Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #21

Cover Dates:

December 1963

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman

“The Hate Monger!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)

What’s Going On?

Someone known as the Hate Monger has been stirring up trouble wherever he goes, but does so within the limits of the law.

It turns out that the Hate Monger is using a ray gun to make people hate each other. He turns the ray on the FF, and it causes them to break up. How can they defeat the Hate Monger when they can’t stand to work together?

Sub-Plots:

  • The Fantastic Four witness the Hate Monger inciting anti-immigrant violence at a rally, so they decide to take action against the Hate Monger.
  • The Hate Monger uses his “hate ray” gun on the FF, which causes them to fight each other, instead.

  • The fight gets so bad that the Fantastic Four actually break up.

  • Nick Fury shows up at the Baxter Building, looking to get the FF to help with a rebellion in San Gusto, a small South American nation. San Gusto is a democracy that the US government intends to save, if only to maintain the global balance in the Cold War.
  • Reed met Fury first, and decided to fly to San Gusto on his own to handle the problem. The rest of the estranged FF noticed the team’s jet leaving, so they converged on the Baxter Building, where Fury tricked them into flying to San Gusto, too. Fury can sense that they are under the Hate Monger’s ray.

  • The Hate Monger notices the FF leaving town, and deduces that they are heading to San Gusto, where he is instigating a rebellion. The Hate Monger heads to San Gusto to face the FF.
  • There, Reed uncovers the Hate Monger’s secret plan to conquer the world with his hate ray.
  • Reed is cured of his irrational hate by an oral tablet; he then uses tablets to fix the rest of the FF…GLOOMP!!

  • With the Fantastic Four on his tail, the Hate Monger tried to blast them again with his hate ray, but Invisible Girl spoiled his aim. Instead, it hit his own troops, who turned on the Hate Monger in a rage, killing him.
  • When the Hate Monger was unmasked, it was revealed that he may or may not have been Adolf Hitler himself!

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Hate Monger.
  • Nick Fury makes his first appearance in the modern Marvel Universe; before this, he had only been seen in WWII stories. Fury has been promoted to Colonel and now works for the CIA.

  • Interestingly, Nick Fury still has both of his eyes. I wonder when he gets his famous eye patch?

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Just a friendly reminder: Johnny Storm is immature.

  • It’s been a while, but we have another instance of a random civilian deciding to quit their job because of super-heroes.

  • I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on this editor’s note.

  • Seriously? You blindly accept the bright blue road that magically appeared in the jungle? You rebels deserve what you get.

  • It may be a trope by now, but I always love it when a villain opts to monologue instead of killing the hero.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • A girl is a girl? What the hell?

  • Reed, I’ve got bad news to tell you about America, circa 2018…

  • First of all, Sue doesn’t need to turn invisible here. Second, WHO THINKS LIKE THIS TO THEMSELVES?!?

  • They invented a South American nation, and called it San Gusto? Did Stan Lee even try when it came to the Spanish language?

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