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Stan Lee

Fantastic Four #1

A shadowy figure fires a flare out of a window. The flare forms the words “The Fantastic Four!”

Susan Storm is having tea with a friend. When she sees the flare, she turns invisible, gets into a cab, and offers the surprised driver a banknote when she reaches her destination.

Ben Grimm is trying to find a coat that fits him. A clerk in the haberdashery sees the flare. Grimm bursts out of the too-small door, rips a manhole out of the street, follows the sewers, and bursts out when he thinks he has reached his destination. He is struck by a taxi which is wrecked.

Johnny Storm is working on his latest hot rod in a service station. The mechanic sees the flare, which turns into the number 4. Johnny bursts into flame and flies away, destroying his car. The authorities treat him as an enemy attack, so he reluctantly melts the jets that come after him. A nuclear heat-seeking missile locks onto him, and, just as Johnny’s flame starts to fade, an impossibly long pair of arms grab the missile and throw it out to sea.

Johnny’s savior is the same man who fired the flare. He greets Susan, Ben, and Johnny with the words, “There is a task that awaits us … a fearful task!” But how did these four people become so fantastic?

To beat the Communists into space, scientist Reed Richards, sister and brother Sue and Johnny Storm, and pilot Ben Grimm sneak off into space in a rocket. In space, the four are bombarded by cosmic rays. The auto-pilot lands the ship back on Earth, where they find themselves physically transformed and possessing remarkable new abilities. Sue can turn invisible. Ben has transformed into an orange, muscular “thing” with super-strength. Reed’s body became highly malleable, allowing him to stretch into any shape. Johnny’s body bursts into flame, and he can fly. They decide to use their abilities to become the super-team known as the Fantastic Four. They give themselves the individual names Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, and the Thing.

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Category
Comic books
Genre
Superheroes
Year
1961