“The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls From Outer Space!”
Cover Date: January 1962
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: George Klein
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
What’s Going On?
Each member of the Fantastic Four is framed for a crime by Skrulls — aliens that can change their shape at will! The press, public, and police turn on the FF, but the heroes manage to clear their good names and prevent a Skrull invasion.
Is It Good?
This is definitely a step up from issue #1, but it is still rough around the edges. The characters are still mostly generic, but the Thing stopped talking like the antihero from a Victorian novel, so that’s a nice change. The art is still only okay. One interesting panel shows a Skrull mid-transformation; most Marvel comics will show before and after panels of Skrulls changing their shapes, with effect lines indicating the change. It’s odd that the first time the Skrulls were portrayed, the visual effect was so different.
- Reed feels guilty and responsible for Ben’s monstrous appearance.
- Ben temporarily transforms back into a human when he is exposed to space radiation. He changes back into the Thing shortly after, but this becomes a recurring trope for the character.
- The Fantastic Four are worldwide celebrities! That must have happened between issues.
- The team is still fighting in street clothes; no super-hero outfits so far.
- The Skrulls can change their shape and size but need technology to mimic the FF’s super-powers
- Johnny is hampered by asbestos. Let’s see how frequently this happened, back when it was not known to be dangerous.
Comics Are Goofy:
- In the right conditions, you can melt marble stone in real life. This…does not meet those conditions.
- It is casually mentioned that the space flight that ended with the Fantastic Four gaining super-powers was supposed to be a flight to Mars. Why even bother going to the moon? What’s the challenge in that?
- Mr. Fantastic used pictures from other Marvel comics to bluff the Skrull fleet into leaving Earth alone
- Invisible Girl escapes from her military prison cell by…turning invisible and pushing past the guards when they open the door? The guards know about her powers, too. How are they shocked by any of this?
- The FF are left wondering what to do with the Skrulls that impersonated them (the other Skrulls left, and the ship these Skrulls used to land on Earth was destroyed). To keep them out of trouble, Reed hypnotizes them into believing that they are…cows?
- It sure is easier on the ol’ conscience when you are erasing someone’s identity and your victim hates everything they are!
Well, That Aged Poorly:
- That’s not an analogy that would be made today, Johnny: