Tag Archives: Sandman

The Fantastic Four #43, Oct. 1965

The Fantastic Four #43, Oct. 1965

Daringly written by Stan Lee
Dazzlingly drawn by Jack Kirby
Dramatically inked by Vince Colletta
Docily lettered by Artie Simek

I gotta think that “Lo, there shall be an ending!” is one of the worst possible names for a story. Yes, finally, it’s over! This awful storyline keeps getting complaints, but we had to stick through it because it set up other things, dammit!

Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl manage to escape from the Frightful Four and the brainwashed Human Torch… because the Torch was just faking it and was intentionally letting them get away. This is possibly the most clever thing Johnny Storm has ever done. The Frightful Four find out about it and manage to pretty easily subdue him. Meanwhile, Richards has designed a helmet that looks like a tie fighter that should hopefully cure the Thing of his actual brainwashing… or it might kill him. You never know.

The (evil) FF break into the Baxter Building and tell Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl that they have to surrender or he’ll send Johnny Storm into the atmosphere with one of the Wizard’s anti-gravity discs. The Thing wakes up just long enough to smash the control device, and the rest of the team captures the Frightful Four. Except for Madam Medusa, who escapes, even though the Torch had the chance to stop her. Is he in love, or is he just a loser who sucks and is an idiot? Hey, Ant Man isn’t around anymore, I gotta pick on somebody.

There’s a cute little cameo in here with Dr. Doom being angry about his hands being all messed up due to the Thing, and he swears that once they get better, he’ll get revenge on them… in the Fantastic Four Annual #3, on sale now! Marvel is proof positive that if you’re up-front enough about it, the most shameless possible marketing can work out really well in your favor.


The Fantastic Four #42, Sept. 1965

The Fantastic Four #42, Sept. 1965

Produced by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Inking: V. Colletta
Lettering: S. Rosen

Wow, a three issue story! Those were still pretty rare at this point, but it’s kinda nice because it makes the villains actually seem threatening. Also, you can do that whole “story structure” thing pretty easily, and everyone loves a comic that starts out bad and ends up worse.

So Ben Grimm has been brainwashed by the Frightful Four to be an evil villain type guy, and he’s getting ready to clobber Mr. Fantastic, right? Right. Instead, he uses his ability to stretch to get away (WHAT?! Who could’veĀ foreseenĀ that?!), and Johnny and Sue also escape from their imprisonment pretty easily. The ensuing battle goes poorly for the Fantastic Four, as Thing knocks out Reed and wads him up into a little bottle, Madam Medusa douses the Torch’s flame with her wet hair, and the Invisible Girl barely manages to escape the house with her be-bottled fiancee in tow.

Sue manages to let the Mr. Fantastic out of the bottle, to ruin a phrase, but that still leaves Johnny behind in the clutches of guys who have a brainwashing machine. Lo and behold, the Wizard decides to do the same to the Torch as he did to the Thing, and now they’re the Sinister Six, I guess. Mr. Fantastic’s plan is to use the Wizard’s anti-gravity discs on the baddies and hopefully find some way to cure Ben while they’re distracted. They didn’t realize that the Human Torch had switched sides, however, and now he’s coming in for the attack!! AHHH! OH NO! EVERYONE’S GONNA DIEE!!

I’d just like to take a moment and talk about the Trapster, the villain formerly known as Paste-Pot Pete. It’s been a while and I still think he’s really, extremely awful, so here goes. Paste-Pot Pete has done nothing but pile failure after failure in these last two issues, which can’t be a surprise to anyone, in-universe or out. First he builds some “traps” that are supposed to keep the FF trapped which are immediately broken out of, he completely strikes out with Madam Medusa, and to top it all off, he manages to paste himself against a wall during the big fight in this issue. He is seriously a loser, of Ant Man villain proportions.

The Fantastic Four #41, Aug. 1965

The Fantastic Four #41, Aug. 1965

Story by: Stan Lee, who has never lost his touch!
Art by: Jack Kirby, who has never lost his magic!
Inking by: Vince Colletta, who has never lost his flair!
Lettering by: Sam Rosen, who has never lost Artie Simek!

For a change of pace, here’s a superhero story where a good guy gets brainwashed by villains and becomes a villain himself! And it’s not like the Thing turning against the rest of the Fantastic Four is anything new either, nor is this team fighting amongst themselves. Still, it’s a pretty good issue.

