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1963-07-01 00:04:10
Tales To Astonish #45 (Ant-Man/Wasp)
1963/Box 1/Silver Age
Fantastic Four #17

Fantastic Four #16

Issue(s): Fantastic Four #16
Published Date: Jul 63
Title: "The Micro-world of Doctor Doom!"
Stan Lee - Writer
Jack Kirby - Penciler
Dick Ayers - Inker

Review/plot: Doctor Doom...

...last seen shrinking away in issue #10, is now the ruler of a microscopic kingdom. He's been shrinking the FF just to mess with them.

The FF call in Ant-Man (he leaves his new partner, the Wasp, behind).

Luckily Reed just happens to have a crystal magnifying amplifier laying around, because Pym refuses to grow to an ordinary size to speak with the team.

Ant-Man gives them his magic mushrooms (one pill will make you grow smaller. The other will make you grow larger.), and the FF hit the shrinking shrooms hard to get down to Doom's level. Ant-Man follows them a little while later.

Before that though, Reed runs into Alicia's apartment while the Thing is lifting up a piano so she can vacuum under it and shoves another "cure - just kidding" potion down his throat. While he is holding the piano. Hilarity ensues. Alicia scars poor Ben further by saying "You feel so different?? I-- I love you so that I don't want you to change! I don't ever want anything to change you!".

Also note that Ben calls Alicia "Sue" in that last panel. Hat tip to Adventures in the Marvelous Zone for catching that.

Meanwhile, a strange yellow monster has landed on Sue Storm's head, but everyone is polite enough to pretend not to notice. She is also working on becoming invisible to dogs by playing with perfume. She needs to get out more.

Doom's micro-kingdom is a medieval Europe analogue, but he is also in league with another micro-planet full of green space aliens. After an odd sequence where the FF are trapped in a dungeon in an acid sea (i can not describe the physics of how they escape), the FF defeat Doom's army with Ant-Man's help but Doom escapes back into the real world.

Dr. Doom's scheme involves trying to marry Princess Pearla of the micro-kingdom. She actually falls for Johnny.


She'll have a few more appearances, surprisingly.

P.S. It's not a "surprise" guest star if you announce him on the cover.

Cool Doom pictures:

Quality Rating: D+

Historical Significance Rating: 1

Chronological Placement Considerations: For Ant-Man and the Wasp, the MCP places this between Tales to Astonish #45-46.


Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Inbound References (4): show

Characters Appearing: Alicia Masters, Dr. Doom, Henry Pym, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Pearla, Thing, Wasp

Tales To Astonish #45 (Ant-Man/Wasp)
1963/Box 1/Silver Age
Fantastic Four #17


That is actual bad mid-60s female hair. Sue's lucky she didn't get a beehive.

the pose Sue's in after they're enlarged the first time - is that the 60s version of today's T&A pose or does she have an itch on her leg?

in the scene where Alicia's freaking out over Ben, he calls her Sue. we could call it a typo or we could call it a Freudian slip. we know he has a thing for Sue, and as we saw in FF#8, Alicia resembles Sue alot.

so, another example of sexism - the Micro-World's princess explains to the FF what they'll be doing as slaves to the aliens. Reed will be used as a human bridge, the Thing's strength will be used to mine diamonds, the Human Torch's powers will be used as a weapon in wars.....and Sue will cook for the men.

Yes, min, the Micro-World princess warned that the Invisible Girl would spend the rest of her days as a scullery maid, a drudge for the merciless Lizard Men.

Despite the crappiness of Doom's earliest appearances, he's actually learning all the time. He had the Doombots and the time machine from the start. Then he was hurled out to die in space, but wound up meeting aliens and learning the secret of transferring minds, which he used on Reed Richards. At the end of that adventure, he was caught in his own shrinking ray, which led to him discovering the Microverse and coming up with *more* ways to beat the FF. This is a guy who will hear about some surfing herald of Galactus and figure out how to steal his power. Bad as some of the early Marvels are, they did engage in long-term character-building.

Am I the only one who reads all the early FF issues and can't get the FF, as they are portrayed in Twisted Toyfare Theatre out of my mind? With Reed always inventing new things every other second, being kind of a dick, and Doom always launching the Baxter Building into space? It seems like issues like this, where Reed runs out with his cure and gives it to Ben and only then remembers that Ben is holding a piano, are the impetus for that view of the FF.

Granted, Marvel allowed Toyfare to do that, so they at least have more of a sense of humor about it all than DC.

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