court.

They visit Dr. Storm but he has now changed into a surly and uncaring fellow. He declaresthat he has suddenly gained powers and that he has become the Invincible Man, with all the powers of the Fantastic Four. To prove it, he turns invisible and punches through the prison wall. Johnny summons Reed and Ben to the scene with a flare but the Invincible Man is already in the streets, wearing a strange costume and shoving the crowd aside with force fields.

The Fantastic Four arrive but the Invincible Man is prepared. He swats Thing down, tosses Reed aside, heats the ground beneath Sue and spins the flame out of Johnny. Reed propels himself at the Invincible Man but Sue pushes Thing in his path, because she can’t bear to see her father hurt. The Invincible Man escapes and the crowd turns against the team, thinking they are choosing family over protecting innocent people.

Reed builds a hi-tech gadget that squares on his shoulders like a backpack and orders everyone to the World’s Fair, where their foe was last sighted. The Invincible Man is waiting for them and tosses a mechanical display at Thing who slaps it back. The Invincible Man catches it with a force field.

Reed steps forward and reveals the purpose of his gadget. It’s an Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter, and with it he’s contacted the Invincible Man’s homeworld, demanding the return of Dr. Storm. The Invincible Man drops his disguise and stands revealed - he is the Super Skrull! He had only adopted the disguise of Dr.Franklin Storm to confuse the team and turn the populace against them for not fighting him. In the agreed upon prisoner exchange, the Skrull vanishes and Dr. Storm is returned. But something is wrong when Sue and Johnny's father teleports back to Earth. He screams for the others to get back and suddenly he explodes! The Skrulls had strapped a bomb to him, in the hopes that it would explodeand kill the Fantastic Four. But instead, Dr. Storm jumped on top of the bomb and took the full bruntof the impact. He dies in the arms of his children.

--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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