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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"For better, or for worse — the Thing must live again!"

- - Reed Richards, page 14

The Thing cannot be stopped!


Fantastic Four #40
July 1965 • 20 pages

Publication Date: April 8, 1965

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2Ad #3

I: Feature Story: "The Battle of the Baxter Building!"

Pages: 20

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Vince Colletta
Letters: Sam Rosen

Villain: Dr. Doom

Guest Appearance: Daredevil

Marvel Milestones: Reed renames his Power-Ray as an "Electronic Stimulator"

Gadgets & Technology: TV-Eye, In-Floor Refrigeration Unit, Instant Hypnotism Impulser, "Sensitizer", Boulder Molecule Intensifier, Daredevil's Billy Club: sniper shotgun, telescoping flexi-shield

Synopsis: (continued from FF #39)

Dr. Doom still has control of the Baxter Building and uses Reed’s TV Eye flying camera to track down a powerless Fantastic Four. Daredevil spots the TV Eye, and turning his cane into a sniper shotgun, blasts it out of the sky. He scales the building to tackle Doom, leaving Reed to reunite with Johnny and Sue.

The three arrive at the Baxter Building and find it swarming with police. Reed tells the officers to pull back and let them handle Dr. Doom. As soon as they set foot in the lobby, electrical bolts crackle out at them. Doom has found Reed’s security equipment! Just then, Daredevil leaps into the lab with Doom and distracts him with a lash of his billy club lasso. Doom fires weapon after weapon against the blind hero, ignoring the team downstairs as they race up to face him.

The electrical bolts in the lobby cease and Ben joins the team. They load into the elevator knowing their lives could end any moment. Doom attempts to destroy their elevator with the push of a button but once again Daredevil is there to keep him at bay. He gives the team just enough time to escape the rapidly disintegrating elevator car. They head for the stairs but Doom destroys the staircase. Daredevil once again tries to wrest the security controls from Doom but this time Doom is too much for him and he is defeated. Johnny and Ben rush in a punch Doom with their bare hands while Reed goes for his recharged Power-Ray, first used in his battle against the Skrulls (see FF #37) and what he has now deemed as "the Stimulator."

Reed douses Sue, Johnny and himself in the rays and their powers are restored! The flames of the Torch hold at Doom at bay until he hits a switch on the floor that activate the Baxter Building's In-Floor Refrigeration Units. The units blast frigid air upward, slowing the five heroes to a crawl until finally covering them with a thick layer of frost, making them nearly immobile. Reed has just enough time to activate a pressure steam valve with his outstretched arm and cause an explosion of steam. Doom escapes as the heroes thaw out.

Ben is the only one who hasn’t been through the rays- and he isn’t sure he wants to. He’s finally free of being the Thing, and he likes it. It breaks Reed’s heart, but the team leader decides there’s no choice: they need the Thing to stop Doom. He bathes his best friend in power rays and they watch the awful transformation take place once again.

Reed’s nuclear equipment has made the perfect bomb for Doom, who has adapted them for the lethal purpose of blowing up the whole city. All he needs to do is get out of range, but Thing won’t let him do that. Ben rages to Doom that he is condemned to the life of a monster once again and it’s all Doom’s fault. He wants revenge, and none of Doom’s electronic tricks will stop him. He staggers through salvo after salvo of Doom’s weaponry and when he finally gets through, he breaks Doom’s hand and violently tears his armor. Reed stops Thing just short of murdering Doom, and he explains to Thing that Doom’s ego has been crushed and that is enough of a victory; plus, Doom has diplomatic immunity as a Latverian head of state. Thing isn’t satisfied with this reasoning, and he doesn’t forgive Reed for changing him back to the monster he was. He quits the Fantastic Four.

--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


Website design by Doug Roberts and John Rhett Thomas. All images on this site are copyright of Marvel Comics. This site is for reference purposes and promotion of the Masterworks line of books as well as Marvel Comics and their properties.