Monthly Archives

January 2019

The Incredible Hulk

January 21, 2019


Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was the world’s leading authority on Gamma radiation. Via military funding, he designed and built the awesome Gamma bomb in the middle of the southwestern desert.

While preparing for the countdown to test the experimental bomb, Banner noticed a car driving out into the blast zone. He ordered his assistant, Igor, to delay the countdown and frantically raced out after the other vehicle. However, Igor, secretly a communist spy, did not delay the countdown, rationalizing that if Banner wouldn’t share the secrets of gamma radiation with him, he mustn’t be allowed to share it with anyone.

Banner reached the other vehicle to find a teenage boy named Rick Jones sitting in the convertible, blowing nonchalantly on a harmonica and telling Bruce that his friends dared him to drive out there. Bruce grabbed him and dragged him to a safety trench. He threw Jones in but before he could jump in himself, the bomb exploded and Banner was bathed in the full force of the deadly gamma rays.

Hours later, Banner was in a catatonic state as he was examined by a doctor who couldn’t understand why Banner was still alive. Rick felt guilty at having caused this misfortune to Dr. Banner. He stayed with him in his room in case Banner needed anything.

But as the moon rose, the Geiger counter in the room began to tick more and more loudly. Banner started to feel strange. He grabbed his head as his muscles began to swell and burst through his clothing. He grew large and gray.

Minutes later, where Banner had stood, loomed the massive form of the Hulk.

The Hulk would become one of Marvel Comics’ greatest and most popular heroes. He would soon be acknowledged as the strongest character in the Marvel Universe. And his strength would grow in relation to his level of rage, which could be great.

But where Banner gained unmeasured limits of strength, his enormous intellect would be buried in the primitive mind of the Hulk.

Like many of Marvel’s greatest heroes, many popular heroes would later find their initial appearance on the pages of his comic book.

The Hulk

January 20, 2019

May 1962

The Incredible Hulk #1, vol. 1

“The Hulk”

EIC: Stan Lee

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, George Russos

Writers: Stan Lee

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Paul Reinman

Letterers: Artie Simek

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: May 1962

Release Date: March 1962

Pages: 24 Cover Price: $0.12

First Appearance and Origin of:

  • The Incredible Hulk/Dr. Bruce Banner

First Appearance of:

  • Rick Jones


In the desert in the Mid-West stands the enormous untested Gamma Bomb, waiting its first test firing. Miles away, in a concrete bunker, Dr. Bruce Banner, designer of the awesome weapon prepares to see his If his hard work has paid off. His assistant, Igor, is adamantly against the test, calling it too dangerous.

General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross bursts in demanding to know what the delay is. Banner assures him he is just trying to make sure every safety precaution has been taken. The General’s daughter, Betty Ross, intervenes, telling Bruce not to worry about her father.

As Banner makes final preparations, Igor pleads with him for the secret to the Gamma Rays that only Banner possesses. Igor insists that knowledge of that kind of power is too dangerous for only one man to possess.

Just them, Banner spies a young boy driving out to the launch detonation area in a sports car. He tells Igor to hold the countdown as he races in a jeep to intercept the youth. Igor plans to let the countdown commence as it will mean the end of Bruce Banner.

Banner runs toward the boy who is sitting in the convertible, playing his harmonica, bragging about how he bet his friends he could sneak past the guards and get out here. Banner grabs him and drags him to a protective trench. He throws the boy in, but before he can jump in himself, the bomb explodes, bathing Banner in full force of the Gamma Rays.

Later, as night falls, Banner begins to feel strange. The boy, Rick Jones, notices that the Geiger counter on the table is beginning to crackle louder as if radiation levels are rising in the room. Banner’s clothes begin to rip as if stretched from the inside and he holds his head in pain.

And suddenly, Bruce Banner is gone. In his place is an enormous, muscular gray figure.

The beast that was Banner crashes through a wall, destroys an Army jeep that hurdles towards him, and wanders off with Rick Jones chasing after him.

