Tag Archives: Red Ghost

The Fantastic Four Annual #3, 1965

The Fantastic Four Annual #3, 1965

Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by Jack Kirby
Inked by Vince Colletta
Lettered by Artie Simek
Catered by The Bullpen Gang!

The original story in this issue features a whopping 19 superheroes and 20 supervillains, not to mention Uatu the watcher, Patsy Walker (from the girl magazines they did, and a decade before she’d join normal Marvel continuity as Hellcat), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby themselves. I’m not going to mention all of them in my little one paragraph review, but I actually kept track in the tag section if you’re interested, and I’m so sure that you are.

It’s the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, the most beautiful event in any comic book person’s life. Unfortunately, they are comic book people, and that means they associate with a lot of super-powered folks. Also, Richards was mean to Dr. Doom back in college, so he’s decided to invent a machine to make every villain in the area try to kill him. After a ridiculously massive brawl, the Watcher shows up and (without interfering at all) gives Mr. Fantastic a machine that’ll send all the villains back to where they were with no memory of what happened at all. Okay, whatever. The happy wedding goes on happily and everyone is happy forever. Except Lee and Kirby, who are turned away at the door because everyone thinks they’re bums.

The reprint stories are that one awesome issue where Dr. Doom and Namor team up to throw the Baxter Building into the Sun and the two half stories from issue #11 where the Fantastic Four answers fan mail and deal with the Impossible Man. There’s usually another one in these annuals, but the huge brawl took up a lot of space, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Yeah, that’s a dumb ending to this excuse to fit every character possible into one comic book, but who cares? It’s all in good fun, and Giant Man didn’t show up at all, so I couldn’t be happier with it! Plus, his worst enemy, the Human Top, is taken out by a single punch from Quicksilver, who doesn’t even have super strength or anything. LOVE IT.

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The Avengers #12, Jan. 1965

The Avengers #12, Jan. 1965

Written in the Marvel manner by Smilin’ Stan Lee
Illustrated in the Marvel tradition by Dazzlin’ Don Heck
Delineated in the Marvel style by Darlin’ Dick Ayers
Lettered in the nick of time by Swingin’ Sam Rosen

This issue has my favorite Hank Pym moment of all time in it. Oh man, it’s just great. Does it involve other superheroes making fun of Ant Man? You better fucking believe it! Ahh, so nice.

Hank gets an urgent message from the ants, a distress call! Of course, he summons the Avengers… who basically laugh in his face for talking to ants. It’s beautiful. Iron Man makes fun of him, the Wasp rolls her eyes, and Thor gets pissed enough that he’s debating whether to kick Giant Man’s ass for wasting his time. Anyway, it turns out the ants have caught wind of the Mole Man’s latest scheme: He’s going to speed up the rotation of the Earth, which will somehow kill everybody on the surface. Since it takes a while to speed up, the little creatures like ants would be the first to find out. I don’t really understand the science behind that, but that’s what happens.

Hank goes down into the Earth to check it out himself and gets captured by Mole Man’s group of mindless Subterraneans, which makes the rest of the team feel bad once they start noticing the world spinning faster. They head down to Mole Man’s lair and break his machine, despite the Red Ghost bizarrely showing up and helping out for no real reason. I think he was ineffective was because he left his super-apes at home.

Seriously, why is the Red Ghost in this issue? It’s just damn weird, and makes no sense. Why would this communist guy who hates the Fantastic Four join up with the Mole Man to fight the Avengers and kill all life on the surface of the planet? Since when does the Red Ghost want to kill everybody? I can only imagine that he was just super bored and decided to phase his way through the center of the world and found the Mole Man, and just decided to hang out or something. Also, with Don Heck’s art, the Red Ghost looks EXACTLY like Ben Franklin, which I think just makes the character that much better.


