Fantastic Four #39-40
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #39, Fantastic Four #40
(Compare that to Dr. Doom, who created his own super-villains back in Fantastic Four #23)
Speaking of Doom, he has been happily sitting in Latveria thinking that he defeated the Fantastic Four, but the court magician discovers that Doom was actually only hypnotized into believing that.
Doom attacks and takes over the Baxter Building.
Daredevil helps the powerless FF re-gain the Baxter Building. He helps them get into the building but he is no match for Doom.
Reed uses his power amplifier to restore everyone's powers but the Thing's, but it's not enough to defeat Doom, so Ben Grimm has to become the Thing again.
We get a flash of the Thing's original menace as he single-handedly defeats Doom.
The art is looking really good. At this point the FF may be surpassing Spider-Man (which has been in a bit of a decline) for the best Marvel comic of the time.
Here's another weird photo background by Kirby. At least with the others, the photos have been used to depict weird new lands, like deep undersea or outer space. This is just Reed's lab, which we've seen many times before, and this style of artwork is really out of place.
Doom uses his gun that causes miniature molecules to expand into boulders. I'm a big fan of this gun because Doom uses it in the Capcom Marvel Super Heroes fighting game.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Daredevil is wearing his red costume here, which obviously strongly suggests (!) that this takes place before its debut in Daredevil #7. But see the Considerations there and in Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #1 for a reason why that can't be the case.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: The Villainy of Dr. Doom
Inbound References (13): show
Wally Wood worked on the Daredevil figures to keep it consistent with his own book.
The Torch's costume looks a bit gimpy.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 2, 2011 4:19 PM
This was one of my favorite comics of my youth. The evil Dr. Doom looming over the powerless five, being led by the newly red DD is one of the most iconic images ever.
Posted by: Kirk | March 23, 2012 12:59 AM
i don't think Reed really needed to change Ben back to the Thing in order to defeat Doom. and his reason that it's for Ben's own protection - well, i think Ben gets to decide that. douche.
Posted by: min | April 16, 2013 1:20 PM
I would love to see a "What If The Thing Killed Dr. Doom?" based on this issue?
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 2, 2014 4:04 AM
The green suit with eyepieces that Johnny wears looks a lot like the ones used by the Human Torch's opponents in Marvel Mystery Comics #4. In the Golden Age story, the flame was also green, but I still think this might be an intentional homage.
As for these issues, there are some bits I like, but the conceit that leads to them is just so dumb. The FF are desperately trying to train and mechanically approximate their lost powers to give themselves a chance at survival if an enemy attacks... when they could have just used the stimulator and bam, powers restored.
It's not even some old piece of equipment that could reasonably have been forgotten, they used it to get their powers back just two issues prior. Instead they dick around with all this other equipment, nearly get killed, then suddenly remember in #40, "oh yeah, we have a raygun that does that."
One more comedy note is that the blind man takes time to attach a sight to his rifle.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 29, 2015 12:08 PM
To be fair, Stan does try to explain that as the stimulator needing time to recharge.
Posted by: Michael | November 29, 2015 12:17 PM
Does this disprove the theory that Doctor Doom never personally appears in any story but only uses robots? Does a robot feel pain and take time to heal when its gauntlets are crushed? Can a robot be hypnotized? Would Doom program a robot to act in ways that will only humiliate Doom?
Posted by: James Holt | August 23, 2016 8:58 PM
Despite the fact he's wearing a metal mask, the way Doom's expression changes as he gets angry realizing that he didn't win just really gives a lot of emotion. It at least is nice that his people care enough to remind him that he got screwed over by Reed again.
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 23, 2016 10:25 PM
@James, if you're referring to the theory from FF #350, that story has the "real" Doom explicitly mention this story as having happened to him.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 24, 2016 10:31 AM
@fnord12, I've lost count of how many variations on this theory I've seen over the years. My most recent favorite is the theory you gave us at the end of your review for FF #1-10... that all Doom appearances since Vic was lost in space at the end of FF #6 have been Doom robots built by Reed! xD I didn't think you meant it too seriously but it got my mind working on the idea again...
The idea that any appearance of Doom could be a robot adds a lot to the overall appeal and intrigue of the character IMO. The idea that ALL appearances are robots is a bit shaky though, and I've always thought of this story as my favorite counter-argument to that idea.
Lov this site, thanks for publishing it! I wouldn't take the time to go over all these early Marvels again, except for the great fun of reading these reviews and comments, and all the new-to-me ideas that go with that experience.
Posted by: James Holt | August 24, 2016 11:41 AM
I echo James Holt's sentiments about this site. I'm having a ball with this. The green suit Johnny is wearing made me think of something from another website and hobby of mine. I'm a big fan of Philip Jose Farmer and his Wold Newton universe. The fan of this use the concept that most classic pulp and adventures heroes are real except that only a few of the superheroes exist as then why would you need the non-powered heroes? So one of the heroes that is omitted is the original Human Torch but Namor is included. So for the classic battle between Namor and the Torch the Torch's place is filled in by a man wearing a flaming suit (like this one) that was invented by Doc Savage.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 1, 2016 9:00 PM
I think the best with the story, are the things rage. I can actually feel his anger.
Posted by: Roy Mattson | May 13, 2017 10:10 AM
Critical comments from Yancy Street Journal #9(7/65):
"It's a pity that Fantastic Four is now 'the world's worst comic' since Vince Colletta took over the inks. Issues #40 and #41 looked like Kirby drew them with his third arm or something after that *$%#& inker got through spilling ink all over the pencils."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 17, 2018 7:52 PM
In #39, the sub that rescues the FF is called the U.S.S. Sea Hawk, but one crew member is wearing a shirt that clearly says U.S.S. Shark.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 16, 2018 8:31 PM
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