FANTASTIC FOUR #25-26 (1964 and The Top 10 Hulk vs Thing Fights

hairy guy wrestles rocky

This is an ageold fanboy battle, and the second time it graced the pages of Fantastic Four.  Hulk is tearing NYC apart looking for The Avengers, but they’re out of town.

So Hulk beats up 75% of the Fantastic Four. This is what Johnny looks like injured:

Then Hulk and Thing fight for most of issue #25.

And into #26.

Until The Avengers show up.

And Hulk beats them up, too. Until Ant-Man’s ants defeat him, and he floats away.

This is really the first World War Hulk.

The Hulk vs Thing fights are some of the best and most fun in Marvel history. They even made it to TV.

This guy here has a pretty thorough review of most of the major battles between these two guys.  Fun post to read.  But, according to one of my favorite bloggers, this one: F4 #25-26, is the best Hulk/Thing battle of all time.  But I would have picked the ones you’ll see below here, if you click the “read more” tag.


Thing and Human Torch’s constant pranking gets twisted beyond recognition when a rich guy named Gideon decides to start messing with them to try to get them to break up–just to win a bet.  Kinda like those old rich dicks in the movie Trading Places who fucked up Eddie and Dan’s lives with their own stupid bet.

Also he does it because he wants his son to love him more than he loves the FF.

It’s all worth it, though, to see Thing in a Beatles Wig.  Because doing something Beatles-ish was such a hit when they were in Strange Tales #130.
Before he puts it on, Johnny gets a sick burn.

Get it?  Johnny gets in a sick burn?  Because he’s Human Torch?

 The rich dude’s son, Thomas Gideon, will eventually become Glorian eventually.

In the end, the rich dude feels bad for what he did.

Grade: D.  One of the few missteps in this brilliant run.


This issue starts a grand tradition–invoked most often by Chris Claremont–of superheroes playing baseball.

Then, it’s on to Wakanda.

First, it’s dinner in Wakanda.  Then…

The Inhumans return, but it’s the panel above that makes this issue worth a read.  It’s a Maximus story, in which he does bad by doing good.

The rest is mostly Human Torch and Wyatt Wingfoot.

FANTASTIC FOUR #187-190 (1977)

We finally get a Molecule Man appearance that hints at the greatness of the character–although he really is powerful enough to not need a partner.  But he and Klaw kind of have an ongoing relationship from here on out, that culminates in the 1980s Secret Wars.


To stop them: Reed Richards uses a gun! (Because he is still depowered.). And he invents it after being yelled at by Agatha.

But he can’t defeat them.  Reed touches the Molecule Wand and gets possessed by Molecule Man (so he gets powers again–just not the way he wanted to)

And then he ends up “short circuiting,” which is a lame ending.

No, it’s not a great story–but it’s good enough.  And with the art of George Perez, it’s worth reading.

And in the end, The Watcher shows up, but does not intervene, and Reed Richards disbands the team.  Again.


And so begins a year’s worth of stories in which the F4 are no longer a team. 

And perhaps most dramatically, the two issues that immediately followed this one were reprints of old Lee/Kirby stories. Issues #189 and 190 are reprints.

Fantastic Four #219 (1980): Sienkiewicz/Moench run starts

namor naked in bed

John Byrne had drawn a bunch of issues before this, so I bet you thought we were moving into his run now, but we’re not.  In the interim, the team on the upcoming Moon Knight book takes a brief turn and, as brilliant as Moench and Sienkiewicz can be, their work isn’t as suited for a family comic.

Having said that, there’s a great (albeit somewhat abstract) giant seamonster fight and Reed Richards turns himself into a rescue slide.

So, yeah, it’s still pretty good.  It’s just very, very different from what you’d expect on this book in particular, and the change in mood and style wasn’t predicated on anything changing with the actual characters—it just picks right up in continuity.