Hi anons, let try out a new type of storytime. As most probably know, the Marvel Universe proper debuted in August 1961 with the release of Fantastic Four #1... but that was of course not the only comic book Marvel was publishing at the time.
During the 1950s, Marvel, then known as "Timely" or "Atlas" (they didn't really market their books under a specific label and had a ton of different publishing labels) was publishing an absolute ton of titles, but in 1957 Martin Goodman in his infinite wisdom decided it would be a good idea to shut down his distribution company and have his books distributed by American News Distribution instead. American News Distribution went bankrupt very soon after signing their deal with Marvel, and a scrambling Goodman had to settle for having his books distributed by the DC Comics-owned Independent News instead. Independent News limited Marvel to only 8 comics a month, so Goodman ended up canceling pretty much his entire line of comics and change the few titles he had left to bimonthly books so he'd at least get 16 different titles on the shelves. This is known as the Atlas Implosion and was a pretty significant milestone in Marvel history.
In 1960, Goodman eventually managed to talk his way into getting 10 books a months, and in 1961 he had just managed to argue forth an increase to 11, which in actuality ended up being alternating months of 10 and 12 books each. August 1961 was the first of these 12-book months, and one of the new bimonthly books he added to his lineup was of course Fantastic Four.
But why don't we take a look at EVERYTHING he was publishing at the time? These 10 and 12 book months are pretty easy to split up into 5 and 6 books per thread, so this time we'll check out the remaining 6 books from October 1962.
Previous threads August 1961, part 1 August 1961, part 2 September 1961, part 1 September 1961, part 2 October 1961, part 1 October 1961, part 2 November 1961, part 1 November 1961, part 2 December 1961, part 1 December 1961, part 2 January 1962, part 1 January 1962, part 2 February 1962, part 1 February 1962, part 2 March 1962, part 1 March 1962, part 2 April 1962, part 1 April 1962, part 2 May 1962, part 1 May 1962, part 2 June 1962, part 1 June 1962, part 2 July 1962, part 1 July 1962, part 2 August 1962, part 1 August 1962, part 2 September 1962, part 1 September 1962, part 2 October 1962, part 1
The latter six October 1962 books were all published October 9th, and are the same titles we remember from the second week of other even-numbered months:
Here's this issue's letter page, where the readers have the following to say: *The Fantasticar flying upside down makes no sense. *The Torch having a secret identity in the Strange Tales Torch strip makes no sense (wait for #106, Stan says) *The Fantastic Four is the world's greatest comic and Doom is the best villain ever, followed by Namor.
Stan also makes a number of announcements: The letter pages will now have the salutations read "Dear Stan and Jack", the FF book will have two pages of letters per issue from now on, as per the reader poll Sue will NOT be dropped from the team, there will be a Spiderman comic book in December and the FF will meet the Hulk in an upcoming issue. Excitement all around.
>uumm dinosaurs could have evolved to be like humans if they were smaller... so if I make you small for a while... then your powers will evolve too! because I said so! makes perfect sense right? Doom's reasoning is so dumb the only way the other three could've bought it is if they all just collectively lost IQ points from listening to it. But hey... Kirby's space dinosaus.
>I can't crack it enough to get through to the air! Um... Lee, that's not how air works. If there's even a smallest crack, that means Reed can breathe. That doesn't help him much in the long run but the dialogue makes it seem like he's about to suffocate when he's clearly not.
The entire page is weird, it seems Stan was struggling to figure out what Jack drew. That giant ass hole he made to put the canister into looks easy enough to expand into one that cpuld be crawled through.
Kid Colt Outlaw: "The Kid Goes East!" by Stan Lee and Jack Keller, lettering by Artie Simek
Starting with this issue, Kid Colt gets full credits listings as well. And we get a longer lead story again after taking last issue off.
It really looks like the ray got activated because Reed knocked over the control panel, not because Doom shot it.
I've seen an interesting reading of this issue. One that obviously doesn't make sense within the bigger Marvel universe, but one that interprets the entire issue as being more metaphorical than one might think.
Basically, Doom is not in the issue at all, the entire issue doesn't even completely happen in reality. It's just like, Reed's almost Freudian struggle with his insecurities. The issue starts off as normal, then Sue brings up Namor and Reed feels insecure compared to him. Then suddenly the fourth wall breaks and Dr Doom returns in a really bizarre, reality-defying way. Almost like this is Reed just coming up with a way to validate himself, bringing up a villain for himself to defeat and look heroic. But Doom is not just a random villain, he's a manifestation of Reed's own violent repressed urges, ones that he thinks might make him a better male. So Reed gets "taken over" by Doom as a way to play out those urges. His plan is to shrink the rest of the team into nothingness, as if to establish that he's bigger and better than them, again, showing off some of that insecurity. But he just cannot bring himself to hurt his family, so in the last moment, he brings the old-Reed-stuck-in-a-Doom persona as a way to save the day and suppress his urges once again, defeating the Doom-taking-over-Reed persona, shrinking it into nothingness as if it wasn't there.
None of this was obviously intentional but it's interesting how it can be read that was as almost a psychological horror story.