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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"You thought you were the equal of the Fantastic Four – and nobody is!”

-- Human Torch, page 18

The Human Torch takes on anti-gravity, sand, paste and hair. It's too much for a guy!!!


Fantastic Four #43
October 1965 • 20 pages

Publication Date: July 8, 1965

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

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

I: Feature Story: "Lo, There Shall Be an Ending!"

Pages: 20

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Vince Colletta
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Sgt. Donnegan

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

Guest Appearance: Sgt. Donnegan

Cameo Appearance: Dr. Doom

Gadgets & Technology: Brainwave Definer (battery-powered)

Synopsis: (continued from FF #42)

Reed and Sue escape from the Wizard and the Human Torch and carry the Thing with them, still held aloft by the Wizard's anti-grav disc planted by Reed. The evil Human Torch can’t keep up but as they make their getaway, Sue realizes the Torch let them escape: she explains to Reed that she had disabled the Wizard’s ID machine back at the Frightful Four's lair, so Johnny couldn’t have turned evil! They surmise that Johnny’s simply going undercover to sabotage the Frightful Four from within.

The Thing tries to fight back as they return to the Baxter Builidng, but he’s still weightless due to the anti-gravity discs. Reed keeps him off-balance and locks him in an escape-proof experimental lab while he tries to counteract the ID machine’s effects.

Medusa and the Wizard discover the disabled ID machine and realize that Johnny Storm has been faking his solidarity with them. They turn against Johnny, and he can’t fight off all four villains and is knocked unconscious by the Trapster’s paste blast gun.

Reed creates a Brainwave Definer (operated on batteries!) to alter Ben’s brain wave patterns but worries that the slightest miscalculation can mean instant death for his best friend. Ben wakes up halfway through the procedure and crushes Reed’s machine. It explodes! Reed braves his way through the dangerous electrical field to rescue Ben, aided only by Sue’s force field. He asks Sue to run and get him his space suit so he can be protected from the deadly cosmic waves that Ben is drenched in. Reed carries him to his bed so he can recuperate, but he and Sue can’t even be sure if Ben is alive after such an ordeal.

Meanwhile, Dr. Doom is across town frustrated at the slow rate his hands are healing from the Thing’s attack (see FF # 40. At that moment, the Frightful Four land on the roof of the Baxter Building. Sandman slides through the cracks in the ceiling and tears the roof open. They catch Reed and Sue unawares (Sue forgot to turn the building alarm on!) and show off their hostage- Johnny- lashed to a large anti-gravity device. The Wizard warns that he will send him into the upper atmosphere to suffocate if they don’t surrender. Sue fights back, pelting Medusa with force field bubbles. The Wizard tries to regain control of the situation and just then the Thing rises! The Wizard is delighted and leans over his slave, expecting him to do his bidding, but Thing crushes his uniform. He is cured and has given Reed and Sue the advantage they need to attack!

Wizard has lost control of his anti-gravity discs so the Torch is able to free himself and even the odds. The Frightful Four is beaten easily and only Medusa escapes. Johnny follows her but something about her- perhaps her beauty and femininity- makes him hesitate. She escapes in the Frightful Four’s jet. Downstairs, Reed can’t get the police to believe that he's got the three of the Frightful Four bound for arrest, so the team has to take them to jail themselves. Thing lies in bed weakened and hoping somehow, someway, he’ll be removed of his curse once and for all. Reed reminds him that he has best man duties at their wedding.

--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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