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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I alone must hide like a dark wraith from the sight of my fellow man!"

- - Dr. Doom, page 9

Doom's diabolical new invention; the fat, floating bug-eyed bald guy!


Fantastic Four #17
August 1963 • 22 pages

Publication Date: May 9, 1963

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1

I: Feature Story: "Defeated by Doctor Doom!"

Pages: 22

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

First Appearance: Mr. Spade, The Professor, Helen

Villain: Dr. Doom

Guest Appearance: Alicia Masters, Mr. Spade, The Professor, Helen

Cameo Appearance: President John F. Kennedy, Carolyn Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Nikita Kruschev

Flashback Cameo: Ant-Man; Princess Pearla and the King of Micro-World

Marvel Milestones: Johnny Storm receives knighthood in Micro-World (from flashback), revelation that ReedRichards is a world-class judomaster

Gadgets & Technology: Idento-discs, "Followers", Electro-Detector, Pseudo-Imager, Illusion-Ray, Doom Spores, Power-Spheres, Doom's airship, Electro-Scanner, Ultra-Heat Beam Gun

Synopsis: The Fantastic Four wave goodbye to Ant-Man (who helped them in FF #16) as he is launched out of the Baxter Building. Thing settles into to read an Ant-Man comic and recaps their adventure in the Micro-World last issue, including thepart where Johnny Storm was knighted by the king of the Micro-World.

Meanwhile, Reed has developed a new machine- a "highly sensitive radar set"- to search for Dr. Doom. The team helps by searching for Doom themselves. The Human Torch sends sonar heat waves across the city to find Doom’s steel armor. On a busy, city street, Thing thinks he sees Doom from behind and runs into open manhole. He bursts through the street to find that ‘Doom’ is a guy dressed as a knight to promote a new movie. An invisible Sue Storm stumbles across two men in an alleyway handling a gun. She knocks the muzzle and spoils the gunman’s aim, only to find that it’s a toy spouting ping-pong balls. She’s accidentally ruined a transaction between a potential customer andthe toy inventor!

They abandon the search and try to continue with their normal social lives. The lobby of the Baxter Building is mobbed with fans of the FF, so a kindly janitor sneaks them into the freight elevator so they can leave by the back entrance. They shake his hand as they leave and the janitor slips a plastic disc onto each of their hands. Once they’ve gone, the janitor pulls off his disguise. This is no elderly janitor- this is Dr. Doom! Doom sends special floating robots- which Reed terms as "Followers"- to haunt the team. The Followers float along, tracing every step the FF make. They ruin Johnny and Ben’s dates, Sue’s photo shoot and Reed’s lecture. The robots resist their powers, but when the team reunites, Reed finds the Idento-Discs that Doom had attached to their persons with hisElectro-Detector and the Followers disappear.

Doom’s first plan was simply to embarrass and confuse them with the Followers, but now he kidnaps Alicia and transports her to his floating laboratory airship in the clouds. The Fantastic Four reads about Alicia's mysteriousabduction in the daily paper, and Doom’s ‘pseudo-image’ appears to them, bellowing and cackling in triumph. After threatening them with hisIllusion-Ray and Doom Spores, he declares that he will keep Alicia hostage to prevent the Fantastic Four from foiling his plans to reach his ultimate goal of being named to the President's cabinet. His pseudo-image disappears from the FF, and soon after Washington receives Doom’s demands. President Kennedy refuses to place Doom in his cabinet, so Doom retaliates by disrupting all the missile guidance systems in the U.S. military.

Reed already has a plan. Using an "Electro-Scanner", he has found Doom’s floating laboratory and its disintegrator cannons. The Followers managed to map out each member's atomic body structure, andDoom has calibrated the cannons to fire on sight whenever they get near. Reed figures that Ben Grimm can evade detection from the cannons, and after toiling in his lab for hours, he creates a serum that changes the Thing back into Ben Grimm. They launch Ben in a capsule towards the ship and he changes back to the Thing just as he gets through the lab’s defenses. He destroys the disintegrator cannons as the Fantastic Four’s magnet plane attaches to the hull of the lab.

They split up to explore the ship and fall into Doom’s traps. The Human Torch is caught in a spinning chamber that sucks the flame from him. He destroys the room with a giant heat blast but it knocks him out. Reed is caught in a room of pouring cement. He squeezes through the air pockets of the cement and escapes underneath the door. Thing falls through a trap door and grabs hold of a greased pole. He digs his fingers deep into the pole and claws his way up before he can fall to the Earth.

Doom sees the three men on his monitor racing towards him, and unleashes his Power Spheres, which he anticipates will surround them and transport them to another dimensioni. But just then the three burst into Doom’s control room. As it turns out, they had fooled Doom with the Torch'sheat mirage powers. Doom throws up a force screen and refuses to give Alicia to the Thing.

Meanwhile, Sue has found Alicia’s cell and switches places with her, hiding Alicia in a closet. Doom tries to grab her from behind but Sue turns invisible and fights him. Doom releases steel bars randomly throughout the room to box Sue in. She reaches for the controls and Doom grabs her. She knocks him back with judomoves she learned from Reed, but Doom pulls out a Ultra-Heat Beam gun to sweep the room. Just then, the rest of the team crashes through the wall and Doom, with nowhere left to run, jumps out of the floating laboratory into the clouds. Ben finds Alicia and they are all reunited.

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

--letter pages and house ads provided by Crusher Creel

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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