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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I've already managed to create a primitive form of one-celled life which lived for a few seconds! Do you think I feel like stopping now?"

- - Reed Richards, page 4

This would make a good album cover for "Doin' the Limbo With Reed Richards And His Wacky Gadgets" !


Fantastic Four #15
June 1963 • 21 pages

Publication Date: March 12, 1963

Letters Page: Not currently in inventory.

I: Feature Story: "The Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android!"

Pages: 22

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

First Appearance: The Mad Thinker, the Awesome Android, Yancy Street Gang, Peggy, Pierre, Higgens, General Electronics' Roger, Cartwright & Van Dorn, Bones & Shorty

Villain: The Mad Thinker, the Awesome Android

Origin: The Mad Thinker, the Awesome Android

Guest Appearance: Peggy, Pierre, Higgens, General Electronics' Roger, Cartwright & Van Dorn, Bones & Shorty

Cameo Appearance: Alicia Masters, Willie Lumpkin, Yancy Street Gang

Marvel Milestones: Bones 'n Bailey Circus, first "pin-up" splash page with no story content

Gadgets & Technology: Vibra-Guns

Synopsis: The signal flare explodes over the Baxter Building. Johnny abandons his date, Sue runs out of the hairdresser in curlers and Thing is denied his revenge on the Yancy Street gang. They complain to Reed for the inconvenience on their lives, but he says he doesn't like it anymore than they do, as he has been called away from his own experiments researching DNA. However, it's an FF emergency, Reed says. The chief of police has called him because gangs around the country are flocking to New York in some unknown plot.

The gangs are flocked around the Mad Thinker. Between his intellect and his computers, he declares that he can outsmart anyone on earth, even the Fantastic Four! Nothing is left to chance in the Mad Thinker's plans. He has already escaped robberies by knowing the precise moment when a water main would break or a hot dog vendor would block the police pursuit. With this method of intuition, he will break into the Baxter Building and steal Reed's inventions, in order to take control of New York City and declare it its own city state, with himself as king. One of the gang lords doubts his powers and leaves, precisely at the moment the Thinker predicted. The gang lord is picked up outside by the police, as the Thinker knew he would. The assembled gangsters are impressed by this show of knowledge and foresight.

The first phase of his plan involves disbanding the Fantastic Four. Right on the Thinker's schedule, two of Johnny's cousins- Bones and Shorty- arrive from the circus looking for a way to boost business. They ask Johnny if he will agree to perform with them, guaranteeing a boffo box office. The board at General Electronics, Ltd need a top research specialist when, by sheer coincidence, a janitor drops a copy of the Fantastic Four comic on the table. The CEO sees the comic and it inspires him to call Reed. Thing is given an offer (again!) to join the pro wrestling circuit. An agent tries to persuade him to face off against Fatal Finnegan, the idol of the Yancy Street Gang. Sue is approached by an agent who wants to cast her in a Broadway show. After getting on each other's nerves in the Baxter Building, they decide to take a vacation and pursue their outside interests.

Once the Fantastic Four have gone, the Mad Thinker waits for a meteor to hit the bay and uses the chaos to break into the Baxter Building. With the FF gone, it is easy for him to take advantage of the chaos created by the meteor crash. He finds Reed's notes on DNA and decides to create a new form of life.

Later, in their newfound private lives, the Fantastic Four realize they are bored. Johnny is tired of doing the same act every day for the Bones 'n Bailey Circus, Sue is embarrassed to be in a shlocky science fiction film in Hollywood, Reed realizes he can't work for anyone but himself, and Thing learns professional wrestling really is rigged. He tosses his opponent out of the ring and ties him to a pole with a note that reads "DO NOT OPEN TILL XMAS."

They return to Manhattan to find the Baxter Building has been transformed into crystal! No one on the street seems to notice the crystal building or the projection of the Mad Thinker. He has modified his "hypno ray" so that only the Fantastic Four know the truth of what they see. The crystal opens to allow them inside, but the Torch is wary of traps, and he tosses a fireball inside that sets off the Thinker's booby trap. They enter and are attacked by a gang using Reed's own vibra-sound weapons. Thing wraps the gang within the walls.

They climb the elevator shaft but the Thinker gasses them. They become disoriented until Thing twists Reed up and lets him go. As Reed unwinds creating the air propulsion of a giant fan, he blows the gas out of the shaft.

Suddenly, the Awesome Android appears, created by the Mad Thinker from Reed's DNA research. He blows out Johnny's flame with a tornado wind and changes his skin to match the rocky hide of Thing. Reed wraps himself around the Android while Sue, invisible, hits his "off" switch. They reach the Mad Thinker who aims anti-matter shells, at them. Suddenly the Mad Thinker's weapons short out and the team nabs him. The Mad Thinker is astonished that his plan could go awry, but Reed explains that he also had a plan! Not knowing what to expect inside his crystallized Baxter Building home, he asked their mailman-Willie Lumpkin- to ring a special doorbell at 4 o'clock on the dot. The signal from the doorbell would send a surge through Reed's equipment and render it useless, and the Mad Thinker helpless.

II: Pinup: "The Fantastic Four Pin-Up Page"

Pages: 1

The Fantastic Four pose inside the Baxter Building. "Sincerely, Ben, Reed, Sue & Johnny"

--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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