As the soldiers search for him, the beast makes its way to a cabin, guided unconsciously by the submerged intelligence of Bruce Banner. There he finds Igor searching desperately for the Gamma Ray formula. He fires a pistol at Banner but the shot has no effect. The thing that was Banner crushes the pistol in its mighty fist. He lifts Igor effortlessly over his head and hurls him across the room to crash into a table of beakers and flasks. As everything settles, Rick Jones notices a report tapes to the bottom of one such beaker with the words “Secret Report on Gamma Rays” stenciled across it.

Banner sees a picture of his former self and though he does not understand why, he hates it, says it looks weak, soft. Rick tells Banner that it is himself.

Just then, the rising sun peeks through the window, and the beast begins to change, to grow smaller, to return to the human form of Dr. Bruce Banner. Almost immediately, the police bang on the door.

The MPs along with General Ross and Betty, burst in, Ross demanding to know where ‘The Hulk’ is. The policemen pick Igor up from the floor, Igor mumbling, “The Hulk…The Hulk…” over and over.

The various military personnel who saw the Hulk describe him variously as a gorilla and a bear. Betty apologizes to Bruce for the way her father treats him and says he looks ill. Rick assures her that all Bruce needs is some rest. Betty leaves and Bruce sits, fearing the coming of the sunset, dreading the possibility that he might transform once more into The Hulk.

Meanwhile, Igor, no revealed to be a Communist spy, is locked in a military jail cell. Unbeknownst to the officials however, he has a miniature transistor radio built into a false thumbnail. He transmits a message to his superiors, how in turn say they must give it The Gargoyle, a hideously misshapen person who claims that, having read the message, The Hulk is ‘almost as powerful’ as he is.

He says he must either slay The Hulk or bring him back to Eastern Europe as his prisoner. He boards a submarine, which when near America, fires a missile into the air. The nose cone separates and parachutes to Earth. Once it has landed, the Gargoyle emerges saying it is time for him to meet The Hulk.

At the same time, Bruce and Rick drive away from Bruce’s cabin in a jeep, Bruce musing that if he is to become The Hulk again, he wants it to be out in the open this time, away from others he might harm.

But even as he talks, the sun sets and he transforms once more, causing the jeep to crash. Rick is stunned but The Hulk is unharmed. Even through the haze of limited intellect, The Hulk recognizes that he is near Betty Ross’s house and begins to make his way in that direction, Rick trying to stop him.

Unseen behind them, lurks the Gargoyle.

At General Ross’s house, Betty steps outside for a breath of air when the Hulk approaches. Betty faints in his massive arm. Rick begs The Hulk to leave but before they can, The Gargoyle confronts them.

As The Hulk rushes at The Gargoyle, The Gargoyle shoots him with a gun of his own design that he says will sap The Hulk’s will, making the Hulk his slave. The Hulk stumbles on being shot and obeys the Gargoyle’s commands to rise and follow him. Rick has been shot and follows as well.

The Gargoyle stops a truck and enslaves the driver, forcing him to drive The Gargoyle, The Hulk and Rick to a waiting lifeboat which takes them to the sub. Onboard, the board a rocket ship which blasts off to carry them to the Gargoyle’s communist country. On the trip, The Hulk transforms into Banner once more.

When the Gargoyle sees Banner, he recognizes him, realizing that Banner and The Hulk are the same person. The Gargoyle begins crying, begging Banner to tell him why he would willingly be a monster, not knowing it is not Banner’s conscious choice to transform into The Hulk, telling them he’d give anything to no longer be a monster.

Banner tells The Gargoyle he can help him. He arrange an elaborate setup He tells the Gargoyle that once he transforms he will no longer possess his brilliant mind. The Gargoyle tells the he doesn’t care. All he wants is to die a man.

Banner engages his apparatus and minutes later, The Gargoyle is no more, replaced instead by a normal human man. He curses at a picture of the communist leader, blaming him for forcing him to work with radiation which was the cause for his disfigurement, and declaring that it took an American to cure him.

Elsewhere, as the base commander phones the communist Premier, telling him that they have captured America’s top atomic scientist, one of his men rush in telling him that the prisoners have escaped and The Gargoyle has vanished. The see the Gargoyle’s escape rocket lifting off and break into his office.

