FANTASTIC FOUR #10 (1963): 1st Stan and Jack!

In my opinion, this is one of the most literary comics Stan and Jack ever produced, and the one to which Grant Morrison owes some of his greatest stories. It starts with the foursome having trouble dealing with their own fame.

Reed gets mobbed and Susan gets sexually harassed.

That fame draws Doom to them, as part of a master plan.

Doctor Doom returns and bodyswaps as Reed Richards, giving birth to my favorite Jack Kirby panel of all time: Dr. Doom doing an evil laugh while disguised as Mr. Fantastic.

He also imprisons Reed/Doom in a bubble…That will run out of air!

But more importantly, this is the first issue where the creators of a comic appear in the comic itself.  And I don’t know if anyone has ever written about this, but you never see their faces—they’re always obscured…

So, you’ve got a comic about Dr. Doom—who isn’t seen without his mask for decades—putting on a mask to appear as Reed Richards, and the creators themselves appear in the comic but their faces are similarly obscured, which seems to align them with the villain and not the heroes, no?

Very literary.

Also note: When he takes off his mask, Stan and Jack are horrified, giving credence to the theory that Doom does in fact have a horribly scarred face–as opposed to the contrary theory which is that he looks fine but his vanity makes him believe he is ugly.

The issue ends with Dr. Doom being shrunk down to nothing.

Another homerun, brilliant issue. One of the best single-issue stories of all time, according to this objectively accurate list and one of the best Doctor Doom theft stories of all time (here).

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