- Why must we always fight among ourselves? What's wrong with us?
Appearing in "The Menace of the Miracle Man"Edit
- The Fantastic Four
- Miracle Man (Joshua Ayers) (First appearance)
- The Monster from Mars (Only Appearance) (Destroyed)
- United States Army
- Lt. General Fredricks (First appearance) - (Not named)
- New York Police Department
- Unnamed police commissioner
- Joe (a police officer)
- Several New Yorkers
- Fantasti-Car (First appearance)
- Fantasti-Copter (First appearance)
- Pogo Plane MK I (First appearance) (Seen in hangar)
- Intercontinental Passenger Missile (First appearance) (Seen in hangar)
- an atomic tank
Synopsis for "The Menace of the Miracle Man"Edit
The Miracle Man is performing at a theater. He points out the Fantastic Four and mocks them. He claims his powers are far greater than theirs and demonstrates by growing into a giant, turning into a cloud, and controlling thunder and lightning. He even upstages the Thing in a test of strength. While they head home in the Fantasti-Car, Reed wonders whether they could defeat the Miracle Man if he were a criminal. Meanwhile, the Miracle Man plots to bring a monster statue (at the Bijou movie theater next door) to life and use it to terrorize the public.
Chapter II:At the team's new headquarters, the Baxter Building, Johnny is watching live coverage of the premiere of "The Monsters from Mars" (at the Bijou) on television. Sue Storm comes in with new costumes for the entire team, including a helmet for the Thing. Johnny spots the Miracle Man, who gestures and brings the monster to life. It attacks the crowd and then vanishes. The Fantastic Four call the commissioner, who has received a note from the Miracle Man declaring his intention to conquer the world. The team is authorized to stop the Miracle Man.
Mister Fantastic finds the Miracle Man and his monster robbing a jewelry store, but the Miracle Man hits him with a brick. The Human Torch finds them stealing the army's new atomic tank and confronts them.
The Invisible Girl and Thing see the fight and join in. The Thing removes his helmet and rips off his costume before joining the fight. The Human Torch burns the monster down; it was made of wood and plastic. The Thing and the Human Torch are defeated, and the Miracle Man escapes in a truck with the tank in tow, although the Invisible Girl hides aboard unseen.
Back at their headquarters, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four wait for Sue's signal. Johnny pokes fun at Ben, who loses his temper. A fight breaks out between the two, and Johnny storms off. Meanwhile, the Miracle Man is hiding the atomic tank at a junkyard, when he discovers Sue and uses his powers to put her under his command. He has Sue signal the rest of the team with the Fantasti-Flare. Ben and Reed take off in the Fantasti-Copter. Johnny sees the signal from a corner soda fountain and flies toward it.
Chapter V:At the junkyard the the Miracle Man fights Ben and Reed, and escapes with Sue and the tank again. Johnny appears, and the three follow the Miracle Man in an antique racing car. Johnny flies ahead and uses his flames to create a flash that temporarily blinds the Miracle Man, who loses his powers. In fact, he never had powers at all, he was merely a clever hypnotist. Reed brings Sue out of her trance, and the Miracle Man is apprehended.
The Thing is annoyed when he perceives that Johnny is getting all the credit for stopping the Miracle Man. Johnny, having had enough of the Thing, quits the team and flies away. Reed wonders what would happen if he were to become their enemy.
- The setting of this story is never explicitly given, but the location of the Baxter Building is later given as New York City. Some facts about the Baxter Building:
- Prior to the Fantastic Four living here it was briefly the headquarters to the All-Winners Squad in the 1950s as revealed in All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1. The top floors of the building had recently been reconstructed prior to the FF's residency there following the events of Marvel: The Lost Generation #11.
- The building was suggested to the Fantastic Four by their military liaison in Fantastic Four: First Family #3
- The headquarters was co-designed by Reed and his colleague and former teacher Noah Baxter, as revealed in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #38.
- Per Fantastic Four #244, Reed purchased the top five floors outright, although he was forced to sell them later when the group hit financial problems in Fantastic Four #9.
- The Fantastic Four's classic blue costumes debuted this issue. The Thing discarded his costume (and helmet) mid-issue. Parts of this costume were worn by Ben at different occasions later in his career:
- First in Fantastic Four #239, Ben was forced to wear his costume so as not to frighten the already panic stricken people of Benson, Arizona. Although he had the helmet along with him, he did not wear it.
- Ben started wearing a similar helmet after being wounded by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, but it lasted only a brief period (until Fantastic Four #386).
- As revealed in in Fantastic Four: First Family #3 their uniforms were based on the space suits the FF wore into space.
- Namor's time as a homeless derelict prior to this story were revealed in Tales of the Marvels: Inner Demons #1, parts of that story overlap with this one. Namor's amnesia was caused by Destiny back in the late 1950s as revealed in Sub-Mariner #1.
- Lt. General Fredricks appears for the first time. He goes unnamed. He appears next in X-Men #2, and becomes a minor recurring character in that series.
- This story provides a schematic of the FF's headquarters in the Baxter Building for the first time. This version shows the Fantastic Four habituating at least three floors. The schematics are expanded upon in Fantastic Four Annual #1.
- This issue marks the first appearance of the Fantastic 4 Fan Page. Fan letters printed were written by Alan Weiss, Rick Wood, Unsigned, George Paul, Bill Sarill and S. Brodsky. It is quite possible that the S. Brodsky letter from Brooklyn, NY came from Sol Brodsky. Sol reportedly inked this issue and became a Marvel executive in 1964. The Brodsky letter asked the Editor how he was able to put out seven other comic titles in addition to Fantastic Four. The Editor responded to the question, saying "with great difficulty".
- At the end of the issue is a bonus pinup, featuring (click to enlarge):
- "The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World!!" tag line was added to the cover of this issue. It would be replaced by the more familiar "World's Greatest Comics Magazine!" starting with Fantastic Four #4.
- The cover price increased to 12¢ with this issue.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
Human Torch has two left hands on the cover, as noted in a letter printed in issue #5.
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- Discuss Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 on the forums
- Reviews about Fantastic Four Vol 1 3
Links and ReferencesEdit
- The Fantastic Four at Wikipedia
- The Fantastic Four at Marvel Subscriptions
- The Fantastic Four series index at Comicbookdb.com
- The Fantastic Four at The Complete Marvel Reading Order
- The Fantastic Four series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
- Related Fantastic Four comics on this site
- Marvel Comics Index #4
- Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four #1
- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
- ↑ The first story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
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