Fantastic Four #4 (vol. 1)
“Prisoners of Kurrgo, Master of Planet X”
EIC: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Dick Ayers
Colorist: Stan Goldberg
Letterer: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: October 1962
Release Date: July 1962
Pages: 24 Cover Price: $0.12
The story opens on Kurrgo, an inhabitant of Planet-X. In order to keep his home planet from crashing into an asteroid, he sends a robot to Earth to capture The Fantastic Four, whom he believes are the only beings in the galaxy capable of saving Planet X from imminent destruction.
Meanwhile, The FF are preparing to travel to Washington, D.C. for a banquet in their honor. The group boards The Fantasticar and Ben notices Kurrgo’s spacecraft entering the atmosphere. Reed explains they have no time to investigate, as they are due in the Capital immediately. As the team make their way, Kurrgo’s robot lands in an isolated valley and uses an “Atomic” scanner to try and locate them.
After arriving in Washington, the group receives accolades and a trophy from members of Congress. At that moment, the robot finds the team and activates a “Hostility Ray” which affects the entire city. Falling under the effects of the ray, the mood of the banquet quickly changes as the FF are declared menaces to society and the crowd turns on the heroes. The group is forced to use their powers and hurriedly escape via The Fantasticar. The robot notices the getaway and engages them immediately, forcing Reed to attempt several acrobatic maneuvers to evade the pursuing spacecraft. Unable to shake the assailant, the group land atop The Baxter Building and the robot announces that team must accompany him back to Planet X.
Outside, throngs of people affected by the hostility ray are gathering and preparing to storm the building. The robot informs them that they will no longer find quarter on Earth, and the only chance for refuge is by accompanying him to his home world. Reed reluctantly agrees, and the team travels to Planet X.
After arrival, Kurrgo regales the team with the scientific triumphs of his people, save the impending collision with the runaway asteroid, and pleads with Reed for assistance. Ben and Johnny are hostile at first, with The Torch attempting to utilize his “Super Nova” power, until a cool-headed Reed and Sue convince them to stop.
Working under the tremendous pressure of a 24 hour deadline and a planet that is beginning to shake apart, Reed works frantically to produce a reducing gas that will allow the planet’s populace to escape aboard the only available spacecraft.
Having solved the problem, Reed and team narrowly escape aboard Kurrgo’s craft as the planet succumbs to gravitational forces caused by the imminent collision. Meanwhile, still on the planet, Kurrgo hastily hatches a plan to control his people on the new planet, but is left behind to perish, a victim of his own power-hungry desires.
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