Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #18

Credits:

Cover Date: September 1963

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman

“A Skrull Walks Among Us!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

 

What’s Going On?

After being defeated in Fantastic Four #2, the Skrull leaders were determined to get revenge against the FF. They sent their greatest warrior, the Super-Skrull, to battle the FF.

Armed with amplified versions of all of the Fantastic Four’s abilities —- and a few more —- the Super-Skrull easily defeats the FF in direct combat. What can they do to defeat such a powerful foe?

Is It Good?

Yes, it is. This issue is a good blend of action and character moments. The Super-Skrull doesn’t have much personality in this appearance, but the challenge he presents —- he can do anything the FF can, but better —- is a unique one for this title.

Sub-Plots:

  • The Fantastic Four are still wildly popular celebrities.

  • The Super-Skrull lands in New York City, and claims Earth as a Skrull possession. The FF fight him, but he is clearly more powerful than them.

  • Reed deduces that the Super-Skrull’s abilities rely on an external power source. Reed then builds a jamming device to interrupt the Super-Skrull’s power supply.

  • With the rest of the team running interference, Sue is able to place Reed’s jamming device on the Super-Skrull. Without his power source, the Skrull is quickly defeated and sealed inside an island crater.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Super-Skrull. He has the powers of all four members of the Fantastic Four. The limits of his powers are dependent on the strength and reception of the Power Ray being beamed at him from the Skrull homeworld.
  • The Super-Skrull’s strength (when receiving the maximum strength Power Ray) far outclasses the Thing.

  • Apparently, the Thing can lift a maximum of five tons.
  • The Super-Skrull can use his flame power to…create anti-matter?

  • The Super-Skrull also has power of hypnotism.

  • This is one of the rare times where Reed uses his powers in a clearly offensive manner.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Well, Johnny, Ben did follow a guy down the street last issue because he thought it was Doctor Doom, so…

  • The concept of riding an ICBM for recreational purposes is great. Do you think they parked the missile and flew it back, too?

  • Reed Richards, scientific genius:

  • Skrulls are expert infiltrators, because they are very observant. Skrulls also have difficulty understanding concrete:

  • How much carbon do Stan and Jack think is in our air?

  • How did they get his pants?

  • The Skrull didn’t understand that concrete is harder than soil, but knows what an antiquated siege weapon looks like?

  • Reed is using a lot of scientific language reminds Thing of Vincent Price? What Vincent Price movies was he watching?

  • Johnny, if you truly made that an airtight seal, the next time the Super-Skrull gets out will be as a corpse, because you suffocated him.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • I have no idea what “great white father” means, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s a cringeworthy reference.

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