Tag Archives: Dragon Man

The Fantastic Four #46, Jan. 1966

The Fantastic Four #46, Jan. 1966

Story by our leader, Stan Lee
Illustrations by our idol, Jack Kirby
Inking by our star, Joe Sinnott
Lettering by our letterer, Artie Simek

More with the Inhumans. The first time I started reading through all these comics, I was really impressed by this Inhumans storyline just because it was so huge. I don’t remember exactly how many comics this one contiguous plot goes through, but it’s way more than anything else up to this point. And the Inhumans are a neat, if kinda weird, idea.

The issue starts with the Thing fighting Black Bolt, who seems to be just about a match for the rocky hero thanks to the little antenna on his head which gathers power for him somehow. Through the fight, Mr. Fantastic realizes that the Inhumans are just fighting back out of fear of someone named the Seeker, and they’re just trying to get away. Black Bolt makes a move which stuns Ben, but also uses up the rest of his power and the Inhumans make a break for it via Lockjaw.

When they get home, the Fantastic Four notice that someone stole Dragon Man, who they’d had locked up and tranquilized. They follow the huge robot’s trail and find the Seeker himself, who tells them that the Inhumans were another intelligent race from Earth that developed much faster than humans but were seriously outnumbered by them. His job is to find these runaway Inhumans and bring them back to the Great Refuge, where the species has been hiding out all these years. Dragon Man escapes and, in this attempt, accidentally kills Triton. Ah well, he was just a badly-developed character anyway.

One thing I don’t quite get is that the Seeker took Dragon Man because he thought he was an Inhuman. Doesn’t he know who the renegade Inhumans are that he’s seeking? Are there way more than just this one group? Does he just have no goddamn clue what he’s doing? Seems like a shitty way to run a railroad if you ask me, but he did kinda have to do it to advance the plot, so… whatever.


The Fantastic Four #44, Nov. 1965

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.

The Fantastic Four #35, Feb. 1965

The Fantastic Four #35, Feb. 1965

Adequate script: Stan Lee
Satisfactory art: Jack Kirby
Passable inking: Chic Stone
Sufficient lettering: Artie Simek

This issue introduces Dragon Man, who is an interesting villain in comparison to the more traditional type of supervillain. He’s really more of a super-powered animal than an actual antagonistic force, which is how they keep him balanced… because otherwise he’s just goddamn frighteningly powerful. Which is cool.

The Fantastic Four visit Reed and Ben’s alma mater, State University (seriously, that’s what it’s called. Oh, Stan Lee…) because Reed is going to give a lecture on… something boring, probably. While there, they find that one of the professors has made a gigantic fire-breathing robot he calls Dragon Man. He plans on using it for experiments, but things get a little out of hand when the FF’s old foe and master of alchemy Diablo shows up and brings the horrible thing to life.

The FF nearly die trying to fight Dragon Man, when Sue has the bright idea to pet it. She figures that all living things respond to kindness, so being nice might just keep it from destroying everything and everyone everywhere. This only marginally works, as Dragon Man is actually mentally controlled by Diablo, but one Diablo loses his concentration, Dragon Man drags him down to the bottom of a lake, supposedly killing them both. Because I’m sure neither of them could survive a LAKE.

The Invisible Girl’s hunch that Dragon Man is just a scared, super-powerful animal that needs love is based in the worst logic ever. She cites a couple fictional stories as the basis for her theory, then goes straight up to the thing and lets it play with her hair. Why would a super-analytical¬†dick like Mr. Fantastic want to marry her, anyway? Oh, and that’s the ending of the story; Reed proposes to Sue, and she accepts! And here I was really expecting her to go off and live with Namor in Atlantis. Shows how much I¬†know.