The Fantastic Four #40, July 1965
Spellbinding Script by: Stan (The Man) Lee
Astonishing Artwork by: Jack (King) Kirby
Inked by: V. Colletta
Lettered by: Artie Simek
I can’t believe this is only Dr. Doom’s tenth appearance out of 260 issues. That’s, what, 4%? COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Not even Daredevil with his stupid cane that is apparently a gun and a shield can ruin this issue when you’ve got Doom going full force evil.
If you’ll recall, Dr. Doom took over the Baxter Building and the Fantastic Four lost their powers. The situation is so desperate that they’ve been relying on Daredevil to keep them from being killed by Mr. Fantastic’s inventions in the hands of Doom. Richards realizes that there’s only one hope for them to win their building back: They have to reach that one ray thing they used last time they lost their super powers to get their powers back! Why didn’t they do that before? Uh… it had to charge. Shut up.
Daredevil annoys Doom long enough for the FF to get to the power-restoring ray and get their powers back. The evil doctor decides to retreat and build a nuclear bomb out of shit laying around in Mr. Fantastic’s lab real quick, but Ben Grimm gets turned back into the Thing and attacks. There’s a crazy battle where Doom uses a thousand different little devices to defend himself, but Ben keeps pummeling his way through them until he finally rips Doom’s mechanical suit apart. Mr. Fantastic tells him not to kill Doom because he has diplomatic immunity, so the Thing decides to quit.
The plot device of the Thing being sad about his monstrous appearance and quitting is used a lot. A LOT. Still, most of the time it ends up with some pretty good stories, and it works really well here. He was all normal and human again, but Mr. Fantastic had turn him back into a monster for the sake of stopping the bad guy, he didn’t even ask Ben what he wanted to do. Yeah, fuck that guy.