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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"What a life! When we first got our powers a few years ago, we hated ‘em! And now—we feel naked and helpless without them!"

- - Ben Grimm, page 8

A powerless FF? I hope nobody like Dr. Doom attacks now!


Fantastic Four #39
June 1965 • 20 pages

Publication Date: March 11, 1965

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2

I: Feature Story: "A Blind Man Shall Lead Them!"

Pages: 20

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Frank Giacoia (credited as Frankie Ray)
Letters: Sam Rosen

Villain: Dr. Doom

Guest Appearance: Daredevil/Matt Murdock

Marvel Milestones: FF lose their powers, USS Sea-Hawk, Reed gives power of attorney to Matt Murdock

Gadgets & Technology: Reed's "Operation Artificial Powers": Thing robot, Johnny’s flame suit, Sue’s electro-vibra suit; Doom's gyroscopic aircraft, Audiojector, Supersonic Air-Displacer Vortex Machine, Force Beam Projectile Missile

Synopsis: After floating adrift in the ocean after their defeat at the hands of the Frightful Four (see FF #38) the USS Sea-Hawk submarine rescues the Fantastic Four. Reed has a fevered dream in which he remembers how they were beaten by Frightful Four, and how the atoll exploded around them. When he awakens, he realizes that the Fantastic Four have somehow all lost their powers.

They return home and Reed works overtime to restore their powers, creating machines to duplicate their abilities. He gives Johnny a flame suit that seems to work but is unstable in the air and runs out of flame power quickly. Ben operates a Thing robot by remote control but is slow to learn how to master it and it walks straight into a wall. Sue turns on an Electro-Vibra Suit but she pulses in and out of visibility and is able to emit only a weak force field. Reed is frantic, ordering everyone to practice with their new power substitutes before their enemies learn the truth about them and take advantage of their powerlessness.

One such enemy is Dr. Doom, currently on the throne in Latveria. A hypnotist performs for his idle amusement, and while performing his tricks, he realizes that his master Doom is already hypnotized. The illusionist breaks the hypnotic spell, and it dawns on Doom that he did not destroy Reed Richards as he had believed (see FF Annual #2.) Doom is enraged by this deception, and he’s also insulted that it took this little hypnotist to see through it. He takes off in his new gyroscopic aircraft to seek revenge against them.

Matt Murdock arrives at a lonely warehouse and a stretched hand motions for him to follow. Reed is using extendable robot arms to emulate his stretching powers, but the blind attorney with the radar sense is not fooled- he can tell something unusual is going on with the heroic Fantastic Four.

Reed’s called him to grant him Power of Attorney, and to take charge of his scientific notes “if anything should happen to us." Reed doesn’t get a chance to give details to Matt since they’re immediately attacked by a sniper lobbing bombs at them! Reed shouts to Murdock to run away for his life, and the Thing tries to use his robot substitute to hold up a brick wall that's falling down. He is able to save his teammates from being crushed, but the robot is destroyed. The Fantastic Four’s power emulators are quickly rendered useless in the attack. Matt uses the confusion to change to Daredevil and races back to the scene, where he leads them through the darkened warehouse. The FF are very appreciative of the aid they receive, and once out in the street their fears are realized. Dr. Doom has taken command of the Baxter Building!

Doom sends the Fantasti-car after them as a weapon. It splits into four and tries to mow the team down but Daredevil is there to sweep them all out of harm's way. The sections of the Fantasti-car slam into each other and into walls, until eventually the moving vehicles are all destroyed.

Doom looks on at the battle, but he doesn’t understand why the Fantastic Four don’t use their powers against him; they simply seem to be running away. Regardless, he uses Richards’ Air-Displacer Vortex Machine to create a tornado that flushes them out of a tenement and scatter them across the street. The team splits up so they don't make an easy combined target. Reed and Daredevil toss gas cylinders into the vortex and when they explode, the tornado is dispersed. Doom ponders the scene he is taking in, and deduces the simple reason they are running away and not using their powers is that the Fantastic Four are powerless! He sends one of Reed’s force beam projectiles out but Daredevil lassos it and smashes it into a building. He draws Doom’s fire while the Fantastic Four regroup, much to the admiration of Reed Richards. While Daredevil takes Doom's enemy fire, the powerless FF converge back at the Baxter Building to force a showdown with their arch-enemy.

(continued in FF #40)

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

--letter pages and house ads provided by mdnitoil

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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