Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #17

Credits :

“Defeated By Doctor Doom!”

Cover Date: August 1963

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

What’s Going On?

After returning from the Microverse, the Fantastic Four try to hunt down Doctor Doom. However, Doom has plans of his own; he takes a hostage to prevent the FF from attacking him while he tries to bully his way into political power.

Is It Good?

It’s…okay. This is probably Doom’s weakest plan since his debut — it is SO petty and SO bizarre — but watching the heroes overcome his plans was pretty entertaining.

Sub-Plots:

  • Doctor Doom takes Alicia Masters hostage and threatens to harm her if the FF interfere with his plans.
  • We get a moment of Doom uncharacteristically sulking about his scarred face and inability to find love.

  • Doom’s ultimate plan is to threaten the world with destruction and war, unless he is given a Presidential Cabinet position in the US government.

  • Doom has set his defenses to recognize (and disintegrate!) the Fantastic Four’s molecular structure. Luckily, with the help of Mr. Fantastic, the Thing is able to change his molecular structure and temporarily change back into Ben Grimm!

  • Once on Doom’s ship, the team splits up. Sue rescues Alicia and then holds her own in battle against Doom!

  • When faced with the failure of his plan, Doom jumps from his airship and appears to plummet to his death.

Continuity:

  • Johnny was apparently knighted while in the Microverse.

  • Doctor Doom created and manufactured robots that are intangible. That seems like it should be a bigger deal than it winds up being.

  • Doom also developed a “grappler ray” that can remotely grab things.

  • Doctor Doom once again appears to have died at the end of this issue.
  • I may be wrong, but I believe this trap of Doctor Doom’s inspired a tribute from John Byrne, twenty years later, in Alpha Flight #3.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Honestly, Johnny, what would Ant-Man bring to the team? Being tiny? Reed already has a shrinking ray in his lab (Fantastic Four #10) and he made a version of Pym’s shrinking gas on the fly for the Xanthans (Fantastic Four #7). You’re fine.

  • “Remember when…?” Guys, this happened to you today! Ant-Man joined you on the mission and you literally just said goodbye to him!

  • Reed, if you don’t have a plan, just say so. You don’t have to put on a silly hat and lie to everyone.

  • Heat sonar? That’s not a thing.

  • Rock fetishes are a real thing in the Marvel Universe.

  • Doctor Doom’s plan was to bypass the Baxter Building’s security so he could plant tracking devices on the Fantastic Four while dressed as a janitor. The tracking devices were for intangible floating robots that he developed. The reasoning behind all of this was the he wanted to confuse and humiliate the heroes. NONE OF THIS IS PART OF HIS MASTER PLAN?!?

  • Doctor Doom wore a janitor costume over his armor and metal mask, and the FF didn’t think anything was weird about the guy?

  • The robots tracking the male members of the FF are colored white. Naturally, the girl on the team gets the one with a pink polka dot design.

  • Johnny Storm: smooth operator

  • Doom is going to all this trouble for a Cabinet position? Don’t get me wrong, That is no doubt an influential spot, but it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that you threaten the entire world for.
  • I don’t think Khrushchev called his position “dictator.”

  • Remember the robots that Doom explicitly said were only used to confuse the FF? Well, it turns out they played an important part in his overall plot. That is a quick turnaround!

  • Even though Doom was planning on the FF being unable to attack his floating base, he still had specialized traps set for each member of the team. Bizarrely, Ben, Johnny, and Reed found themselves in the traps set specifically for them. What are the odds?
  • I don’t work construction, but I don’t think concrete works like this.

  • Doctor Doom calls his floating attack base his Sanctum Sanctorum. Two notes: Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum debuted just one month earlier, and the phrase translates into “holy of holies,” so that’s a weird name for an attack ship.

  • Flame duplicates now can imitate people who aren’t on fire? And change color? I call bullshit.

  • Sue is wearing a blue jumpsuit and has blonde hair; Alicia has red (well, orange) hair and a green dress on. And this is enough to fool Doom?

  • Reed is a judo master? Since when?

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • We’ve got a joke about the then-60-year-old Bob Hope. Way to keep on the cutting edge of pop culture, Stan!

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