Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #41

Credits:

Cover Date: August 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Frank Giacoia

“The Brutal Betrayal of Ben Grimm!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Vince Colletta

What’s Going On?

After quitting the Fantastic Four, the Thing is captured and mind controlled by the Frightful Four. His first mission: kill the Fantastic Four!

Details:

  • In the aftermath of their fight with Doctor Doom, the Thing has decided to quit the Fantastic Four. He is upset that he gave up his chance to live a normal life, and he wanders away.

  • Alicia arrives at the Baxter Building a while later, looking for Ben. Reed breaks the news to her, and she is (quite reasonably) upset that they let him leave before tending to his injuries.

  • Reed alerts the authorities to keep an eye out for the Thing, but no one has seen him, and he is not in any hospitals. The FF begin to search for their comrade.
  • Little do they know that Ben has been captured by the Frightful Four! They literally caught him napping.

  • Their plan is to mind control the Thing to make him their evil ally.

  • Their villainous plan works. However, the Wizard has made it so that the Thing follows only his instructions.

  • The Fantastic Four happen upon the Frightful Four’s hideout in their search for the Thing. Not expecting danger, the heroes are ambushed by their enemies.

  • The Thing helps the Frightful Four take down his former teammates.

  • With the heroes incapacitated, the Frightful Four decide to have the Thing kill his former teammates, starting with Mr. Fantastic!

  • To be continued…!

Is It Good?

This is a pretty good issue. The way that the Frightful Four capture Ben was really dumb, but the issue is pretty fun aside from that nonsense. I like that Stan and Jack are taking the time to flesh out their villains in this issue. I don’t know how effective some of it is —- I still don’t buy Medusa as a serious threat —- but they are certainly committed to the bit.

Continuity:

  • In Fantastic Four #40, Ben Grimm allowed Reed to transform him back into the Thing (he had been without his powers for a few issues) in order to defeat Doctor Doom. After the fight, Ben quit the team.
  • Alicia Masters last appeared in Strange Tales #133.
  • The Frightful Four last appeared in Fantastic Four #39, as part of a flashback. They also made a cameo in Journey Into Mystery #116. Their last real appearance (meaning that they actually did something) was in Fantastic Four #38, when they set off the bomb that stripped the Fantastic Four of their powers.
  • The Fantastic Four are considering moving out of the Baxter Building.

  • Medusa is asserting herself more in the Frightful Four. She is not team leader, but it appears that she would like to be.

  • Madam Medusa and the Sandman are flirting with each other.

  • The Trapster seems to be having problems on the Frightful Four. He doesn’t like Madam Medusa being more assertive, he and Sandman are constantly bickering, and he doesn’t trust the Wizard.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Madam Medusa thinks that twirling her hair makes her the Frightful Four’s most powerful member?

  • It’s always funny to me when bad guys are very open about acknowledging that they’re evil.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • Remember: boys don’t cry.

  • First off, Reed is being a dick. Secondly, Sue, that is a questionable reaction.

  • While it’s funny that Madam Medusa completely dismisses Johnny (who she will someday have a romantic relationship with), the “weak and feminine” line is pretty bad.

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