They don’t recognize the man sitting at the Gargoyle’s desk. He tells them that he was the one once known as The Gargoyle and presses a switch that blows up the entire base.

On board the rocket, Banner and Rick are flown back towards America.

<<<Previous Issue in Reading Order-Next Issue in Reading Order>>>

>>>Next Issue in This Series>>>

Namor, the Sub-Mariner

January 19, 2019


In 1920, an expedition ship, The Oracle, was exploring in the South Pole. The captain, Leonard McKenzie, ordered charges detonated in the ice floe their base was on to check for scientific evidence of anything useful. Unbeknownst to Captain McKenzie, the ancient undersea city of Atlantis was directly beneath them, and the charges they were setting off were causing destruction to it and its citizens.

The elders of Atlantis ordered an army assembled, and had Emperor Thakkor’s daughter, Fen, who closely resembled a surface white woman, to go above and be a spy for them.

Fen went above and snuck into the hold of the ship where she allowed herself to be ‘discovered’, hunched up and pretending to shiver from cold. She was brought to the captain who took pity on her and wrapped her in warm clothes, which actually nearly made her too hot. She couldn’t understand the English language, nor could she stomach the food they tried to feed her, but she came to realize that Captain McKenzie was a good and decent man. As she learned his language better, the two of them became friends, and then fell in love.  They were soon married.

But she was continuously delivering secret reports to her people. She told them that the surface dwellers were too powerful. Another bombardment from above wiped out all but a few of the Atlanteans.

When Fen hadn’t returned for a time, Atlanteans attacked the ship and rescued her, supposedly killing McKenzie in the process.

Shortly after, Fen gave birth to a son, Namor – a half white/half Atlantean mutant. Unlike the Atlanteans, Namor had white skin and could live out of water for much longer periods of time. He also had wings on his ankles and could fly. He possessed incredible strength and quickly grew to hate the surface dwellers for what he perceived as their injustices against his people.

At first, in his twenties, he tried to destroy mankind but was frequently thwarted by the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond. He did become friends with a surface woman, Betty Dean, a New York City police officer. And when World War II arrived, he joined the fight against the Axis powers as a member of the All-Winners Squad and The Invaders alongside Captain America, Bucky, The Human Torch and Toro.

At some point during that time, he became injured and disappeared.

In the sixties, he found his way to the Bowery slums of New York City and was living in a flophouse with amnesia. He was soon unwittingly found by the Silver Age Human Torch, Johnny Storm, who recognized his likeness from an old Golden Age comic book. He carried the ragged bum to the harbor and dropped him into the ocean, hoping to revive his memory.

The Sub-Mariner’s memory did return, but when he found his kingdom in ruins, the result of underwater nuclear testing, Namor once more blamed the surface dwellers. He returned to tell The Human Torch that he had renewed his old crusade of vengeance against humankind.

The Torch called the rest of the Fantastic Four and they battled with Namor. Defeated, Namor vowed to return. And he did, again and again.

He developed deep feelings for Sue Storm, aka The Invisible Girl, and she reciprocated to a degree. That became the basis for many of the repeated battles between Namor and the Fantastic Four through the years.

Namor eventually found his people. He attacked New York once again with his renewed host but was once more turned back by the Fantastic Four.

Sometimes hero, sometimes villain – Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner holds an honored place amongst the ranks of the Marvel Universe.


In 1939, Martin Goodman was publisher of Timely Comics. He had a line of men’s magazines but he had also begun printing comic books.

National Comics had released the first superhero comic book, Superman. He was soon followed by Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s Batman. Now other publishers were looking to jump onto that band wagon.

That same year, Lloyd Jaquette started Funnies Incorporated. One the people he hired was Bill Everette. Everette created a hero based in part on Jack London’s Maritime Adventure Tales, Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and GM Bologna’s Mercury named Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner.

He was first presented in Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly, a free comic meant to be given to movie-going children in hopes of bringing them back the following week in order to continue the comic book tales. Unfortunately, before even one issue could be released, Motion Pictures Funnies went out of business.

But the sales agent for the company, Frank Torpy, was friends with Martin Goodman. He showed Goodman copies of other publishers’ superhero comics. He then made a deal for Goodman to publish the Sub-Mariner along with Carl Burgos’s Human Torch in a new anthology comic titled Marvel Comics.

Throughout the 30s and 40s, Namor had numerous adventures, including as part of a team of World War II heroes called The All-Winners Squad (retroactively named The Invaders) which also featured Captain America and The Human Torch.

Namor would eventually disappear as superhero comics lost their appeal after the war and throughout the 50s. In 1962, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought the character back as a sort of anti-hero in the Fantastic Four #4.

From here, Namor would pop up occasionally in the pages of the Fantastic Four, usually trying to appeal to Sue Storm to leave the team and her fiance/husband, Reed Richards, as well as starring in his own underwater adventures in the pages of Tales to Astonish, and later in his own series.

The Coming of the Sub-Mariner!

January 19, 2019

May 1962

The Fantastic Four #4, vol. 1

EIC: Stan Lee

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky

Writers: Stan Lee

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Sol Brodsky

Colourist: Stan Goldberg

Letterers: Artie Simek

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: May 1962

Release Date: February 1962

Pages: 23

Cover Price: $0.12

First (Silver Age) Appearance of:


Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, and Sue Storm are gathered in a secret hideout planning to search for Sue’s brother, Johnny Storm – The Human Torch, who left the team after a fight with Ben, aka The Thing.  Reed blames The Thing  for causing Johnny to run off, after The Thing got mad for thinking that Johnny was getting all the credit for defeating the Miracle Man.

They speed off in their flying Fantasti-car together. But soon they decide their search might go more quickly if they split up, so they separate the sections of the Fantasti-car, and each goes off in a different direction.

As they search for Johnny, he is actually at a local garage working on engines with his friends. But the Thing remembers Johnny used to spend time at the garage and soon, spots him through the window. The Thing threatens to show Johnny what happens to ‘deserters’. He picks up a car and throws it through the wall of the garage.

But before he can grab the Torch, Ben reverts back to his human form. While Ben is joyously distracted, Johnny catches fire and flies off. Almost immediately, Ben turns back to his rock-skinned form and falls to his knees in despair over once more being a Thing..

Meanwhile, Johnny has found his way to The Bowery. He gets a bed in a flop house, and relaxes with an old Sub-Mariner comic book. One of the bums notices what Johnny is reading and points to a bedraggled man sitting alone at a table. He tells Johnny that the “stumblebum” is as strong as the Sub-Mariner. When he and some of the other tenants try to force the haggardly-looking man to demonstrate his strength, he throws them away from him as if they were fleas, telling them to leave him alone.

The man moans that he can’t remember who he is. When the other men regroup and try a second assault, this time with sticks, Johnny halts them by lighting his hand on fire. He says he will shave the man to reveal his face. Once he has burned away the man’s facial hair and much of his long, tangled mane, he is shocked to discover that he is in fact the Sub-Mariner.

Johnny flies the man to the harbor and drops him onto the ocean, reasoning that if the man is really who he appears to be, the sea water will restore his memory. And true to his theory, once the man is submerged beneath the waves, his memory does return – he IS the Sub-Mariner. He remembers his people and his kingdom, and races off undersea to find them once more.

But when he arrives at his destination, his kingdom is in ruins. Noticing a radioactive glow to the ruins, he surmises that it was atomic testing by humans that destroyed the city of Atlantis. He reemerges from the water in front of Johnny, vowing revenge on the entire human race.

Johnny sends a flare signal into the air that is spotted by the rest of the Fantastic Four. They race to him in the Fantasti-car. Johnny tells them of the recent events involving the Sub-Mariner and his threats against humanity.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Mariner dives to the depths to awaken the largest living being in the world – Giganto. He finds the trumpet-horn his ancestors buried nearby and blows it. The leviathan opens its enormous eyes and rises, like a blue whale with powerful arms and legs. The Sub-Mariner leads it with the horn.

