> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 1  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I won't wait any longer! I'm going out to fight! To smash!"

- - Thing, page 6

The one thing an alien invasion force is unprepared for: A FLARE GUN!


Fantastic Four #2
January 1962 • 25 pages

Publication Date: September 28, 1961

Letters Page: No letters page published in this issue.

I: Feature Story: "The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls From Outer Space!"
Part 2: Prisoner of the Skrulls
Part 3: The Fantastic Four Fight Back!
Part 4: "The Fantastic Four...Captured!"

Pages: 24

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: George Klein (uncredited)
Letters: John Duffy

First Appearance: Skrulls, Skrull Supreme Majesty

Villain: Skrulls

Guest Appearance: Central City Chief of Police

Origin Retelling: Fantastic Four

Marvel Milestones: shape changing aliens, first Daily Bugle & Daily Globe headlines

Setting: Central City

Synopsis: The Fantastic Four appear to be on a crime rampage. The Thing swims towards an offshore Texas oilrig, punches out one of the supports, capsizes the rig and swims away; Sue is in a jewelry store, steals a huge and expensive diamond and disappeares; Johnny melts a marble Civil War monument at its dedication; and, at the city power plant, a hand stretches in and pulls a switch causing a blackout across the entire city.

The Fantastic Four gather and reveal they are not the Fantastic Four at all! They are alien Skrulls planning a full-scale invasion of Earth. Their only opposition is the Fantastic Four so they've taken their places in attempt to ruin their good name, in the hopes that the human race will destroy the FF for them!

The real Fantastic Four are in a remote cabin in the woods when they hear the news of their supposed rampage. Reed is certain someone is impersonating them. As they try to calm the Thing down, the military arrive to arrest them. The Fantastic Four surrenders without a fight.

They are placed in four separate cells but aren't held long. Johnny is locked in an asbestos room but finds a concealed air vent to fuel his flame. The Thing bashes at his door until it gives way. Reed searches his walls for any sign of weakness until he squeezes through a loose rivet. Sue turns invisible and pushes past the guards when they open the door at mealtime. They regroup, steal a helicopter and escape.

At one of their "secret apartment hideouts," they discuss their counterattack. Johnny offers to sabotage a rocket-launch platform and trick the Skrulls into taking him in. Thing objects and the two get into a heated argument. Sue comes between them and the Thing bitterly mentions the world would be better off without his grotesque self.

The Human Torch sabotages the launch platform, and sure enough he is picked up by the Skrulls. They take him back to their hideout, thinking he is one of their own, but discover his secret. Johnny fires a flare gun and then surrounds the Skrulls with flame to hold them. The "Skrull Torch" arrives and they collide in mid-air. Johnny is left exhausted but as the Skrulls move in for the kill, the Thing tears the wall down and charges.

Reed grabs a Skrull from outside the window as Thing tosses another. Sue, invisible, trips the third. Reed holds them at bay with their weapon and Thing, out of control grabs a desk to smash them. The terrified Skrull tells all he knows: that they are an advance team prepping a full-scale Skrull invasion. The Fantastic Four have stopped their imposters, but not the invasion. Reed hatches a plan in which the FF will return to the mother ship posing as the Skrulls.

They fly the Skrull's rocket, camouflaged as a water tower, to the mother ship. Greeted by their leader, Reed announces that the Skrulls will be defeated by Earth's defenses. As proof, he offers panels from Strange Tales and Journey Into Mystery, which depict the sights of giant monsters, space mines and huge insects, which horrifies the Skrulls and they withdraw. The Skrull leader orders Reed to unmask and join them but Reed offers to return to Earth and erase all evidence of the Skrulls there. The leader, still taken in by Reed's ruse, awards them with a medal for their bravery.

Returning to Earth, they travel back through the radiation belt and Thing changes back to Ben Grimm. After they land, they are caught in the floodlights of the police. Reed tries to explain to the Police Chief what is going on, but when Ben interrupts, he realizes he is human again. Unfortunately, a moment later he transforms back into the grotesque and sullen Thing.

Reed leads the police to their apartment to prove their innocence. Upon arriving, they find the Skrulls transformed into giant animals: one, a giant snake; the second, a spiky monster; and the third, a small bird. The Skrulls are all rounded up by the Fantastic Four*. The Skrulls change back to their natural state and the police chief, now convinced of the FF's innocence, is stumped on the question of how to confine them. Reed decides to hypnotize them and erase their minds after one last transformation. The Skrulls become the most contented creatures on Earth- three cows, grazing in an open field.

(* NOTE: The disappearance of the fourth Skrull, most likely a Kirby mistake, has been a topic of much debate in later Marvel stories. He finally turned up in the Avengers later in the decade, during the Kree/Skrull war!)

II: Pinup: "The Thing"

Pages: 1

Image of Ben Grimm inset against the Thing ripping apart a light pole.

--synopsis by Jonathan Clarke, aka doesitmatter, with Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #1-10

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #1

FF #2

FF #3

FF #4

FF #5

FF #6

FF #7

FF #8

FF #9

FF #10


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