Fantastic Four #6   Leave a comment

Fantastic Four #6

Credits simply “By Stan Lee and J. Kirby”

SYNOPSIS:

The story begins with The Human Torch flying through the air towards the Fantastic four’s skyscraper headquarters. Pedestrians in the streets are gawking at the Torch, proclaiming him a “living legend” and amazed that they were able to catch a glimpse of him. The idea of the FF as celebrities in NYC was toyed with previously, but with this page, it seems to be becoming more of a staple of the book. The Invisible Girl is also among the crowd, wondering of Johnny has found any news as to the whereabouts of Dr. Doom. The crowd is a little unnerved that she was around and they didn’t know and she quickly leaves before the crowd turns on her.

Sue arrives at the FF headquarters, which is now given the name “The Baxter Building.” She uses a special belt buckle device to open the express elevator to the 34th floor, where the FF make their home, and we get another classic cutaway view of their headquarters and all of the various rooms and vehicles they have on hand.

With no sign of Doom, the FF start to read their fan mail. Reed realizes a sick boy in the hospital across the street is a big fan of theirs and stretches across the street into his window. This is an important conversation because it establishes the concept of “unstable molecules,” a fabric that Reed created that allows his costume to adapt and change to his stretching body. back at the Baxter Building, the Thing is challenged to a fight by The Yancy Street Gang, a bunch of teenage hoodlums who will be a thorn in Ben’s side from this point forward.

The FF continue to discuss Doom and Namor. they seem to be very worried about these two, which instantly makes them seem like legitimate threats. they comment that Doom is the more purely evil of the two, while Namor is more of a man who has just been hurt and is now angry and bitter. It’s an important distinction, as Namor has always been more of an anti-hero than a true villain, the groundwork for which is laid in these early issues.

As if on cue, we find Namor swimming in the ocean with a school of dolphin, where he is approached by Dr. doom in an “aerosub.” Doom introduces himself as a fellow man who wants revenge on the Fantastic Four and the rest of the human race. Namor quickly agrees to join forces with Doom to take on their common enemy.

Doom uses his vehicle to follow Namor to his undersea home. There, Doom claims that the surface world no longer fears Namor, as he has seemingly called off his war on the surface world. Scanning the room, doom quickly discovers the reason why: Namor has a framed photo of the object of his desire: Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl. If Namor were to do battle with the FF, it would bring him in opposition of the woman he loves. Namor is angered at Doom’s interest is Sue and Doom pounces on that anger, reminding Namor how the surface dwellers destroyed his kingdom of Atlantis with atomic bomb tests and caused his still missing people to flee their homes. Doom goads Namor, making him angrier and angrier, until Namor proclaims that while he won’t hurt Sue, he will help Doom defeat the other three members of the FF. He then shows Namor his newest invention, a “grabber” that can be sent in any direction and used to pick up and transport any object, no matter how large.

Back at the Baxter Building, Johnny discovers a photo of the Sub-mariner hidden behind some books. Sue tries to get it back, but Johnny is mad that his sister is keeping a picture of their arch-enemy. She tries to get it back but Johnny burns it to ash. Reed and Ben come in, and Johnny tells them what is going on. Reed seems mildly annoyed that his fiance is keeping a photo of another man, who just so happens to be their enemy. Sue defends herself, saying she doesn’t understand the attraction. yes, Namor tried to defeat them, but she feels something gentle inside of him. Just then, Namor himself makes an appearance. Thing tries to attack him, but Reed holds him back as Sue demands the FF allow Namor to say his piece. Johnny throws a ring of fire around Namor, but Sub-Mariner is unfazed by it.

Johnny next tries melting the floor around Namor, but Namor doesn’t fall, as the tiny little wings on his ankles allow him to defy gravity. Johnny’s own flame is extinguished, as he has run out of power. Namor claims he is there for a truce, but Reed is skeptical, even as Sue claims Namor is being sincere. Reed and Johnny run around the Baxter Building, looking for any traps Namor might have set. They don’t find anything, but just as Namor is busy telling of his plans to take Sue out on the town, the entire Baxter Building is torn off of the ground and begins to hurtle upwards into space, where Dr. Doom is waiting in a space ship. It seems Namor planted the “grabber” in a dark corner of the basement and Doom is using it to bring the entire building into space.