The monster surfaces and heads toward New York. Word spreads quickly from distant ships and the military quickly sets up weapons along the shore.

As Giganto approaches land, artillery shells burst harmlessly on its hide. The Torch flies out to meet it, and Giganto sprays water on him from its spout, dousing the Torch’s flame. But before he can fall to his doom, Mr. Fantastic flies past in the Fantasti-car, snakes out a rubbery arm and snags Johnny.

Giganto crashes onto the shore, crushing buildings in its path, and falls back to sleep, spent from its effort to get to land.

The military assists in strapping a nuclear bomb onto The Thing’s back. The Thing makes his way over the rubble from the destroyed buildings and into the open maw of the monstrous beast.

As he makes his way deeper into the body of Giganto, The Thing passes the wrecked remains of entire ocean vessels in the stomach of the beast. He also encounters smaller, but still vicious, sea creatures that have been swallowed alive by the monster. As he battles with them, the bomb ticks down to detonation. Racing to get back to the oral cavity before the bomb explodes, The Thing is not fast enough.

The bomb goes off, hurling the body of The Thing out of Giganto’s mouth. Reed and Johnny find Ben and announce that he was successful – Giganto is dead.

But the Sub-Mariner dismisses the death of his pet, pronouncing that he has many more creatures that he can unleash on the surface world. But before he can blow the horn, it is mysteriously removed from his hands and carried away from him.

Racing quickly, he grasps at the horn and realizes he has captured an invisible human. Realizing she can’t escape the Sub-Mariner’s grip, Sue reappears. The Sub-Mariner confesses she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. He tells her that if she will marry him, that he will abandon his quest for vengeance against the rest of humanity.

But before she can answer, the rest of the Fantastic Four surround Namor and Sue. Reed tells Namor he will never menace mankind again. Angered, Namor tells them that now he will have Sue and his revenge.

Fearing that he might actually have the power to do it, Sue reluctantly agrees to Namor’s proposal. Namor reacts with disbelief, saying she acts as if she is sacrificing herself, telling her that she should feel honored at the prospect of marrying him.

Having heard enough of Namor’s arrogance and threats, Reed, Ben and Johnny move in to grab him. But Namor hurls them away from him in a burst of strength.

Johnny’s body bursts into flame and he flies around Namor, creating a vortex that lifts and carries Namor and Giganto out to sea where it dumps them unceremoniously.

Underwater, Namor swears he will return. As if he can hear what Namor has said, Reed vows that f he should ever return, Namor will find the Fantastic Four ready and waiting for him.

<<<Previous Issue in Reading Order—-Next Issue in Reading Order>>>

<<<Previous Issue in This Series———-Next Issue in This Series>>>

The Menace of the Miracle Man

January 12, 2019

March 1962

The Fantastic Four #3 (vol. 1)

“The Menace of the Miracle Man!”

EIC: Stan Lee

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky

Writers: Stan Lee

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Sol Brodsky

Letterers: Artie Simek

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: March 1962

Release Date: December 1961

Pages: 23

Cover Price: $0.12


A stage magician called the Miracle Man recognizes the members of The Fantastic Four in his audience and calls them out by name. He then mocks their powers saying his are much greater.

The Miracle Man invites The Thing onto the stage for a contest of strength. He has two short sections of an enormous tree and asks The Thing to try and shatter one of them, which he does in three devastating blows. But the Miracle Man merely uses one finger and slices cleanly through the center of the other log.

The Thing loses his temper and slugs the Miracle Man in the chin…with no effect at all. The other members of The Fantastic Four get Ben under control and fly off in their new air conveyance, the Fantasticar. Reed muses that the world is fortunate that The Miracle man isn’t a criminal. But the Miracle Man actually is planning a criminal act. He plans to bring the statue of a giant alien monster outside a theater to life.

At the Baxter Building, as Johnny prepares to watch the live red-carpet premiere of the new giant alien movie on tv, Sue models her newly designed team costume for Reed. She has made one for each team member. Johnny spots The Miracle Man in the crowd at the televised premiere.

