Fantastic Four #36
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #36
Meanwhile, the Sandman is messing around with Paste Pot Pete.
They are joined by the Wizard. Pete and the Sandman recently escaped from jail, and in doing so rescued the Wizard, who was trapped by his own anti-gravity disc and stuck floating into space. The three of them decide to be an evil counterpart to the Fantastic Four, if only they could find a girl to hang out with them. I've convinced this has nothing to do with being super-villains; they'd just like to meet chicks. The Wizard remembers that 'for years' he has heard rumors of a strange lady, last seen on a small Mediterranean island.
It turns out to be Medusa; how long was she separated from the rest of the Inhumans? The Wizard recruits her, and, reinforcing my theory, the Sandman says she's perfect for the team without even seeing a demonstration of her powers.
The Wizard designs a power-suit for himself (previously he's just been a mad scientist type with random gadgets) and we actually see Paste Pot Pete changing out of his green costume into an identical purple one so he can match the team colors, which happen to match Medusa's classic costume. The Sandman refuses to wear a costume in keeping with his blue collar personality, which i quite enjoy.
Nearly all the Marvel Universe super-heroes (no Daredevil) show up for Reed & Sue's engagement party. Yep, it's a party full of super-heroes aaaand.... Professor Xavier, who surely is not the leader of the X-Men. He's just the only non-super-hero guy to show up at the party.
And he leaves with the X-Men (they've offered to take him to a taxi). Uh-huh. You know damn well he mind-wiped everyone in the room as he left.
Spider-Man wasn't invited either, but he snags himself some cake anyway.
The Frightful Four sneak into the Baxter Building, apparently just as all the other heroes are leaving.
They do a great job defeating the Fantastic Four...
...but then choke when it comes time to finish what they started. Instead of just killing them, the Wizard attaches his anti-gravity discs to them so that they'll float up into space and die...
...thus ensuring they have time to escape...
...and come back and win round two.
At least the Frightful Four manage to escape.
I thought this was a nice shot of the Invisible Girl fighting the Sandman.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Henry Pym is in his pre-Tales To Astonish #65 Giant Man outfit. Rick Jones is with the Avengers. See Strange Tales #118 for some placement issues regarding the flashback where the Wizard is rescued.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel's Greatest Comics #28
Inbound References (3): showAlicia Masters, Angel, Beast, Captain America, Cyclops, Henry Pym, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Jean Grey, Medusa, Mr. Fantastic, Paste Pot Pete, Professor X, Rick Jones, Sandman, Spider-Man, Thing, Thor, Wasp, Wizard
With this, the Sandman becomes a permanent FF villain (also battling the Hulk)and doesn't fight Spider-Man again until Marvel Team-Up in 1972.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 1, 2011 1:30 AM
Here's a guide to what got cut out of Fantastic Four reprints:
FF #36 lost 2 pages in Marvel's Greatest Comics #28.
#75-78 lost 2 pages in Greatest #57-60.
#79 lost 1 page in Greatest #61.
#80-93, 95-99 lost 2 pages in Greatest #62-80.
#100, 102 lost 1 page in Greatest #81, 82.
#103 lost 2 pages in Greatest #83.
#104-113 lost 1 page in Greatest #84-93.
#114-115 lost 2 pages in Greatest # 94-95.
#116 lost 11 pages in Greatest #96.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 20, 2013 5:06 PM
blind people in the Marvel Universe are amazing. Alicia doesn't have DD's super powers, but she's still able to sneak into the room occupied by the Frightful Four, find Sue Storm's unconscious body (still undetected), get Sue's flare gun, assemble it, find a window, and shoot the flare gun to warn Johnny, totally missing any nearby skyscrapers.
i thought it was extra weird that the Wizard not only tries to kill the FF by floating them into space, but he also ties them all together, increasing their odds of finding a way to save themselves. there are a few panels where you see there's a long rope with each of their legs secured to it. why didn't he shove them off in 4 different directions?
instead of Reed forming a pocket around Sue, the Thing, and Alicia, wouldn't it have been better for Sue to make an invisibe bubble around all of them so that nobody has to suffocate?
i like that Sue's powers are definitely seen getting stronger.
Posted by: min | February 11, 2013 1:46 PM
Madam Medusa was spectacular at beating the Invisible Girl! The Frightful Four were at their best when Medusa was a member of the team. She should become evil again and return to the Frightful Four!
Posted by: Frightful Four fan | May 9, 2013 3:59 PM
So did Prof. X mind-wipe Ben after FF #35? ;) Here in #36 at the engagement party Ben acts like he hadn't already met Xavier a scant issue earlier! And both Reed (in #35) and Alicia (here in #36)describe Xavier as "brilliant."
Posted by: Shar | September 24, 2013 9:26 PM
I've been reading all the FF issues in order, via essentials, and its really neat to see how Stan and Jack evolve the characters in each issue. When I got to #36 here I felt something click into place, this is when the art and the storytelling kicked into high gear from my point of view.
Other then the cover (which was kind of funny looking) this is the best issue yet.
Posted by: Silverbird | June 2, 2014 11:39 AM
Adding on Mark Drummond's comment, while Dr. Doom fights everybody, he is still primarily an FF villain. Sandman might be the first villain designed for one hero who really moved on to become a major antagonist for someone else.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 29, 2014 9:07 PM
I loved the early Frightful 4 stories and have never really liked any of the later day lineups. Medusa was according to Roy Thomas inspired by C.L. Moore's Northwest Smith story "Shambleau".
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 9:32 PM
Apparently Sandman has the ability to change his shirt's color from green to pink? Although I think in some earlier appearances, he sometimes had brown pants and sometimes had blue pants, but in either event, they're purple now. I wonder how far his ability to alter the appearance of his clothing goes?
Posted by: mikrolik | January 13, 2017 7:37 PM
Why does Ben ask Alicia who the bald guy at the party is? Does he expect her to recognise him somehow and know he's bald?
Posted by: kveto | May 27, 2018 2:09 PM
Although Johnny Storm is clearly attending the party, Kirby doesn't draw him fighting the Frightful Four and Stan has to quickly cover for it by having Sue state that he just "left".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 16, 2018 8:23 PM
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