FANTASTIC FOUR #196-200: Getting the old band back together (1978)

It was clear when it started in issue #191 that by the time the 200th issue came about, the F4 would be back together.  And who better to bring them back than Dr. Doom?  This is actually a fairly controversial story–so let’s get into a little more detail.  The three members get back together, while Reed is manipulated by Dr. Doom, using Psycho-Man’s tech, into putting on a costume-with-powers and attacking his teammates.  He calls himself, “Invincible Man.”

Remember, he doesn’t have his powers anymore.

In his guise, he captures all three of his teammates and gives them to Doom.

Doom then helps him go up into space to recreate the mission that gave him powers.


It works, of course.

Anyway, despite the fact that this book is supposed to be about family, it’s Johnny, Ben and Sue who come back together motivated by love and friendship. 

Here’s the reunion:


Once Reed gets his powers back, he starts to shake off Doom’s influence.

Red Ghost makes a brief reappearance before we return to the main mission.

Reed goes on a black-op mission to Latveria to free them, where he learns that Dr. Doom has a full grown son who wants be just like the FF—so, like Reed did to himself last issue, he exposes himself to cosmic rays.  Only instead of getting one power, he gets all four.

Doom’s clone has the powers of a Super Skrull!


Of course, in true Doom fashion, the boy turns on his dad.

Doom kills him, and in #200 it’s Reed versus Doom.

Doom brutally chokes Reed, while Reed tries to pry off the Doctor’s face armor.

The mask comes off and we are treated to a truly iconic full-page panel…


Yeah, that’s it.

And then they’re back together for issue #201!

And on top of all this: A cameo from John Wayne!


C Interestingly enough, Keith Pollard gets “story teller” credit here—perhaps a nod to the fact that Marv Wolfman had more respect for his artists?  Or maybe it was Jim Shooter’s idea—although he was notoriously hard on talent.

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