Suddenly, the giant statue of the alien comes to life. It begins to terrorize and destroy, but when the police prepare to shoot it with a bazooka, it vanishes instantly. The police then get a note from the Miracle Man telling them he is declaring war on the human race and intends to conquer the Earth. The police commissioner authorizes The Fantastic Four to stop The Miracle Man.

The team flies off in the Fantasticar, which separates into four individual craft so that each member of the Fantastic Four can go a different way and split up their efforts to find the Miracle Man.

A mile away, the giant alien statue monster has reappeared, smashing into a jewelry store. Mr. Fantastic arrives and stretches his rubbery body back and forth between two buildings, forming a barrier to capture the monster. But the Miracle Man hurls a brick at him and before Mr. Fantastic can recover, The Miracle Man and his monster have slipped away.

Elsewhere, the monster reappears once more, picking up a new atomic battle tank as if it was a toy. As armed soldiers shoot at it with no effect, the Human Torch shows up and begins flying fiery circles around the beast.

The monster prepares to grab Johnny out of the air when Ben and Sue arrive, Ben ripping his costume off as he complains how confining it is. The monster grabs Johnny in one enormous hand. Johnny turns up the heat of his flames and burns the statue to ashes. But the Miracle Man shoots a geyser of fire-retardant foam at the Torch, dousing his flame and causing him to fall to the ground.

The Thing approaches the Miracle Man, who makes a gesture and causes the ground to crumble under the Thing’s feet. Sue radios The Thing, telling him to order the troops back. She turns invisible and stows away on the truck the Miracle Man is using to abscond with the atomic tank.

As the other three members of the Fantastic Four plan how to find the Miracle Man and rescue Sue, The Miracle Man drives the tank to an auto junkyard and uses a crane to bury it under the hulks of old cars, effectively hiding it. Suddenly, the junkyard guard dog begins barking at something the Miracle Man can’t see. He quickly surmises that it must be the Invisible Girl. He tells her that if she doesn’t show herself immediately, he will sic the dog on her. Sue appears and the Miracle Man hypnotizes her, telling her to signal for the rest of the team to come to the junkyard, which she does.

Red and Ben arrive in a small helicopter. The Miracle Man holds a giant skeleton key which turns into a machine gun as if by magic. He fires the gun at Reed, who turns his body into a rubber ball and bounces about, making a hard target for the Miracle Man. The Thing leaps and places his body between Mr. Fantastic and the Miracle Man, his rocky hide absorbing the impact of the last few bullets before the Miracle Man is out of ammunition.

But the Miracle Man grabs Sue and races off in the atomic tank. Johnny arrives and tells Reed he saw the Miracle Man sabotage the helicopter. The three male members of the Fantastic Four leap into an antique racing car and speed of after the tank.

The Miracle Man fires a gun at them, destroying the front tire of the old car. Reed forms his body into a wheel to replace the one they lost, and they continue to give chase. The Torch flies ahead of the tank and flares his body so brightly that the Miracle Man is temporarily blinded.

Reed forces the Miracle Man to release Sue from her trance, which he does. The he tells the others that the only power the Miracle Man had was the power of hypnosis. That was how he performed all of his impossible feats. He explains that since Johnny blinded the Miracle Man for the moment, he can’t use his powers of hypnosis.

Ben grows enraged at what he perceives as Reed giving Johnny all the credit for defeating the Miracle Man. The four begin to quarrel which ends with The Human Torch telling the others that he is finished with the Fantastic Four. He flies off, leaving Reed to wonder what humanity would do if the Torch were to ever turn against them.

<<<Previous Issue in Reading Order—–Next Issue in Reading Order>>>

<<<Previous Issue in This Series———-Next Issue in This Series>>>

The Man in the Ant Hill

January 9, 2019

January 1962

Tales to Astonish #27 (vol. 1)

“The Man in the Ant Hill!”

EIC: Stan Lee

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby

Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Dick Ayers

Letterers: Jon D’Agostino

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: January 1962

Release Date: September 1961

Pages: 7

Cover Price: $0.10

First Appearance of:

  • Henry “Hank” Pym

Origin of:

  • Henry Pym’s shrinking serum


Henry Pym is a scientist whose colleagues have always ridiculed him because his ideas seem too far-fetched to them. But he has created a shrinking serum and a growth serum which can reduce the size of objects and return them to normal once more.  

