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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"As for my heart, perhaps one day it will be able to make a final choice..but not yet!"

- - Invisible Girl, page 22

The rivalry between Reed Richards and Namor heats up in FF #14!


Fantastic Four #14
May 1963 • 22 pages

Publication Date: February 12, 1963

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1

I: Feature Story: "Sub-Mariner, and the Merciless Puppet Master"

Pages: 22

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

First Appearance: The Golden Angel

Villain: Puppet Master

Guest Appearance: Alicia Masters, Sub-Mariner

Cameo Appearance: Golden Angel, Mister Fantastic Fan Club: Clayville Chapter

Flashback Cameo: Mole Man, Skrull, Dr. Doom

Marvel Milestones: Johnny creates wind tunnel with powers, Mento Fish, Hypno Fish, Flame-Eater

Gadgets & Technology: Roving-Eye, Flex-O-Gen material

Synopsis: As the Fantastic Four return from the moon, the world anticipates their return with a mass celebration. The Mr. Fantastic Fan Club (Clayville chapter) stretches Reed in all directions as if he was Elvis. A professional wrestler, "The Golden Angel", challenges the Thing to a bout, but Ben simply tosses him a garbage can. Sue is accosted by talent scouts and turns invisible before they can get her to sign a contract. Johnny creates a wind tunnel that sweeps the team away from the bedlam and onto the roof of the Baxter Building. They collapse in their living room from exhaustion.

Reed makes a report for NASA about his new rocket fuel which took them to the moon. He takes the report to Sue for typing when he discovers Sue using the Roving-Eye TV camera, as she scans the ocean for Sub-Mariner. Reed fears that Namor still stands in the way of his romance with Sue.

Meanwhile, the Puppet Master is released from a sanitorium and seeks revenge. Instead of risking his own neck, he carves a clay statue of the Sub-Mariner to do his bidding.

The Sub-Mariner is searching for traces of his people when he is possessed by the Puppet Master. He marches to his headquarters and, with the aid of the rare Mento Fish, which broadcasts his calls to the Invisible Woman to meet him. She sneaks away from the team and meets him on the docks. He is accompanied by a Hypno Fish which mesmerizes Sue and captures her in an air bubble. They retreat into the ocean. So far, the Puppet Master's plan is going well, and in order to maximize his pleasure, he decides not to manipulate the FF, but only the Sub-Mariner.

Back at the Baxter Building, Reed is testing the Thing's strength when a mental projection of the Sub-Mariner appears. He reveals that he has Sue prisoner and challenges them to meet him in the sea. Reed vows to rip up half the ocean floor to reclaim her. The team agrees to go after Namor, but first the Thing flies his section of the Fantasti-car to say goodbye to Alicia. He parks in a pay-lot and the attendant charges him double rates. Alicia is afraid of what she will do without the Thing, so he decides to take her with the FF on their trip undersea. When returns to the pay-lot with Alicia, the Fantasti-car is double-parked in the back of the lot. Thing is so aggravated he stacks the other cars on top of each other to get at his car.

The Fantastic Four enter the sea with Alicia in their submarine. They are immediately attacked by an undersea porcupine and then a whirlpool. Johnny tries to boil off the water but it is too much for him. Reed snatches him back but just then Sub-Mariner captures the sub with a giant clam.

They awake in Sub-Mariner's headquarters. Sue is held in an air-filled globule guarded by a mighty octopus. Johnny attacks but Sub-Mariner is ready with sea-creature called a flame-eater, which suppresses Johnny's flame-power. Thing grabs Namor but he slips out of his grasp and tosses razor-sharp coral and a sea fungus at him. The fungus envelopes Thing but he bursts out of its grasp. Reed forms a net around Namor as Thing dives in the tank holding Sue and fights the mighty octopus. He tosses it aside and pulls Sue from the globule.

The Puppet Master, in a nearby submarine, puts more pressure on his Sub-Mariner figure. Alicia recognizes the influence of her stepfather as Namor prepares to gas the team with a deadly poison borne of a sea-plant. The gas covers them, but they do not fall. Namor is shocked, but Reed shows that he was prepared with "flex-o-gen packets" that covered their faces to protect them from the gas. The team rushes him, but Sue breaks up the fight. She declares that this battle was not Namor's fault, that he was under the Puppet Master's control.

Just then, the mighty octopus crashes through Namor's ceiling and heads for the Puppet Master's sub. The Puppet Master tries to carve a figure of the octopus but finds that he cannot control a mindless creature. The octopus pulls the sub down to the bottom of the sea.

Johnny stops the flood to Namor's chamber by welding the hole the octopus made. Namor comes to his senses with no memory of the fight. He is outraged that his enemies are in his headquarters. The team leaves without a struggle, and without Sue making a choice between the men she loves.

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

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #11-20 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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