Namor is just as surprised and angered by this turn of events as the FF. Doom feels this was the only way to rid himself of the only people capable f stopping his quest for world domination: the Fantastic Four, as well as Namor himself! The FF and Namor don oxygen helmets, and the Torch tries to fly out the window, forgetting that their is no oxygen to fuel his fire in outer space. Reed saves him, then stretches after Doom’s plane. He almost reaches the ship, but Doom shoots him at the last second and Reed is sent back to the Baxter Building. The Thing realizes his strength is useless in space, so instead decides he will beat up Namor instead! Namor and Thing wrestle each other to a stalemate until Doom comes over the loudspeaker, announcing he is sending the Baxter Building, with the Ff and namor inside of it, straight into the sun.

Namor decides he is the only one that can save the day. He first goes for a refreshing swim, powering himself up for the trip through straight. He then goes flying out of the building, leaping from meteor to meteor until making his way to Doom’s spaceship. Doom quickly traps Namor to the floor using his amazing powers of magnetism. Doom’s magnetism devices are so powerful, they apparently don’t even need metal to make them work. Unable to rise, Namor instead focuses his strength downward, pushing open the ship and getting inside. Sub-Mariner tries to enter Doom’s captain pit, but Doom sends a blast of electricity at Namor. Namor, however, absorbs the electricity and sends it back towards Doom’s room, charging everything with electricity. With no way to pilot the ship now that he can’t touch the controls, Doom leaps out of the ship and grabs hold of a passing meteor, sailing away from Namor and the FF.

With Doom out of the picture, Namor uses Doom’s ship to guide the Baxter Building back to Earth and right back onto it’s foundation. The Fantastic Four owe Namor their lives. Thing still questions whether he wants to shake Namor’s hand or smash him, while Sue defends him. Namor, back in the ocean where he belongs, summons the “grabber” and disposes of it in the ocean, along with Doom’s space ship. He then says he may return to the surface world one day, but for now, the ocean is his home.

COMMENTS:

The first two issues of the Fantastic Four introduced villains The Mole Man and The Skrulls, both of which were quality opponents that we will see many more times in the future. The third issue had the FF go up against The Miracle Man, a generic opponents without much to offer in terms of longevity. The following issue re-introduced Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who is a terrific character with a rich history in the Marvel Universe. that was followed by the introduction of Dr. Doom, who will go on to the be the Fantastic Four’s greatest villain, as well as one of the best characters in all of comic books. This current issue is the first one to have returning villains, as opposed to introducing a new one. Both Prince Namor and Dr. Doom return in this issue to battle the Fantastic four, showing the faith that Lee and Kirby had in these particular characters as foils for the Fantastic Four.

In addition to establishing both Namor and Doom as villains with lasting power, this issue introduces some concepts that are staples of the Fantastic Four to this day. Unstable Molecules are introduced in this issue, and they are used to explain every problem a costume might cause from this point on. Unstable molecules allow Reed’s costume to stretch along with his body, allow Johnny’s costume to stay intact when he ignites, and any other issue that needs to be explained away. The Yancy Street Gang also get their first mention in this issue and will play a huge part in fleshing out The Thing’s character in the months and years to come.

This issue not only establishes both Namor and Dr. Doom as major adversaries for the FF, it also points out the difference between the two men. While Doom is a genius and a planner, Namor acts more on instinct, letting anger and rage fuel his actions. Doom wants to be in control at all times while Namor will fly off the handle at a moment’s notice. However, Doom is also the more evil of the two, while Namor is more an angry and hurt man, lashing out at the world that has wronged him. Doom is bent on world domination for purely selfish reasons, but Namor is more of a noble man, a ruler of a people who have been wronged and he seeks revenge on them to right that wrong.

This is another strong issue of the title and another important one, as it ads even more of the signature elements of a Fantastic four story. Unstable Molecules and the Yancy Street Gang make their debut. The Baxter Building gets its name. Dr. Doom is also established as the main adversary for the FF, for while both he and Namor made their second appearances in this comic, it was Namor who eventually joined forces with the FF, while Doom stayed the evil, would be ruler of the world he would always be.

Advertisements

Posted April 27, 2011 by John V. Ferrigno in Fantastic Four

Tagged with , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: