FANTASTIC FOUR #5 (1962): 1st Doctor Doom, 1st Time Travel…And the Single Greatest Comic Book of All Time

A guy named Doctor Doom messes with the FF.

Obviously, a very important issue.

But it starts with a comic book.

Okay, so there have been a couple pranks before, but this is the first issue where Johnny mocks Ben and Ben busts stuff up.  Note that Johnny is reading an issue of The Hulk (another example of the shared universe, and building to the idea that Marvel Comics exists in the 616 but instead of fiction it produces nonfiction stories about superheroes, and also moving towards having the creators themselves appear in comics). 

Hulk and Thing were pretty similar characters, in that they were the subject of three-panel metamorphoses on a regular basis, they were big, ugly, and strong, etc.  The thing (pun intended) that made Ben a more interesting and versatile character was his familial relationship to his teammates.  The F4 was, after all, the first comic about a superhero family–unless you count D.C.’s Marvel Family (aka Shazam), which I don’t.

Anyway, another thing that made F4 #5 special was …

Yes.  The first appearance of Doctor Doom.  This is the comic where they go back in time and Ben gets to be Blackbeard the Pirate, and loves that he was so powerful and beloved and has a hard time coming back to the present.

It is the single greatest comic book of all time.  At least, according to this scientific evaluation.

Before he sends them back, Thing gets his hands on Doom, only…

So, in this very first appearance, we get the first Doombot!

Sue, who was not sent back in time because Dr. Doom is a sexist, saves the day in the end…

Oh, one more thing: It’s still in its formative stages, but Thing busts through a floor.

Trust me, there’s only been two instances of it so far, but it’s gonna be a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby trope.

FANTASTIC FOUR HOUSE AD (1962)

From 1962.  Reed is using a gun, Johnny looks like the Torch from the 1950s, Thing has boots, and Invisible Girl looks…Terrified and sad.  This is what happens when you…