Fantastic Four #28
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #28
Reed continues to claim that the Thinker's Awesome Android was actually created by him, but that's really stretching it. At best, the Thinker created the Android from Reed's notes, but we only have Reed's word for even that. The Puppet Master had decided to give up fighting the FF due to his multiple defeats, but after seeing the Thinker's Awesome Android, he's ready to take another shot at it.
The Thinker's plan is for the Puppet Master to take control of Professor X and have the X-Men fight the FF on a plateau that has been set-up with booby traps designed to counter-act the FF's powers. Professor X resists the mental domination much better than most people but eventually succumbs. The X-Men are hesitant to fight the FF on the Professor's say-so, but Xavier tells them that the FF are secretly planning world domination. Thinking of the FF analogues in Planetary, it seems easy enough to believe that a group like the FF may attempt such a thing.
The X-Men show up at the FF's place, and there's a nice shot when the X-Men and the FF first meet, and Johnny and Bobby are shown greeting each other. No dialogue, just a bit of art as part of a group shot (the fact that Iceman and the Torch have previously met was mentioned earlier). It's very subtle for the Silver Age.
The X-Men are asking for help investigating a UFO (that's right up the FF's alley!), but Mr. Fantastic says they are too busy (which is also what he said when Iron Man asked for help locating the Hulk in Avengers #3. He's really kind of a dick). When Reed refuses, Cyclops thinks "Good! His answer is just what the Thinker predicted it would be!", which doesn't make sense for two reasons: 1) Cyclops isn't supposed to know that the Thinker and the Puppet Master are behind this scheme, and 2) Why didn't the Thinker come up with a more urgent reason that would get the FF to follow the X-Men instead of this bizarre scheme where the X-Men have to fight the FF to convince them to follow them, and then fight them again when they get them where they're supposed to get them? "Hey Reed, Dr. Doom is on the rampage!" will get the FF to drop what they are doing in a hurry.
Anyway eventually the X-Men find out that Professor X is under the Puppet Master's thrall, and the Puppet Master tries to get Xavier to directly control the X-Men, but the Beast is able to resist the mental control, and the X-Men and the FF team up to fight the Awesome Android...
...who can't be defeated until Xavier shuts down its brain.
The Puppet Master and the Thinker escape in the confusion.
Mr. Fantastic lists the Space Phantom as one of the villains the X-Men have defeated. Must be an Untold Tale.
And here's Reed stretching his neck again:
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
it's not just Reed who claims the Android as his idea. the Thinker tells the Puppet Master the same thing, and even goes so far as to say it was created by Mr. Fantastic, implying he stole it, ignoring his own part in actually being the one who built it.
Posted by: min | June 29, 2012 9:02 AM
Though the Invisible Girl is taken hostage by the X-Men here, she does make up for it somewhat later in the issue by getting the better of Marvel Girl, aka Jean Grey. I have always thought it would be nice to see Susan Storm and Jean Grey use their powers against each other in a real long fight, but thus far it has never happened. Maybe someday?
Posted by: Frightful Four fan | May 9, 2013 4:49 PM
"Mr. Fantastic lists the Space Phantom as one of the villains the X-Men have defeated. Must be an Untold Tale."
I believe this is actually Mr. Fantastic (or Stan Lee!) mis-identifying the Vanisher.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | September 1, 2013 2:14 AM
I don't recall seeing anything in the first five issues of X-Men in which Prof. X would have been revealed much to the public. How on earth would the Thinker know to plot this out, let alone have the Puppet Master make a puppet that would be able to nail him? Anyone else find this strange?
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 24, 2014 12:08 PM
Professor X did fight the Vanisher on the White House lawn. I know the average person wasn't supposed to have realized that he was involved, but this is the Mad Thinker we're talking about!
(That's all i've got...)
Posted by: fnord12 | December 24, 2014 12:32 PM
"Reed continues to claim that the Thinker's Awesome Android was actually created by him, but that's really stretching it." Well, if anyone were to "stretch" the truth, it would be Mr. Fantastic. ;)
Posted by: clyde | February 23, 2016 3:36 PM
In the panel from the climactic fight the android is much larger than it should be. Ben seems not tall enough to reach its waist.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | February 24, 2016 9:37 AM
At the end of this story the FF seem to have gained possession of the Awesome Android whose next appearance seems to be Tales of Suspense #72, 1965. How does the Mad Thinker manage to get his android back?
...or does he just build another one from scratch? What will Mr. Fantastic do to the now-mentally-paralyzed android? Do androids enjoy any protections like animal anti-cruelty laws provide? Who would mourn for an awesome android?
Posted by: James Holt | August 16, 2016 12:53 AM
I think it was Stan's notoriously bad at work, mistaking who the Space Phantom had fought.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 29, 2016 5:05 PM
Also, Stan Lee didn't seem to have a very complete grasp of the plot in this issue. One could make a case, as Jack Kirby did, that Kirby actually wrote the issue entirely, not only by plotting it out in storyboard fashion, but also by writing all the dialog & captions, either in the margins, or on the back of each page. Then, Lee did little more than re-write some of the dialog in his own style. That had long been Kirby's contention. Was it true?
p. 6, pan. 6:
Cyclops thinks, "Good! His answer is just what the Thinker predicted it would be! [...]"
But Cyclops shouldn't know that the Thinker and Puppet Master are behind the scheme. He's just following Prof X's orders. Furthermore, Prof X doesn't predict what people might say, that's more in character with what the Thinker does.
p. 18, pan. 3:
Here, Reed is explaining that he had deduced the villains' scheme, but it doesn't represent a correct understanding of their scheme. The villains aren't controlling the X-Men directly, but rather, indirectly, through Prof X. It's basically showing the same misunderstanding as in the previous example.
p. 20, pan. 3:
Posted by: Holt | October 26, 2017 8:21 AM
The plot for this issue is kind of a mess, but there are some nice bits. The X-Men are generally demonstrated as being more capable in a fight than the Fantastic Four, which I think is interesting but appropriate, given that the X-Men basically do combat training all the time. Beast, in particular, shines.
And the tone that's established here - that the FF see the X-Men as promising examples of responsible youth, all the while bordering on being flat out patronizing - is one that I think sticks around for a very long time, especially in the Claremont/Byrne eras with the Franklin and Rachel stuff.
And while he does get initially powned by the Puppetmaster of all people, this is a good early Professor X issue, as he does demonstrate power that shocks even Reed when he takes out the Awesome Android without breaking a sweat. And that characterization of Reed and Xavier's wary but respectful relationship echos in all the Illuminati retcons and in Secret Wars, even, a little.
Posted by: FF3 | January 5, 2018 10:02 PM
what issue do the fantastic four meet the X-Men for the first time. is it issue fantastic four 28? I'm looking for first meeting of the groups. thank you.
Posted by: oep1 | April 22, 2018 8:19 PM
Yes, it is Fantastic Four 28.
Posted by: Michael | April 22, 2018 8:34 PM
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