Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #27

Credits:

Cover Date: June 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“The Search For Sub-Mariner”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)

What’s Going On?

The lovesick Namor kidnaps the Invisible Girl, hoping to win her heart with some intimate time together. Mr. Fantastic vows to stop Namor, once and for all.

Details:

  • Reed plans to buy an engagement ring for Sue very soon.

  • Meanwhile, Namor lusts after Sue and hopes to marry her, too.

  • While Reed is out shopping, Namor infiltrates the Baxter Building and incapacitates the Thing and Human Torch. He then kidnaps Sue, with the intention of convincing her to stay by his side; if she is convinced in 24 hours, he will return her to her home.

  • When Reed finds out what happened, he is furious. And he’s not happy with Ben and Johnny, either, because they didn’t stop Namor. Reed insists on hunting down Namor alone.

  • Worries that Reed’s anger will make him reckless, Ben and Johnny agree that they should look for Namor, too. But how? Johnny has the bright idea to reach out to Doctor Strange.

  • The good doctor agrees to help Ben and Johnny.

  • Doctor Strange sends his astral projection to hunt for Namor…and he finds the Atlantean! Strange observes Namor pleasing Sue for a chance to wine her and dine her. Not surprisingly, Sue is less than excited about entertaining her kidnapper.

  • Reed is not far behind Doctor Strange, though. He sneaks into Namor’s underwater palace and attacks! Despite Namor’s strength, the fight seems pretty even.

  • Meanwhile, Doctor Strange uses magic to send Ben and Johnny to Namor’s base instantaneously. They are just in time, too, because some of Namor’s troops have joined in the fight against Reed!

  • While their timing is good, Reed still insists on facing Namor alone.

  • They fight, and fight, and fight some more, with Reed making some valid points.

  • Sue interrupts their fight and tells Namor that she only loves Reed.

  • Before Namor does something in anger that he might regret, Doctor Strange magically rescues the Fantastic Four, transporting them to Reed’s submarine.

  • Afterwards, Sue doesn’t feel like discussing things with the rest of the team. This makes Reed doubt her proclamation of love, so he doesn’t take the opportunity to propose.

Is It Good?

Yes! Reed and Namor’s fight was pretty great because the two have completely different skill sets, and it took up a big chunk of this issue. Namor’s entitlement has aged surprisingly (and sadly) well; I am very glad that he is portrayed as extremely wrong in this situation. If anyone had backed him up, even with a “well, actually…” I’d have been extremely upset.

I would have liked to see Sue play a larger part in this issue, but at least she and Reed don’t get engaged at the end of the story, like she was a prize to be won.

Continuity:

  • Namor, the Sub-Mariner, last appeared in Avengers #4.
  • Namor’s trunks are red on the cover of this issue, but green on the interior.
  • This is the first time Doctor Strange has met Ben or Johnny.
  • Reed has purchased an engagement ring for Sue, but has not proposed yet.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • This seems like a dangerous invention to test in front of your girlfriend’s brother.

  • It’s nice that Namor won’t hurt Sue if she doesn’t want to be his bride (consent is important!). Kidnapping, though, kind of hurts the credibility of his claims.

  • Have you ever wondered what fish think about? Cityscapes, apparently.

  • No one agreed to your 24-hour Sue rental, so I think “cheated” is not the right word here.

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