Monday, February 8, 2010

24: Fantastic Four #9

Fantastic Four #9
September 4, 1962

  • As has been noted, the innovation that Marvel brought to superhero comics in the 1960s was realism. Their characters may have had powers that were incredible, amazing and fantastic - but they also had character flaws and vulnerabilities not seen in the heroes from DC and other publishers. The realism of this fictional world was hammered home in FF #9, as the four faced a foe none of their powers could defeat: bankruptcy!

    Reed, in a rare early appearance of tetchiness,
    gets ready to throw down on the Thing.

  • Fortunately, in an unbelievable stroke of timing, the FF receive a telegram offering them the chance to star in their very own movie. The team has left their home turf of New York City to visit monster islands and alien planets, but this time they head off to a land even more strange and bizarre - Hollywood! - where the eagle-eyed reader will catch cameo appearances by such figures as Alfred Hitchcock, Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason and more. Of course, they have to get to California first - so they hitchhike, naturally.

    Mr. Fantastic reads DC Comics.  You can tell not only from his description,
    but also because they're not showing the cover.

  • The FF is in for a shock, however, when they reach the studio and meet the producer - only to find it's Namor, the Sub-Mariner! He tells them that his offer is real, and proceeds to then take Reed, Ben and Johnny to exotic locales, one at a time, to film their individual scenes. It should come as no surprise that each location is filled with danger and menace, and he's brought each one of them to their intended demise.

    Check out that radar sense.
    Is this where Stan first came up with the concept of Daredevil?

  • Hilariously, when Namor returns after disposing of the three, he tells the Invisible Girl the truth, as well as his reason: He's in love with Sue, and thought that conquering her three teammates would be the best way to prove his worth and win her heart. As you'd expect, this doesn't go down very well with Sue Storm, who fights back against Namor until her three teammates, having each freed himself, show up to help. What's most telling, though, was Sue's initial response: "Perhaps, if you hadn't deceived us -- if you had been honest with us, I might have answered differently!"

    And Namor walks off into the sea ... until next time.