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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"As you know, we Watchers are forbidden to interfere with people of other planets!"

- - Uatu, the Watcher, right before he interferes, page 5

The FF off on an adventure of cosmic proportions! To meet...the Watcher!


Fantastic Four #20
November 1963 • 22 pages

Publication Date: August 8, 1963

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1

I: Feature Story: "The Mysterious Molecule Man!"

Pages: 22

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

First Appearance: Molecule Man

Villain: Molecule Man

Guest Appearance: The Watcher, Yancy Street Gang, Alicia Masters

Origin: Molecule Man

Marvel Milestones: First appearance of ACME Atomics Corporation

Gadgets & Technology: Projecto-Image, Molecule Man's wand

Synopsis: Reed is trying to probe a meteor when Thing pulls a chunk of it off. Inside they find a dehydrated organic acorn. Suddenly, they see a flaming globe down on the street. When the Torch approaches it, the globe sends him flying. Reed tries to cage the globe with his body but it shines right through him. Thing pulls a water main out from under thepavement and tries to douse it but it ricochets the stream at the Human Torch. Sue tries to probe it with a stick, but the globe pulls her inside. The team follows her into the globe and finds themselves transported across dimensions- into the citadel of the Watcher!

The Watcher warns them of a danger that may destroy the human race, and even the entire universe. He creates a Projecto-Image that tells the whole story to the FF: an disgruntled laboratory technician for the ACME Atomics Corporation is caught in the explosion of an atomic device. Theexposure to atomic radioation has given him the power to control all inorganic molecules. As well, the accident has seared his facewith "lightning-like" streaks across his skin. When he is fired for his incompetence, he uses a wand to freeze his boss with ice and reveals himself as the Molecule Man! Now he seeks revenge againstthose who forced him to toil in anonymity.

The Watcher sends the Fantastic Four back to handle the crisis to the universe and they find the entire Baxter Building floating over Times Square. The Molecule Man gloats on the ledge, commanding all gathered below to bow to hiscommand. When Reed approaches him, he changes the bricks of a building into a fan to blow him away, and then he turns the air into magnets to pull Reed apart in opposite directions. The Torch melts the magnets and then stampedes towards the Molecule Man. The Molecule Man forms a crystal shield and a spring to bounce out of the way of Johnny’s nova blast. He twists the shield into a parachute and glides down to meet the Thing’s attack. He pulls up the cement in the road like a blanket pulled off a bed and tosses the Thing on his back. Thing tears through the new barricade and the Molecule Man meets him with electric bolts pulled from a neon sign. Thing hides in the sewer and the Molecule Man strangles him with pipes. The Human Torch follows him down and melt the pipes, rescuing his friend.

Sue turns invisible and she and Reed rush the Molecule Man. The Molecule Man tosses more bricks at Reed as Sue tries to snatch his wand. He catchers her in the act and mummifies her with newspapers. Thing peels the newspapers from Sue and Johnny creates a flame wall around the Molecule Man, buying the FF a brief amount of timeto recalculate their fight. The Fantastic Four retreat onto the subway as the Molecule Man forms a glass bubble over the entire island of Manhattan.

He demands the Fantastic Four be brought to him and the whole city of New York is pressed intoduty to find them. The team hides out in the alleyways, saved only by the Yancy Street Gang, who can't allow anyone- other than themselves - to bring harm to the Thing. They maketheir way to Alicia Master's apartment to hide out. As they wait in Alicia’s studio, Reed gets an idea to stop the Molecule Man. Reed theorizes that the Molecule Man's powers to manipulate atomic structure only extend to inorganic matter - he cannot affect organic matter. They send an FF signal into the sky and the Molecule Man arrives. Alicia shows him statues of the Fantastic Four and the Molecule Man tries to twist them with his powers for a little bit of super-villainfun. The feedback causes him great pain as the statues come to life! The Fantastic Four had covered themselves in plaster to trick him. The Molecule Man reaches for his wand as the flaming globe appears once again to envelop him. The Watcher has undone all the Molecule Man’s damage and will imprison the Molecule Man so he can’t threaten Earth again.

--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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