Cover Date: October 1962
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
“Prisoners of Kurrgo, Master of Planet X”
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Dick Ayers
What’s Going On?
Kurrgo, the master of Planet X, has a problem that his advanced society can’t fix: a giant asteroid is hurtling through space, on a collision course with Planet X. Naturally, this advanced alien race cannot save themselves, so Kurrgo sends a robot to bring the Fantastic Four to Planet X so they can save the planet.
Is It Good?
It’s alright. The story itself is pretty basic, but Stan Lee is starting to get the hang of these characters. Even though the story itself is dull, it’s still fun to read because of the character work. As for the art, Jack Kirby gets to draw alien stuff (always a plus), and the Thing’s lips are becoming less exaggerated each issue.
- Congress is holding a fancy dinner to honor the Fantastic Four. None of the group want to attend, but they go anyway.
- To help persuade the FF to go to Planet X, Kurrgo’s robot turns on a Hostility Ray to make everyone rabidly hate the FF.
- The inhabitants of Planet X number in the billions, but have only built two spacecraft; the explanation for this is that they weren’t interested in space travel. To save the aliens, Mr. Fantastic creates a scientific shrinking formula, so the entire popular can fit into one ship, and the FF can take the other ship back to Earth.
- Reed lied to the aliens, telling them that he also created a gas to return them to their original size. Too bad Kurrgo didn’t know this; in a power-hungry move, he tried to keep the enlargement gas to himself, to the point where he missed getting on the escape ship and wound up dying with his doomed planet.
- The Planet X that Kurrgo rules is a different Planet X than the home planet of Groot.
- This is the first appearance of the Xantha alien race. They are not named in this issue, though.
- This issue is the debut of the Human Torch’s ability to generate a nova-strength flame.
Comics Are Goofy:
- Mr. Fantastic Doesn’t Give a Shit About Your Feeings – A Four-Act Play. Act 1: Johnny is nervous to speak in front of adults:
- Mr. Fantastic Doesn’t Give a Shit About Your Feeings – A Four-Act Play. Act 2: Ben is worried he will lose his temper and embarrass everyone.
- Mr. Fantastic Doesn’t Give a Shit About Your Feeings – A Four-Act Play. Act 3: Sue apparently has social anxiety.
- Mr. Fantastic Doesn’t Give a Shit About Your Feeings – A Four-Act Play. Act 4: Your feelings mean nothing, shut up and get to work.
- I know it can’t be a fire, Reed. Not because you fireproofed the building, but because it is steam, and steam is obviously not smoke.
- This woman is dumping dinner on her husband’s head because the Hostility Ray is making her angry. Why she was serving strawberry yogurt for dinner, I don’t know.
- Jack Kirby is a great artist, but I think his understanding of architecture may have been limited.
- Why did Mr. Fantastic agree to travel to another planet on short notice? Curiosity? Maybe. “A history of making poor decisions” is probably more accurate.
- I like that the broadcasting TV camera appears to be located in Riot City, USA.
- Kurrgo’s plan may sound poorly conceived — kidnap people from a less advanced planet to save your civilization — but it gets worse. The FF have less than 24 hours to avoid an extinction-level event…
- …and yet, Kurrgo has been watching the FF for weeks. He might not be a good leader, guys.
- Mr. Fantastic doesn’t care if he lied to you and your people. Maybe you should think twice before you blackmail the FF into helping your civilization avoid a tragic end.
- How funny is it that Marvel Unlimited kept that obvious typo in Reed’s dialogue unchanged? Compare the above panel with this black-and-white panel from The Essential Fantastic Four, Volume 1:
- It took Reed Richards less than 24 hours — on an alien planet, no less — to create a gas that safely reduces the size of living creatures a thousandfold. This is why Ant-Man gets no respect in the Marvel Universe.