After forcing Ben Grimm to turn back into the Thing last issue to defeat Dr. Doom, he leaves the group, pouting and injured. Ben stows away in a truck and falls asleep, eventually falling off somewhere in the woods, where he’s found by none other than the Frightful Four! A bizarre coincidence that turns out to be just really terrible for everybody. The Wizard uses one of his many fantastic devices to brainwash the Thing into working for him, and also to being a cigar-smoking bad guy.

The Fantastic Three go looking for their friend and stumble upon the Frightful Four’s hideout. Under normal situations this would be a tough fight, but it goes against them quickly when Ben knocks them all out before they realize he’s a bad guy now. They trap the remaining good guys in special apparati designed to keep their powers from working, then get the Thing all mad at Mr. Fantastic. Will he clobber his best friend who he kinda hates even without brainwashing?! We’ll find out next time!

There are a couple wonderful moments in this issue where both the Invisible Girl and Madam Medusa have “weak, feminine” moments, which is 60’s talk for wanting to be nice to someone, apparently. When I eventually do this book, there’s gonna be a whole chapter about the treatment of women, and it’s going to be terrible because I’m not at all the person to be talking about women’s rights or feminism. It’s just too damn funny that the men are constantly angry and yelling at women for not wanting to punch everybody else all the time.

The Fantastic Four #38, May 1965

The Fantastic Four #38, May 1965

Stan Lee, Writer
Jack Kirby, Illustrator
Chic Stone, Inker
S. Rosen, Letterer

Just like the cover says, in this issue, the Fantastic Four get beaten by the Frightful Four. It’s the same lineup as last time, the Wizard, Sandman, Madam Medusa, and Paste-Pot Pete, who has changed his name to the much more dignified “The Trapster”. Technically, yes, that is a better name. But really, absolutely any other name would be more dignified than “Paste-Pot Pete”. Also, good choice on ditching the beret.

The Wizard has developed a plan to defeat the Fantastic Four once and for all: He’s gonna kidnap Sue Storm to lure the rest of the team to an island… where he’s planted an “atomic Q bomb”. It… shit, I just described the entire plot. There’s not a lot of complexity in this one, I guess. Just some unremarkable fighting and a big ol’ explosion that doesn’t look very good for our heroes. TUNE IN NEXT TIME!

I betcha the Fantastic Four died. There’s probably no chance whatsoever that they ever lived through a Q bomb explosion. I bet the next issue is just their funerals and everyone is mourning them, and that’s just the last issue of the series ever. That seems extremely likely to me.

The Fantastic Four #36, Mar. 1965

The Fantastic Four #36, Mar. 1965

Proudly produced by Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby
Inked by: Chic Stone
Lettered by: Artie Simek

All right, the Frightful Four! They took two shitty villains that the Human Torch had fought on his own (Paste-Pot Pete and the Wizard), added in a classic Spidey baddie (Sandman), and created a lady who can control her hair in crazy ways (Madam Medusa). Because they had to have a girl. You know, to match the Fantastic Four. They’re very dedicated to their theme.

The Sandman breaks himself and Paste-Pot Pete out of jail, and they rescue the Wizard before his own antigravity device flies him into orbit (as seen in Strange Tales #118). The three of them decide to tackle the Fantastic Four (even though they’ve all been beaten by just Johnny Storm by himself in the past), but they need a girl partner. The Wizard finds a lady who lives in a cave and who has prehensile hair to fill in as their fourth member, and they dub themselves the Frightful Four!

Meanwhile, Reed Richards and Sue Storm finally announce their engagement! How exciting! After the big party (attended by the X-Men and the Avengers, where Thor gives an actually touching line about envying Mr. Fantastic. Also Spider-Man steals a piece of cake because he wasn’t invited. Aww), The Frightful Four sneak in and handily dispatch all but the Torch, who is out playing with cars. Alicia, the Thing’s blind girlfriend, manages to let off a warning shot, and Johnny comes back to save everyone. Dammit.

I hate it when the Human Torch saves the day. I really do. Especially in a case like this, where all these villains are basically Torch B-listers (except the Sandman, who I still say should be basically invincible). Having Paste-Pot Pete and a lady with crazy hair completely immobilize the Thing… That’s just not cool, man.