He imagines all of the ways this new technology could benefit mankind – reducing the cost of shipping, even transporting military platoons more efficiently. In order for this last to work, Pym has to test the serums on himself. But, the results prove to work too quickly…and too powerfully.

Before he realizes what has happened, Pym has shrunken to a size smaller than an ant. He is quickly spotted and pursued by an army of ants.

Before they can catch him, however, he falls down a shaft in one of their anthills. He lands in honey where he becomes stuck. But he sees one lone ant who considers him for a moment, and then for some unknown reason, helps Pym out of his predicament.

Almost at once though, he finds himself surrounded by the other ants which were chasing him earlier. With no escape in sight, Pym suddenly spies a wooden match sticking out of the ground, obviously some treasure brought down by the ants.

He picks up a rock and flings it at the head of the matchstick, striking it, causing it to burst into flame. Distracted by the conflagration, the ants allow Pym to slip past them, and he climbs out of the anthill. Outside, he spies the test tube containing the growth serum balanced precariously on a window ledge high above, too high for him to hope to reach. And the ants are pursuing him once more.

But when all hope seems lost, the lone ant that saved Pym before approaches him. Pym climbs on its back and motions up to the window ledge…and the ant begins crawling up the wall, carrying Pym to salvation.

Pym bathes himself in the growth serum and almost immediately begins to grow back to his normal size.

The first thing Pym does when he is back to normal is pour the serums down the drain, realizing how dangerous their use could be. He tells his fellow scientists that he has given up on his wild scientific pursuits and will furthermore stick to more practical experiments. But the most important thing Pym took away from his incredible adventure was a new respect for the tiny ants who live below, one who had saved his life, and he vowed he would never step on one ever again.

<<<Previous Issue in Reading OrderNext Issue in Reading Order>>>

Next Issue in Series>>>

Skrulls From Outer Space!

January 9, 2019

January 1962

The Fantastic Four #2 (vol. 1)

“The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space!”

EIC: Stan Lee

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

Writers: Stan Lee

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: George Klein, Sol Brodsky

Colourists: Stan Goldberg

Letterers: John Duffy

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: January 1962

Release Date: September 1961

Pages: 24

Cover Price: $0.10


The Thing destroys an oil rig at sea.

The Invisible Woman steals a valuable jewel.

The Human Torch shows up at the unveiling of a new monument in the Mid-West and melts it to slag before flying off.

In New York City, a snakelike arm stretches into a power plant and shuts off the power to the entire city. It appears as if the Fantastic Four have become criminals.

But soon it is revealed that the crimes were actually committed by a group of shape-shifting aliens known as the Skrull, who are trying to frame the Fantastic Four to get them out of the way as they see them as the only true power that could stop a full-scale invasion of Earth by their race.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four, off on a hunting trip, hear the news of their supposed misdeeds on the radio, ant that the authorities are hunting them.

But while they make plans to clear their names, soldiers surround their cabin.

No sooner are they in custody, however, than the four heroes start looking for a means of escape. Sue turns invisible and gets free.  

The Human Torch melts through his cell wall whereas The Thing simply crashes through his. Mr. Fantastic finds a unique way of escaping, forcing his pliable rubber body through a vacant rivet hole in the steel cell wall.

Before the authorities can stop them, the four escape in a commandeered helicopter. Later, Reed dreams up a plan to fool the aliens into taking the Torch back to their hideout.

Once he’s there, Johnny signals his teammates with a flare gun and soon the other three members of the Fantastic Four arrive and together they subdue the Skrulls. Reed thinks up a plan to turn the tables on the Skrulls and their sinister plan for invading Earth.

The Fantastic Four, posing as the Skrull spies, take the Skrulls space craft and fly to the mothership. There, they show the Skrull leader pictures of horrible monsters, powerful weapons, and giant insects, all taken from science fiction movies and magazines.