The Fantastic Four #29, Aug. 1964

The Fantastic Four #29, Aug. 1964

Written with a dash of greatness by: Stan Lee
Drawn with a hint of glory by: Jack Kirby
Inked with a touch of drama by: Chic Stone
Lettered with a bottle of India Ink by: S. Rosen

This ish combines two of my favorite Fantastic Four tropes: The Yancy Street Gang, which appears to be a group of kids who live on the same street and who enjoy playing practical jokes on the Thing, and the Red Ghost and his communist super-powered apes. What else could you even ask for in a comic book?

As it turns out, the Yancy Street Gang is one of the more annoying foes the FF have. I mean, there they are, walking down the street minding their own business, and all of a sudden people start throwing cabbages, pails of water and garbage cans at them! And these are just normal people, so it’s not like Ben can just start clobbering them or anything. When going through their fan mail (as they often do), they find yet another exploding package from Yancy Street, along with a note telling them to come back at midnight for a real confrontation. For some reason, Mr. Fantastic thinks that there may be some evil super-genius behind the whole thing. Hm…

Of course, Reed Richards is right. That fucker’s ALWAYS right. Once they get back to Yancy Street, they find themselves attacked by the Red Ghost and his super-apes, who capture them and take them to the moon in hopes of suffocating them. Luckily Sue is able to keep a force field up around them long enough for them to get to the “blue part” of the moon where Uatu the Watcher lives, and where there’s air. Mr. Fantastic uses one of the Watcher’s many random devices to force the Red Ghost to land back on the moon, then accidentally defeats him when he falls into one of the other probably incredibly dangerous devices. The apes escape back to Earth and Uatu gets back home, so he sends the FF back to Earth as well.

This isn’t nearly as good as the first appearance of the Red Ghost, but only because it’s a bit anti-climactic, and there just aren’t enough monkey fights. Really, the whole issue could be just one long fight between the FF and these super-apes, and it still wouldn’t be enough for me. There’s nothing not great about monkeys with super-powers, man.


The Fantastic Four #13, Apr. 1963

The Fantastic Four #13, Apr. 1963

Story: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: S. Ditko
Lettering: Art Simek

I love this issue. Not because it introduces Uatu the Watcher (an important, if boring character that is mostly remarkable because he looks really damn cool when Kirby draws him), but because of the villain, the Red Ghost. He’s a communist with super-apes. That’s fucking amazing.

Reed Richards is fucking around in his lab and it explodes. Again. Turns out he was testing some meteoric fragments to use as rocket fuel, and they’d be enough to allow them to go to the moon and win the space race for America! At the exact same time, an evil communist guy is doing the same thing, except he trained three apes to run the ship with him, and he also made it out of “transparent ceramics” so the cosmic rays which gave the Fantastic Four their powers would work even MORE on him and his monkeys.

When they get to the moon, A big white guy with an even bigger head named The Watcher tells the humans that he’s from an advanced alien race who just watch what goes on in the universe, and he doesn’t want them messing up his moon base with their stupid nuclear wars, so they need to just end this whole war right here, right now, on the moon. The Red Ghost and his super-powered apes are more than a match for the FF (one ape is stronger than the Thing, another can shoot magnetic beams or something, and the third can change its shape into things like blankets and guns). Mr. Fantastic has to build a paralysis ray to defeat the commie, because the Red Ghost’s power is that he can make his body ghost-like and intangible. The Red Ghost pisses off the Watcher by breaking into his house, so the Watcher kicks his ass out and leaves to somewhere farther away than the moon.

I. Love. The. Red. Ghost. He’s this crazy old dude who actually trained a gorilla, a baboon and an orangutan to operate a spaceship. A spaceship specifically designed to not only land on the moon, but to give them all SUPER POWERS. Also, he uses the phrase “comrade baboon”, which is inexplicably the funniest title I can think of for someone. The Red Ghost needs to be in every Fantastic Four movie. Along with Dr. Doom, of course. Let’s not get crazy, here.