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
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.
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