> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 2  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"If you readers wanna see women fightin' all the time, then go see lady wrestlers!"

- - Thing, page 10

Reed Richards cracks down on readers who think Sue is a pushover!


Fantastic Four #11
February 1963 • 23 pages

Publication Date: November 1, 1962

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "A Visit With the Fantastic Four"

Pages: 11

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Dick Ayers
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Willie Lumpkin

Origin: Reed Richards, Ben Grimm

Origin Retelling: Fantastic Four

Flashback Cameo: Skrulls, Dr. Doom

Gadgets & Technology: elevator signal belt

Synopsis: All of Manhattan is a buzz as the latest issue of Fantastic Four hits the stands. Kids in the street are pretending to be their favorite FF character as Thing strolls by. He gives the boy playing Thing a thrill by squeezing a lamppost. The rest of the team is behind them and demonstrate their powers for their tiny counterparts.

They arrive at the Baxter Building to find Willie Lumpkin, a mailman asks to join the FF because he can "wiggle his ears real good." He's dragging a heavy sack of fan mail behind him. He can't get up to the FF's headquarters and Sue demonstrates their special signal belt, which summons their private elevator.

The Fantastic Four dump the pile of fan mail onto the desk and begin to go through it. Thing finds a package from the Yancy Street Gang and a boxing glove springs out from inside and punches him in the face. Enraged, he crushes a 100-pound dumbbell. Reed calms him down with another version of the serum that changes him back to Ben Grimm. A bored Johnny Storm takes off to work on his "new TR-4."

Once Johnny's left, Reed and Ben reminisce about their origins. They think back on their college days, when Ben was an All-American football player and the two were roommates at State University. Then, they think back on their World War II careers, where Ben was an ace fighter pilot and Reed was an OSS fighter, working behind enemy lines. They also think back on the rocket launch and cosmic rays that gave the Fantastic Four their powers, as well as the crash when they first saw their powers in action, and where Reed had to stretch to wave at a passing plane for their rescue.

Sue reads one letter and starts to cry. She says many readers have told her she is useless to the team and that she should quit. Reed confronts the readers, defending Sue by drawing a comparison to Abraham Lincoln's mother, who was an inspiration to the 16th President in ways that most people don't even know about! They also mention moments in the past where she saved the rest of the team using her powers of invisibility. Ben gets irate at the readers and changes back into the Thing as he yells. Suddenly, the alarm bell rings and they rush to the spaceship they brought back home from Planet X. Johnny is waiting inside with a birthday cake for Sue. They cut the cake and relax until Thing sees Willie Lumpkin returning with more fan mail.

II: Feature Story: "The Impossible Man"

Pages: 11

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Dick Ayers
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Impossible Man, Bank Manager Mr. Howell, "Killer"

Origin: Impossible Man

Guest Appearance: Impossible Man, Bank Manager Mr. Howell, "Killer"

Marvel Milestones: Planet Poppup in the tenth galaxy

Synopsis: The Impossible Man appears in a "hobo jungle" looking for food. The hoboes tell him if he wants any of theirs, he'll have to pay in cash. He shape-shifts into a jet plane and flies to a bank.

Arriving at the bank, he shows the banker how he can shrink underneath the vault door and grab bags of cash. He turns into steel to deflect the bullets of the bank guards as he leaves. The authorities call in the Fantastic Four.

The team finds the Impossible Man eating in the Flamingo restaurant. Between mouthfuls, he explains that because his home planet called Planet Poppup is full of predators, his race has evolved into shape-shifters so they can defend themselves. This ability also allows them to leave the planet and explore the galaxy if they decide to change into spaceships. Thing tries to pick him up out of his seat but the Impossible Man turns into a thorn bush and stabs him. Johnny flies over but the Impossible Man changes into a bag of water and douses his flame. He then confuses the team by changing into a missile, a bunch of flowers and a buzz saw, which slices through the restaurant and into the street.

The Impossible Man notices humans have no shape-shifting powers, and he realizes that this makes him the most powerful being on the planet! He steals a cab and races down the street, sideswiping vehicles as he goes. Reed and Thing follow him in the Fantasticar and Thing grabs the cab's bumper, bringing it to a screeching halt. The National Guard arrives and the Impossible Man turns into a ticking bomb. Reed grabs the living bomb and tosses it into the air, where it explodes. The Impossible Man glides through the air until Johnny hypnotizes him with his flame.

Once the Impossible Man has hit the ground, Reed gets an idea. They will ignore him, depriving him of the attention he craves. Once word gets out, the entire world shuns him, even when he ruins a boxing match, a live television program and a helicopter. Bored, the Impossible Man returns to outer space, claiming he will never again come back to Earth where nobody likes to have fun.

III: Pinup:

Pages: 1

Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner

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

--letter pages provided by Aussie Stu

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #1-10 and Fantastic Four Annual #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #11

FF #12

FF #13

FF #14

FF #15

FF #16

FF #17

FF #18

FF #19

FF #20

Ann #1


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