FANTASTIC FOUR #3 (1962): 1st Fantasti-Car, classic costumes

Issue #1 gave us Mole Man.  Issue #2 introduced the skrulls.  The villain in this issue is Miracle Man.

Hey, they can’t all be winners.

Miracle Man does a bunch of magic tricks and uses hypnotism. 

Sue, being able to turn invisible, seems the most likely to be able to avoid his powers–so she goes it alone.

Note Reed and Ben agreeing and Johnny upset.

When they eventually beat Miracle Man, Reed says it’s because Johnny flashed a bright light, neutralizing Miracle’s hypnosis.  Which makes Thing mad…

…And the team breaks up for the first, but certainly not the last, time.

Also in this issue, the team uses not one but two flying vehicles.

A Fantasti-Copter…

…And the much, much cooler Fantasti-Car, which flies…

And, a map of the team’s headquarters…

It was also the time they got their cool blue costumes with the chest 4s…

Note that Sue designed them, because she’s a woman.  Stan couldn’t have a man design an outfit, I guess–even though Jack Kirby was the actual designer.  Also note that there’s no mention of unstable molecules yet.  No explanation for how the clothes remain intact when the members use their powers.  Also, check out the helmet for Thing.

He refuses to wear it in this issue, but in the 1990s, he’ll finally put it on!

Oh and perhaps most importantly…

Reed goes into ball mode for the first time.  In these early issues, he’s a lot like Plastic Man.  Like earlier in this issue when they find another use for Reed, after getting a blow-out in their hot rod.

I almost made this a two-issue arc, because it ends with a cliffhanger as Johnny storms off (no pun intended) and seems to have quit the team.  But the next issue is so important, it needs its own post.

And there’s still more.

This issue debuted the first-ever Marvel letters page.  And it also was the first example of a future creator writing in: Alan Weis, who would later get a job as a Marvel inker.

Also, note the planted letter from Sol Brodsky, which takes the time to promo a whole bunch of other titles.

1 thought on “FANTASTIC FOUR #3 (1962): 1st Fantasti-Car, classic costumes”

  1. In reference to Mister Fantastic’s outlandish expressions of his powers, ( “…….in these earlier issues, he’s a lot like Plastic Man……..” ) I have always believed that the best way to deal with the issue of Mr. Fantastic’s rather absurd power is, like Professor X’s telepathic omnipotence, the best way to use it is to NOT use it. We know what Reed can do, and I believe that the subsequent approach to using his powers from a certain point forward was correct: A little stretching of the arms, legs, and torso here and there, but that’s it. I also like the way he inflates his fist to about the size of a Volkswagon to clobber occasional adversaries like the Hulk, the Sandman, and on occasion, the Thing, but more absurd uses of his power are unnecessary and unwelcome. For instance, if I had Reed’s power, I would NEVER, EVER, EVER stretch my head off of my shoulders, because that puts the neck- the body’s most vulnerable area- at an unacceptable risk. It should also be noted here that the sound-effect employed to convey Reed’s stretching power by the Hanna-Barbara animation factory in 1967 is only the coolest sound-effect to convey a super-power of all time, so much so that it was re-employed to convey the exact same super-power by the father-son amoeba duo, “Gloop” and “Gleep”, on NBC’s derivative “The Herculoids” around the same time. Come to think of it, now that I’ve thought about it for minute, I believe that “The Herculoids” predated “The Fantastic Four” by one season! But, anyway, as long as Reed’s stretching ability is accompanied by and conveyed with that awesome sound-effect ( which suggests the release of cosmic power from Reed’s body ) I believe I can put up with a little absurd stretching of arms, legs, and torso! Just be conservative about it! Also, in re the Miracle Man: Has absolutely no one else besides myself noticed that the Miracle Man and Count Dracula have the same tailor-??? The all-black bodystocking with the white cape that he went to in issues #138 and 139 were a vast improvement!! Very Twentieth Century!! Word up!!


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