The Fantastic Four #44, Nov. 1965
Dreamed up by: Stan Lee
Sketched down by: Jack Kirby
Inked in by: Joe Sinnott
Lettered around by: S. Rosen
This is the start of a really long Fantastic Four storyline, and it really opens up the method of storytelling from the more traditional one or two issue long self-contained stories. This change is a bit of a mixed bag, because on one hand it allows much more freedom with storytelling in the format, but it also means that comic books get really complicated and after fifty years of this it’s practically impossible for newcomers to have any idea what’s going on (which is the whole reason I’m doing this in the first place).
Our story starts as Mr. Fantastic designs an automatic dishwasher for his new wife, which disgusts the Thing and the Human Torch with it’s domesticness, so the Torch leaves in his car. Somehow unknown to him, Madam Medusa was hiding out in the back seat and forces him to drive far away from the mysterious earthquakes that suddenly start behind them. Medusa tells Johnny that she’s being chased by a super-powered fellow named Gorgon, who steals the Fantastic Four’s helicopter and chases after them.
By complete coincidence, the fight wakes up Dragon Man, who protects Medusa because he remembers a girl being nice to him once, and he recognizes her hair (despite the hair of Medusa and the Invisible Girl being completely different. I think this was just a comics code way of saying boobs). The fight moves to the top of a building where the whole FF gets together to protect their old enemy from a guy with cloven hooves who can apparently flatten an entire city with a single stamp of his foot.
So apparently Medusa and Gorgon are of the same race. Wow, never would’ve guessed that. It’s almost like Gorgon was named specifically because it’s related to the name Medusa, because it has nothing whatsoever to do with his powers or the way he looks or anything. Also, none of the rest of the Inhumans have matching names like that, so I think it must’ve just been a half-baked idea at this point.