FANTASTIC FOUR #8 (1962): 1st Puppet Master and Alicia Masters

In this issue, we meet Puppet Master and his stepdaughter, the blind Alicia Masters.

This is not only the most interesting villain relationship we’ve seen so far in the nascent Marvel Universe, it’s still one of Marvel’s deepest and most developed.  He takes over Susan and Ben.

We also get his origin story and then, at the very end, his stepdaughter tries to foil his plans and…

…Wow.  He seems to fall out the window to his death. Nice use of the doll as a symbolic reference point for the “dead” Puppet Master.

But the main heroes vs. villain tale in this story is almost overshadowed by the first intentional transformation of Thing to Ben Grimm, using a chemical that enables a “cure.”

This is the first issue where we learn Reed Richards is trying to cure his friend. 

But it’s temporary…

Did you notice in the panels above how much Alicia looks like Susan Storm?

Anyway, because it’s temporary, Ben goes back to the trenchcoat disguise.

But he uses a purple coat. Not exactly inconspicuous.

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