> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 5  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 2

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Let go of my arm, Sue! This is no time to go feminine and romantic on me! I’ve got things to do!”

-- Reed Richard, page 8

Vince Colletta brings us the Thing at his ugliest!


Fantastic Four #41
August 1965 • 20 pages

Publication Date: May 11, 1965

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

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

I: Feature Story: "The Brutal Betrayal of Ben Grimm!"

Pages: 20

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

First Appearance: Mr. Curtis

Villain: The Frightful Four: Sandman, Wingless Wizard, Madam Medusa, Trapster

Guest Appearance: Mr. Curtis, Alicia Masters

Gadgets & Technology: ID Machine, Johnny's modified S.S. Excalibur Racer

Synopsis: The Thing is embittered by his last fight with Dr. Doom (see FF #40). He thinks he’s lost his last chance to become Ben Grimm and blames the team for his fate. As he storms off, he mopes about his tortured fate, and in sheer physical and mental exhaustion hitches a ride to the country in the back of a pick-up truck. When he falls asleep and rolls off onto a country road, a strange force picks him up and carries him to a creepy old house.

Mr. Curtis, the building renting agent, comes along and presses the team on security issues in the wake of yet another donnybrook in the Baxter Building. While the rest of the Fantastic Four clean up their headquarters and explain Ben’s disappearance to Alicia, Thing is led into the arms of the Frightful Four, his mysterious captors. They are a more contentious group than before: Medusa has grown restless with her teammates, shouting orders and fighting with the Sandman, all the while arrogantly claiming that she is the most powerful of the members of the team. The Wizard has a plan for the Thing. Using his new ID machine, he weakens the good part of Ben’s psyche, turning him evil. The evil Thing’s first act is to cruelly breaks up a fight among the Frightful Four by punching into the wires of the house and electrocuting Medusa’s hair.

The Fantastic Four follow a police bulletin to the countryside and question the residents as to the Thing’s whereabouts. Johnny’s flare alerts the Frightful Four and they attack as soon as Reed rings their doorbell. The Sandman smothers Reed and the Wizard sends Johnny spinning out of control with an anti-grav device. Sue’s force fields deflect both Medusa and the Trapster but the rude and violent appearance of the Thing causes her to faint. Thing finishes Reed off with one punch and knocks Johnny out with a fistful of sand.

Wizard and Trapster bind the unconscious Fantastic Four and send Thing to sleep with a post-hypnotic command. Trapster and Sandman want to kill the Thing but Medusa stands in his way- she’d rather keep using Thing as a powerful pawn. To prove his loyalty, she will force him to kill Reed Richards! When Thing is awakened, the Wizard goads him into his lethal task, and he finds the "new" Thing is more than willing to comply.

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

--letter pages and house ads provided by mdnitoil

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #41-50 and Annual #3

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #41

FF #42

FF #43

Ann #3

FF #44

FF #45

FF #46

FF #47

FF #48

FF #49

FF #50


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