Tag Archives: Madam Medusa

The Fantastic Four #48, Mar. 1966

ff048The Fantastic Four #48, Mar. 1966

Stan Lee, writer without peer!
Jack Kirby, penciller of the year!
Joe Sinnott, inker most sincere!
Artie Simek, how’d HE get in here!


It’s been almost four months since I last read a comic book? Yeah, that sounds about right. At least I have a classic issue to come back to, The Coming of Galactus! It finally wraps up the deal with the Inhumans for now and moves on to one of the best known stories of the Fantastic Four ever. They even mangled this thing horribly for that terrible movie they made… or are we still pretending those never happened?

Maximus’ Atmo Gun creates world-wide earthquakes, which he believes will destroy the pitiful and less powerful humans, allowing the Inhumans to take over the world (under his control, of course). Turns out the earthquakes don’t do shit and that everyone still hates him, so Maximus sets the gun to reverse which constructs a Negative Zone around the secret Inhumans base and the Fantastic Four barely escape before it solidifies. Johnny’s sad because his girlfriend Crystal is stuck in the city and he’s stuck outside, but he doesn’t have very much time to pout.

On the way back home, the sky is suddenly covered in flames, and then by a thick layer of rocks. Nobody knows what’s going on until that “impartial” asshole Uatu the Watcher shows up and says that he’s responsible for the shields, which he’s trying to use to keep the Silver Surfer from noticing Earth. It does the opposite, and the Herald of Galactus lands on Earth, finds that it’s quite nice, and sends for his boss, a giant in a hilarious hat who eats planets.

So… Uatu’s original plan is to cover the planet in a WREATH OF FIRE to keep the Silver Surfer from noticing it. Not even mentioning how completely he’s thrown away his veneer of neutrality by this point, that’s maybe the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. If I was a crazy space guy and I saw a ton of fire IN SPACE, I’d probably go to check it out. That shit doesn’t normally hang out in a vacuum. Also, I love Galactus’ big “G” pendant he has in this first drawing. It’s a shame he loses it.



The Fantastic Four #47, Feb. 1966

The Fantastic Four #47, Feb. 1966

Story: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: Joe Sinnott
Lettering: Art Simek

Finally we get to see what the Great Sanctuary of the Inhumans is like! It’s… a lot like every other supervillain lair/futuristic kingdom that you get in these 60’s Marvel comics. How fucked up is my life that this is a humdrum thing I’m complaining about?

Johnny and Ben go off to subdue Dragon Man again while Reed and Sue stay in and save Triton’s life with a fire hose and Sue’s force field. Before the Seeker leaves again, Mr. Fantastic manages to sneak a tracking device on their ship, and the Fantastic Four follow the Inhumans back to their hidden sanctuary. Inside, we learn that Black Bolt’s brother Maximus has been the king while the group was away, and also that he’s evil and has an evil ray gun of some sort that’s going to kill all humans, leaving the Inhumans in charge of the whole dang place. The Fantastic Four come to visit and Maximus shoots off his big gun. I guess all the humans are dead now, oh well.

I’m not a big fan of the Inhumans stuff, however it did say that the next issue wraps it up for now and also has the coming of Galactus! WOOO GALACTUS!! Also “of note”, I guess, Susan Richards gets a new hairstyle in this issue. I don’t have much to talk about here, okay?

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 #45, Dec. 1965

The Fantastic Four #45, Dec. 1965

Incredible story by Stan Lee!
Incomparable pencilling by Jack Kirby!
Invincible inking by Joe Sinnott!
Inevitable lettering by Artie Simek!

All right, now we’re introduced to the rest of the Inhumans, which are… pretty strange. There’s Medusa and Gorgon, which we already know, Black Bolt, the leader (who hasn’t revealed his power yet, so I won’t go into it), Karnak, a guy who can find the weak spot of anything and then karate chop it, Triton, who… is a fish guy? Something like that. Finally there’s Crystal, the hot girl Johnny Storm likes and who has some sort of nature powers, and Lockjaw, the giant teleporting dog who is the coolest character ever.

Dragon Man took off with Sue last issue, so Johnny follows to attempt a rescue. As it turns out, Sue’s domesticated the big weird animal thing, and they go back to the Baxter Building to make a nice little room for the monster. Johnny decides to take a break and wander the streets, where he sees a beautiful woman that makes his current girlfriend “look like a boy”. She disappears in a strange tornado, but that doesn’t keep the ol’ Horndog Torch away.

He follows the girl around until she sees him flame on, and he lies to her about being one of her “people”. Her name is Crystal, and she shows Johnny the secret underground lair of the Inhumans. Once Medusa and Gorgon notice him the jig is up, and he escapes long enough to call in the rest of the Fantastic Four.

I love Lockjaw. He’s such an insane idea, and he’s got Jack Kirby written all over him. I think he actually ends up being the member of the Inhumans that gets used the most, partly because he has an extremely handy super power, and partly because everybody loves dogs. That’s what it boils down to, right? Dogs are awesome, and only get more awesome when they’re huge and can teleport you through time and space.

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.