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Fantastic Four (1961) #39 Cover

Fantastic Four (1961) #39

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  • Imprint: Marvel Universe
  • Format: Comic
  • Price: $0.12
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JackStamper member

At this point in history, Stan and Jack where still depicting Doctor Doom as inherently evil, slapping the guy, who helped dissolve the hypnosis Reed Richards laid on him in the second annual. He also says, his intellect matches Richards, which undoubtedly would be said differently today (for example: "Thank god Richards intellect is close to mine, that way I have some interesting tools at hand. Of course, being the superior mind, I can decipher their use quickly..."). This is also still the time, where they had to say every four panels: "Oh yeah, Daredevil is blind and still awesome", which can be grating at times. And with that: All my negative thoughts are out of the way. Besides this, the issue is stellar.

After their fight with the Frightful Four, the FF have lost their powers...once more (they already lost them after reaching the Skrull-Homeworld, and we can guess Reed can't reproduce the ray he used to restore them, because he needs Skrull-Tech for it, or because the cause is different right now). Reed tries his best to restore their powers, but for now settles onj artificial powers: A Flame-Overall for the Torch, an electronical Shield-Generator for the Invisible Girl, mechanicle limbs for him and an Android for the Thing. Right on time Doctor Doom learns, he had been tricked with said hypnosis and swears vengeance yet again. He takes over the Baxter Building, while the FF are training somewhere else (probably, so the other people in the building don't have to life with their destructive training) anbd attacks them with Reeds stuff.

Reed calls their lawyer Matt Murdock...which surprised me, because in DD #2, the FF walked away from Murdock, after he failed to analyze their lease. Now he's their lawyer again, which is quite helpful when Doom attacked them, since that means they immediately have Daredevil helping them. And while Doom slowly realizes, the FF have lost their powers, the group splits up to get to the Baxter Building seperately, while Daredevil tries to get Dooms attention to cover the Fantastic Four. And...there's our cliffhanger!

It's great to see two-issue-stories like that, and it really feels like it's making best use of its space! The guest character was nicely introduced (though a bit fawned over too much) and really helps the main characters, without stealing their spotlight. The pace is fast, without speeding past the important things too fast, and the characterization is mostly spot-on. Disregarding a few minor complaints, this is a great reminder of the amazing early run of the Fantastic Four!