Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #29

Credits:

Cover Date: August 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“It Started On Yancy Street!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

What’s Going On?

The Red Ghost and his Super-Apes bring the Fantastic Four back to the moon to battle.

Details:

  • The Fantastic Four decide to walk down Yancy Street as a show of strength, to help keep crime in the area down. Sometimes, though, as the Yancy Streeters prove, the best defense against overwhelming force is heckling.

  • Unbeknownst to the group, a UFO follows the FF as they leave Yancy Street.

  • Meanwhile, the Thing and Alicia both want to break up with each other. They don’t though, because they both have self-esteem issues.

  • The FF later open some fan mail, only for that UFO to trigger a small explosion.

  • Thinking it was another prank, the FF head back to Yancy Street, only to be attacked by a group of monkeys!

  • Mr. Fantastic isn’t so easily fooled, though. He quickly realizes who is behind this mischief…

  • …the Red Ghost!!!

  • The Red Ghost captures the Fantastic Four and takes them to the moon, where he ejects their prison room onto the moon’s surface —- leaving the heroes to die!

  • The Red Ghost miscalculated, though! He left the FF within reach of the oxygen-rich Blue Area of the moon!

  • With the Invisible Girl and Thing working together, the FF are able to tunnel their way into the home of the Watcher, which (luckily) contains a breathable atmosphere.

  • The FF are warned by the Watcher not to touch his cool stuff, but since he has sworn to not interfere, he doesn’t actually do anything to stop them.

  • However, Reed is brilliant enough to comprehend some of the Watcher’s gadgets, and he is able to prevent the Red Ghost’s ship from leaving the moon.

  • After the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes fight the FF for a while, the battle boils down to a face-off between the Red Ghost and Mr. Fantastic, inside the Watcher’s home. The Red Ghost makes a wrong move, and falls into oblivion.

  • Unfortunately, the Super-Apes manage to escape the moon in their spacecraft without the Fantastic Four. Lucky for our heroes, the Watcher is allowed to take action to protect his own privacy, and so he transports them back to Earth. That’s not “interfering,” is it? (YES, definitely).

Is It Good?

Yes, it is. Is the plot a little silly? Absolutely! That doesn’t keep it from being fun, though. There are some minor plot holes in this issue, but Lee and Kirby do a great job keeping the story moving, and that makes up for any shortcomings in the plot.

Continuity:

  • The Red Ghost and his apes last appeared in Fantastic Four #13.
  • Reed still hasn’t proposed to Sue yet, despite purchasing an engagement ring in Fantastic Four #27.
  • This issue has Jack Kirby’s second acknowledged (but first celebrated) use of a photo collage in a comic book. It’s significantly more impressive than his first effort, in Fantastic Four #24:

  • The Watcher is now a regular character in Tales of Suspense? So far, he has been in a single issue; I wonder how long he will be featured?

  • The Red Ghost cannot remain intangible when Invisible Girl covers him with her invisible shield.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • I love how Ben just takes it for granted that there will be a cure for blindness.

  • This might be the quintessential “Stan Lee writes a scene after not understanding what Jack Kirby drew” panel of all time:

  • It’s weird that the Human Torch melts the earth on a regular basis, with no apparent effort, right? Like, shouldn’t that be a major task for him?

  • I can’t wait for this to be ignored in the future. It has been established that Sue cannot remain invisible if she is using an invisible force field. How that is supposed to impact the intangible Red Ghost (aside from maybe making him visible?) is questionable, at best.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • Pop culture reference #1:

  • Pop culture reference #2: We have another “Rock Hudson gets the ladies” joke!

  • Pop culture reference #3:

<<<Fantastic Four #28

>>>Fantastic Four #30

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