FANTASTIC FOUR #13 (1963): 1st Watcher

In these early Lee/Kirby issues, there’s so many ideas thrown at you in rapid succession…I wonder what they could have been like in today’s more decompressed world of storytelling.  The team barely questions it when they travel to the moon to test their new rocket and see another one on its way to the same place.  Once they land, they find a lost civilization (1st appearance of the “blue area” of the moon)…

…and a bald guy…

No, not that bald guy, this one:

Red Ghost is trying to claim the moon for Mother Russia, and the FF are trying to stop him.  The Watcher warns that a nuclear war between the USA and USSR will kill all life on Earth.

In the end, the FF get Ghost’s apes to turn on him, and he runs away.

Oh, and guess how Red Ghost got his powers?

Space radiation!

And also, Thing stuffs Reed into a tumbler.

On the letters page, we learn a bunch of interesting things that may or may not be true.

Stan and/or Jack read every letter, and there are already hundreds of them submitted each month?  That whole sentence can’t be true.  It just can’t.  Maybe they’re receiving 200 letters, but if they are there’s no way Stan and Jack have time to read them.

Interesting, though, that Marvel was considering changing this book to the Fantastic Five.  I mean, they flirted with that in Amazing Spider-Man #1, so I believe it.

And in closing, this issue has this panel…


…That I’m pretty sure inspired one of John Byrne’s amazing splash pages.

Loved this comic–it’s one of my favorite single-issue stories of all time. Full list here.

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