Sunday, August 1, 2010

Marvel History Post 51: Fantastic Four # 14

Issue: Fantastic Four # 14 Writer: Stan Lee Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: May 1963 Brief Summary: The Fan Four return from the moon with great fanfare, as they are first people to do so. When they return home, Sue tries to find Namor using a camera invention of Reed's, as it is clear she still has feelings for him. Meanwhile, the Pupper Master is back in action and seeking revenge against the Fan 4. He decides that Namor will be his next puppet. He controls Namor, and through the use of a powerful Mento-fish (yessir) he forces Namor to telepathically call out to Sue Storm. She goes to meet him, and he hypnotizes her with a Hypno-fish (this is getting ridiculous). Namor then appears as a projection to the rest of the team, informing them that Sue is his prisoner, being guarded by a giant octopus (no flashy nickname, like jailor-puss). The team is set to go after Sue, but before they do, Thing goes to say goodbye to his gal pal Alicia Masters. She gets upset, so he decides to bring her with the team as they go under the sea. They escape a few of Namor's traps, but he eventually gets the best of the team, and they are his prisoner. Namor fights the men of the Fan 4. Mr. Fantastic gets him all tangled up, and Thing frees Invisible Girl. Namor gets even more violent at the Puppet Master's bidding, and Alicia senses the mental control of her father. Before the Fan 4 can pummel Namor (despite Sue's protests that he is under someone else's control), the giant octopus that was guarding Sue breaks free, and it appears to crush the submarine from which Puppet Master was watching this whole ordeal. His control on Namor is broken. Namors bids the Fan 4 to leave, and they do not trouble him anymore, as it is clear that something was controlling him. Commentary: The end of the last story is the starting place for this story, as the team heads home from their encounter on the moon last issue. This technique of having each issue blend into the next is picked up and perfected in Chris Claremont's run on Uncanny X-Men, which we'll get to someday. Puppet Master returns, and it is explained that he survived the fall from the time we saw him last. He disappears to a similarly mysterious fate here, disappearing in the grasp of a giant octopus. At one point, Alicia is able to feel the control of the Puppet Master, although it is not elaborated on as to how she might have this ability. Quick Thoughts:
  • Torch uses his powers to create a warm air funnel to transport the team from place to place.
  • Thing is starting to crack more one liners and is complaining less about his fate.
Favorite Panel: A couple of women fighting over Mr. Fantastic like he's Paul McCartney. And yet the Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan wasn't until 1964. Stan Lee, a prophet of the times? Probably not, as the Beatles were hardly the first teen heart throb. Next: Journey into Mystery # 92