The alien leader insists that they must flee for their lives, but Reed tells him that he and his ‘fellow Skrull spies’ will stay behind and sacrifice themselves to remove all evidence of Skrull presence on Earth to protect the Skrull empire. The leader commends them for bravery and the mothership flees the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Fantastic Four fly back to Earth, where they are still wanted fugitives, and are immediately picked up by the police. Reed tells them about the three Skrull they have held prisoner, so the police speed to the apartment hideout of the aliens. When the police open the door, they are met with horror. The Skrulls have shape-shifted into a giant snake and a metal cactus-like being.

The Fantastic Four leap into action and defeat them. The third Skrull changes into a buzzard, and flies out the window, trying to escape, but Reed stretches his arms and catches it. Now that the police believe the Fantastic Four, the heroes only have one problem – what to do with the aliens?

Shortly, Reed comes up with a brilliant plan.

He has the Skrulls shape-shift into cows and hypnotizes them into believing that they are cows. The Fantastic Four leave the transformed Skrulls in a pasture to live out the rest of their lives blissfully unaware of anything that has happened.

<<<Previous Issue in Reading Order————-Next Issue in Reading Order>>>

<<<Previous Issue in This Series————————-Next Issue in This Series>>>


January 9, 2019


The Fantastic Four #2 (vol. 1)

Tales to Astonish #27 (vol. 1)


The Fantastic Four #3 (vol. 1)


The Fantastic Four #4 (vol. 1)

The Incredible Hulk #1 (vol. 1)


The Fantastic Four #5 (vol. 1)

The Incredible Hulk #2 (vol. 1)


Amazing Fantasy #15 (vol.1)

Journey into Mystery #83 (vol. 1)


Fantastic Four #6 (vol. 1)

The Incredible Hulk #3 (vol. 1)

Journey into Mystery #84 (vol. 1)

Tales to Astonish #35 (vol. 1)


Journey into Mystery #85 (vol. 1)

Fantastic Four #7 (vol. 1)

The Invisible Girl

January 5, 2019


Susan Storm was born and raised on Long Island, New York, with her parents and younger brother, Johnny. When their mother died, their father, a doctor, couldn’t save her. He sank into depression, alcoholism, and gambling. When he unintentionally killed a loan-shark after gambling away the family money and went to prison, Sue and Johnny went to live with their aunt Marygay at her boarding house.

There, Sue met Dr. Reed Richards, a science student at ESU working on his third doctorate, with whom she would fall in love and eventually become engaged. She supported his every scientific dream, including his biggest one – to build a starship to fly to the furthest reaches of space.

In California, Reed finally built the craft, and, adding his best friend Ben Grimm as pilot, the two along with Sue and Johnny, commandeered the ship, for the government had threatened to shut down funding along with the program itself. They flew into space but were besieged by cosmic radiation, forcing them to crash back on Earth.

Emerging from their wrecked ship, they discovered that they had gained powerful new abilities from the rays. Sue was the first to discover hers, slowly fading from view of the others. Once past the excitement and terror of this discovery, they all agreed to call themselves The Fantastic Four and to use their new powers to help mankind.

They made their headquarters in the Baxter Building in Manhattan, although Sue and Johnny would continue to live in their family house in Glenville, episodes that were depicted in the anthology title Strange Tales. Reed and Sue eventually got married.

Over the years, Sue, once considered the weak link of the group, continued to develop and find new uses and ways to manipulate her power until she actually became the strongest and most dangerous member of the Four.

At first, only being able to turn herself invisible and cast up invisible force walls or surround someone with invisible force bubbles, she eventually learned she could do many other things. She could turn other things invisible, such as the optic nerves of an enemy, rendering them blind. She could also project a force bubble into someone’s lungs, expanding it until they burst or merely holding it until they passed out, or even died. She could project invisible platforms in mid-air for herself or others to walk across empty space, as well as many more things.

While Reed was the cold, calculating head of the group, making the rational decisions over their direction and agenda, Sue was the matronly heart and conscience of the Fantastic Four, keeping them grounded even as they embarked on fantastic missions to other worlds.