Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #12


Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Dick Ayers

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

What’s Going On?

General Thunderbolt Ross requests the assistance of Fantastic Four in capturing and destroying the Hulk. Apparently, an experimental military device keeps getting destroyed, and only someone with strength comparable to the Hulk could have done the damage. Bruce Banner and Rick Jones know that the Hulk is innocent (with Banner secretly being the Hulk. However, when the actual saboteur kidnaps Rick and orders the Hulk to drive the Fantastic Four away, the Hulk is forced to fight the FF.


  • Bruce Banner and Rick Jones have two reasons for believing the Hulk isn’t responsible for the sabotage: 1) Hulk would not likely destroy the machines from the inside-out. 2) Bruce is secretly the Hulk. So there’s that.

  • Rick Jones discovers that Banner’s lab partner is a card-carrying Communist (literally). He must be behind the sabotage!

  • Acting to save Rick, the Hulk tries to defeat the Fantastic Four. He is pretty successful, but the fight is interrupted when the Wrecker (the saboteur) shoots Hulk with a ray gun, incapacitating him.
  • This puts the FF on the Wrecker’s trail. They are able to beat the Wrecker, and the Hulk’s innocence is proved.


  • The Thing is stronger than the devices the Army designed to capture the Hulk.

  • The FF have a new Fantasti-Car. This one can separate into individual flying transports.

  • Bruce Banner refers to Reed Richards as the smartest scientific mind on the planet. That conflicts with the device used by the Toad Men in Incredible Hulk #2, which identified Banner as the planets greatest scientific mind. Who should readers believe?

  • The Torch flashes his “fire lasso” skills again. They still make no sense.

  • The Hulk uses his “sonic boom” handclap directly against an opponent for the first time.

  • The Hulk and Thing are pretty evenly matched, but it appears that the Hulk is still stronger. If it wasn’t for the ray gun blast, Hulk likely would have beaten the Thing.

  • Mr. Fantastic appears to have deduced the Hulk’s secret identity.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Johnny Storm and Rick Jones apparently annoy each other as much as they annoy me.

  • “…one of the most dramatic moments in the history of adventure-fantasy”?!? That’s laying it on a little thick, isn’t it?

  • The Hulk can hear the FF talking in a subterranean tunnel? Huh. That seems unlikely, unless he suddenly has new super-hearing powers.

  • The Wrecker kidnapped Rick Jones, and threatened to hurt Rick if Hulk did not force the Fantastic Four to leave. While the Hulk was fighting the FF, the Wrecker shoots him with a ray gun. The Wrecker is not a master strategist.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • The Thing sure loves that popular music!

  • Of course the fragile female of the group instinctively turns invisible when she’s frightened by footage of the Hulk.

  • Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl: official team mascot of the Fantastic Four. Also in this panel: Stan Lee’s complete inability to write for or about female characters.

  • Ugh, teenage slang!

  • “In the pink” has some dirtier connotations these days, Rick. Just say you’re fine.

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