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Fantastic Four
# 51-60


Fantastic Four # 51: "This Man ... This Monster
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJJ
Synopsis:
A misguided scientist preys on a down-trodden Thing and uses an apparatus to transfer the Thing's rocky physical form to himself. He takes the Thing's place among the rest of the Fantastic Four. Ben Grimm confronts them and tries to explain that he's the real deal, but the FF aren't convinced. Reed is busy with his latest experiment which allows him to breach sub-space, but he runs into trouble. The misguided scientist realizes the errors of his ways and sacrifices himself to save Reed. Reed returns to Earth and discovers the real Thing, with his rocky hide restored, alive and well.

Jay's Notes:

  • The villain's name is never revealed. 
  • This story is impressive because it is totally character driven and there is only one minor use of any power by the FF.

Fantastic Four # 52: "The Black Panther" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
An African chieftain, the Black Panther, invites the FF to his kingdom Wakanda to participate in the greatest hunt of all time. The FF pick up Johnny and Wyatt Wingfoot and travel to Wakanda. Once there, they are attacked by the Black Panther and quickly realize that they are the prey for the greatest hunt of all time. The Black Panther almost single handily defeats the FF, but Wyatt comes to their rescue. Once freed and working together the FF force the Black Panther to surrender.

Jay's Notes:

  • First appearance of the Black Panther and Wakanda.

Fantastic Four # 53: "The Way It Began...!" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
The Black Panther throws a party for the Fantastic Four and he bonds in friendship with the FF. He explains the nature of Vibranium and how it has allowed Wakanda to prosper. He also tells of his origin, his first encounter with Klaw and his Sound Transformer weapon, and his father's death. Ironically, Klaw attack Wakanda again. The Fantastic Four battle Klaw's sound creatures while the Black Panther confronts Klaw. The Black Panther defeats Klaw, and Klaw is forced to alter his own structure with the Sound Transformer to escape.

Jay's Notes:

  • First appearance and origin of Klaw.
  • First appearance of Vibranium.

Fantastic Four # 54: "Whosoever Finds the Evil Eye!" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
The FF enjoy the hospitality of Wakanda and Black Panther. Johnny is still upset without Crystal and sets out with Wyatt to attempt to breech the barrier. A sandstorm strands them in an underground crypt where they encounter Prestor John, a 700 year old knight, and the Evil Eye. The Torch steals the Evil Eye in hopes of using it against the barrier, but the weapon is overloading. Wyatt manages to separate the Evil Eye from the Torch before it explodes.

Fantastic Four # 55: "Where Strikes the Silver Surfer" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ1/2
Synopsis:
The Silver Surfer, disgusted by humanity's faults, goes on a rampage hoping to unite humanity through a common enemy. The FF are called in by the Watcher and they reason with the Silver Surfer. They make him understand that humanity isn't a lost cause and will find someway to sort itself out.

Fantastic Four # 56: "Klaw The Murderous Master of Sound!" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
Klaw attacks the Fantastic Four and manages to isolate Reed and Ben from Sue. He hopes to use Sue to bait to draw the Black Panther into a trap. The team regroups and Klaw is defeated thanks to a pair of Vibranium Bands express delievered from Wakanda. Meanwhile, Johnny and Wyatt try to befriend Lockjaw in their continuing effort to find Crystal.

Fantastic Four Annual # 4: "The Torch That Was!" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ
Synopsis:
Johnny, desperate to breach the Great Barrier, goes out into the desert to work on his Nova flame. He is attacked by the Original Human Torch. They battle, but the Original Human Torch's heart is not in the battle since he is being controlled by the Mad Thinker, who revived him. The rest of the team joins in as they mount an attack against the mad Thinker. The Mad Thinker isn't prepared and is forced to flee, but not before shutting down the Original Human Torch.

Jay's Notes:

  • First Appearance of Quasimodo, and the first Silver age appearance of the Original Human Torch.
  • Backups featured reprints of Fantastic Four # 25 & 26.

Fantastic Four # 57: Enter ... Dr. Doom"" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ1/2
Synopsis:
The Sandman has escaped from prison and the FF do their best to find him. However, the Sandman attacks the Baxter Building and escapes with some of Richard's equipment. Meanwhile in Laveria, the Silver Surfer responds to a summons by Dr. Doom. Doom distracts the Silver Surfer long enough to put his evil scheme into action. Doom steals the Silver Surfer's power cosmic.

Jay's Notes:

  • Reprinted in Marvel Triple Action #1.

Fantastic Four # 58: "The Dismal Dregs of Defeat!
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ1/2
Synopsis:
Imbued with the Silver Surfer's power cosmic, Dr. Doom makes his way to North America to destroy his hated enemies the Fantastic Four. Johnny and Wyatt, unable to reach Crystal, return to the Baxter Building where they join the battle against Dr. Doom. The Fantastic Four throw everything they have against Doom, but are forced to admit defeat at his hands. 

Jay's Notes:

  • Reprinted in Marvel Triple Action #2.

Fantastic Four # 59: "Doomsday" 
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ1/2
Synopsis:
Reed puts the world on alert after their defeat at the hands of Dr. Doom. Reed retreats to his labs and begins work on a new project. Doom gloats over the Silver Surfer and continues to the test the limits of the power cosmic. Johnny, despite Reed's objections, prepares to face Doom alone. Meanwhile, Black Bolt unleashes his cataclysmic sonic power and destroys the negative zone barrier around the Great Refuge.  The Royal Family decides to explore the human world while their citizens rebuild their city. 

Jay's Notes:

  • Reprinted in Marvel Triple Action #3.

Fantastic Four # 60: "The Peril and the Power!
Writer: Stan Lee 
Penciller: Jack Kirby 
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Jay's Rating:
JJJJ1/2
Synopsis:
The Fantastic Four rush into battle against Doom knowing they don't have a chance at defeating him, but they're buying time for the army to build a full-scale weapon based on Reed's designs. They keep Doom busy long enough for the army to deploy Reed's anti-cosmic flying wing. The flying wing is merely a decoy that ascends into orbit and Doom pursues it and runs headlong into Galactus' barrier that confines the Silver Surfer on Earth. Apparently, Doom loses the power cosmic and the Surfer's board return to the Silver Surfer.

Jay's Notes:

  • Reprinted in Marvel Triple Action #4.

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