Wednesday, October 29, 2008

History of the Marvel Universe--March 1962


In this one, the FF go against the Miracle Man, a guy who seems to be able to do anything—become invulnerable; grow to giant-size; conjure up monsters, etc. He declares war on the human race, but Reed figures out the secret of his “miracles” and he ends the issue on his was to jail.

It’s a good issue (and one particular visual—when Reed stretches himself into a round shape to take the place of a car tire—is really fun), but the villain isn’t that memorable or interesting. In fact, he is one of the few bad guys our heroes encounter during these early issues that does not become a regular part of the group’s rogue’s gallery. The Miracle Man won’t appear again until the mid-1970s.

It’s the details adding to the FF’s mythos that are most interesting. They don their costumes for the first time. We find out they have a headquarters atop a skyscraper (though it is not yet referred to as the Baxter Building). This includes a cutaway view of the place so we can see its layout. I love stuff like that.

And we see the first version of the flying Fantasticar, though this early flying bathtub isn’t anywhere near as cool looking as the later version will be.

Ben is still perpetually ill-tempered and is starting to get on everyone’s nerves, especially Johnny. In fact, at the end of this issue, it’s not Ben who gets in a snit and quits, but Johnny.

This ending sets up the next issue, which will re-introduce a Golden Age character to modern continuity. Also, in another comic, we’ll be introduced to yet another major addition to the Marvel Universe.

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