Cover Date: March 1965
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone
“The Frightful Four!”
Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Scripter: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Chic Stone
What’s Going On?
The Wizard has put together a new team of villains —- the Frightful Four —- to attack the Fantastic Four!
- While the Fantastic Four are celebrating the engagement of Reed and Sue —- with the press, with superheroes, etc. —- the Wizard forms a super-villain group to attack them: the Frightful Four!
- The Frightful Four sneak into the Baxter Building and incapacitate the Thing first.
- Using teamwork and the element of surprise, they also take down Mr. Fantastic and (after she gets in some god hits) Invisible Girl.
- The Human Torch was elsewhere, so Alicia Masters, who the Frightful Four overlooked, fires off the FF emergency flare.
- Before Johnny can arrive at the Baxter Building, though, the Wizard attaches anti-gravity devices to Ben, Reed, Sue, and Alicia and leaves them to float into the skies and suffocate.
- By the time the floating heroes wake up, they are dangerously high in the atmosphere. Reed does his best to protect the others, but they don’t have much of a chance at survival.
- But there is still a chance! The Human Torch grabbed the Wizard and stole the Frightful Four’s aircraft. They flew after the floating heroes and caught up with them just in time to save them.
- When they landed safely, the Fantastic Four attack the Fearful Four and basically steamroll the villains.
- Then, there was an explosion and the Frightful Four (and their ship) disappeared. No one believes that the villains have died, so I guess we’ll see them again sometime in the future.
Is It Good?
It’s pretty good. I’m glad that Reed and Sue’s engagement is going forward; their romantic subplot has been obnoxious for a while now. There is a lot of minor action in this issue surrounding the engagement, and it provides some interesting moments for the team.
I like the idea of the Frightful Four, too. I do t know why they felt a need to find an evil female to counter Sue, but whatever.
- This is the first appearance of the Frightful Four as a team. This iteration of the team consists of the Wizard, Paste-Pot-Pete, Sandman, and Medusa. They appear to have a team color of purple; even Paste-Pot-Pete and Sandman, who do not usually wear purple, have updated their costumes to match.
- This is the first appearance of Medusa. She has long, prehensile hair. She’s going by “Madame Medusa” here, but I think she drops the “Madame” before too long.
- The Wizard last appeared in Strange Tales #118. This is the first time we’ve seen him interact with Mr. Fantastic. He gets a new costume in this issue; he is using his gravity discs to fly now.
- Paste-Pot-Pete last appeared in Strange Tales #124. This is the first time we’ve seen him interact with Mr. Fantastic.
- The Sandman last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #19. This is the first time he has met Ben, Reed, or Sue.
- Reed and Sue are officially (and publicly) engaged!
- The Yancy Street Gang sends their congratulations on the engagement with a flower bomb.
- The Wizard survived his apparent death in Strange Tales #118 entirely by chance. When Paste-Pot-Pete and Sandman broke out of prison together, they stole a plane and happened to fly by the Wizard as he was helplessly rising through the atmosphere.
- The Avengers, Rick Jones, X-Men, and Professor Xavier get invited to the engagement party. Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man either weren’t invited or could not attend.
- Invisible Girl is using her powers as offensive weapons better.
Comics Are Goofy:
- Reed and Sue invited Professor Xavier to their engagement party, despite the fact that they don’t know him. They only met him briefly last issue!
- Yes, Ben, ask your blind girlfriend to identify someone by their appearance. That’s a good idea.
- It’s really strange that Spidey shows up, stays hidden, and steals cake, right?
- This is a weird detail. It’s got more real science than most of Stan Lee’s science talk, but it doesn’t really make much sense here.