Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #28

Credits:

Cover Date: July 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky

“We Have to Fight the X-Men!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

What’s Going On?

The X-Men battle the Fantastic Four! But why? As the cover implies, it’s got something to do with the Mad Thinker and Puppet Master.

Details:

  • The Mad Thinker and Puppet Master are teaming up to defeat the Fantastic Four.

  • The Thinker’s plan is to have the Puppet Master make a puppet of Professor X, the mysterious leader of the X-Men!

  • Professor Xavier fought against the Puppet Master’s control, but ultimately lost the fight. Under the Puppet Master’s control, Xavier orders the X-Men to find and destroy the Fantastic Four.

  • The X-Men visit the FF at the Baxter Building, and are welcomed by the heroes. After a few minutes, though, the X-Men attack!

  • The X-Men fare pretty well against the Fantastic Four, despite not having a heavy-hitter like the Thing. It appears, though, that the FF might be pulling their punches a bit, as they try to figure out why the X-Men are attacking them.

  • In the end, Reed agrees to surrender, in order to learn why the X-Men attacked.

  • The X-Men leave, taking Invisible Girl hostage, after the Fantastic Four agree to follow them to an undisclosed location. Despite this, their kind treatment of Alicia Masters makes Reed confident that the X-Men are not villains.

  • The X-Men lead the FF to an isolated plateau, where Professor X commands them to fight and defeat the Fantastic Four! The teens don’t like it, but those are their orders.

  • The fight begins, but the plateau has been booby-trapped to help defeat the FF!

  • With the Fantastic Four subdued, the Mad Thinker and Puppet Master finally reveal themselves to the X-Men.

  • The villains’ plan is to continue using Professor X to control the X-Men, but Beast is able to knock the Puppet Master’s Xavier puppet away, breaking his control.

  • The Fantastic Four regroup and join the X-Men against the Mad Thinker, Awesome Android, and Puppet Master.

  • Far away, Professor X recovers enough to join the fight remotely.

  • With the Awesome Android defeated, the Mad Thinker and Puppet Master take their leave. The X-Men apologize to the FF, and all is well again.

Is It Good?

This was a solid issue. Is the Mad Thinker’s plan ridiculous? Absolutely, but that’s kind of his thing. The fights with the X-Men were fun, and highlighted members on both teams pretty well, but I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see the Human Torch vs. Iceman. Beyond the lengthy fight scenes, though, there’s not too much in terms of character development or plot advancement; I was hoping we would see some progress with the Reed/Sue romance, now that Namor has been firmly rebuffed, but not this month.

Continuity:

  • Alicia Masters last appeared in Fantastic Four #24.
  • The Mad Thinker and Awesome Android last appeared in Fantastic Four #15.
  • The Puppet Master last appeared in Strange Tales #116.
  • This is the first time the Fantastic Four and X-Men have met, aside from that time (Strange Tales #120) the Human Torch and Iceman teamed up.

  • It’s been a while since Invisible Girl has been captured, but here we go again…

  • The Mad Thinker left the Awesome Android behind when he escaped. Presumably, the Fantastic Four take it back to the Baxter Building.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • I like that people keep referring to Professor X as the “mysterious leader” of the X-Men, when he appeared with the X-Men in front of the friggin’ White House to fight criminals in X-Men #2. He hasn’t exactly kept a low profile.

  • Note: the X-Men never fought the Space Phantom. That was the Avengers. Also, if the general public knew about the X-Men fighting the Blob, then they would know where the X-Men live.

  • Cyclops, I think you mean “Just what the Professor predicted, because I definitely don’t realize that the Puppet Master is being manipulated by the Mad Thinker to control the Prof.”

  • Orders: what every teen is eager to obey.

  • Jeez, I hope this doesn’t hurt the Professor. After getting stomped on like that, he might not be able to walk again!

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