> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 3  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"If you think I like being the leader of a group of temperamental prima-donnas, you’re crazy!"

- - Reed Richards, page 8

Reed shows Doom how silly Iceman used to look.


Fantastic Four #23
February 1964 • 23 pages

Publication Date: November 12, 1963

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "The Master Plan of Doctor Doom!"

Pages: 23

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)
Letters: Sam Rosen

First Appearance: Bull Brogin, "Handsome Harry" Phillips, Yoki Dakor

Villain: Dr. Doom, Bull Brogin, "Handsome Harry" Phillips, Yoki Dakor

Marvel Milestones: First appearance of Solar Waves

Gadgets & Technology: XZ-12 Device, Cosmic-Beam Gun, Ionic Dust

Synopsis: A baby dinosaur tears through the Baxter Building until Sue captures it in a force field. Someone had left Dr. Doom’s time machine on and Reed is fit to betied. After they send the dino back in time, he snaps at Ben and Johnny for their inattentionto rules and procedures and they react by demanding a new team leader!

Meanwhile, a strange figure bails out three crooks from jail: Bull Brogin, a strong thug; "Handsome Harry" Phillips, a con man; and Yogi Dakor, a "fireproof man" that tried to steal the circus payroll. As they are gathered together, the figure drops to the ground. He is the lifeless creation of Dr. Doom, a robot! Doom comes out from behind a curtainand reveals himself, and declares that he has gathered these three men to help him destroy the Fantastic Four.

In the Baxter Building, electing a new leader is not going well. All three members have voted for themselves. They argue until Reed steps in and takes control. He apologizes to Sue and tells Ben and Johnny to shape up and clean up the mess they’ve made fighting. He tells them that he’s been distracted searching for Dr. Doom.

Meanwhile, Dr. Doom has increased the power of his three henchmen. Brogin is given the strength of the Thing, Dakor is completely immune to fire and Phillips now has super hearing to catch the Invisible Girl. Doom, naturally, will handle Mr. Fantastic.

The first part of the plan is set into play: Dakor lures Johnny with the gift of a unique sports car. Once inside the car, Johnny is trapped and his fire powers can’t affect Dakor. Dakor slips on a gas mask and a powerful nerve gas knocks Johnny out.

Thing has received an insulting letter from the Yancy Street Gang and storms off to face them. Brogin sucker-punches him from under a manhole and when Thing tosses him in the air, he grabshold of a fire escape and brings it down with him. Brogin wraps the fire escape bars around the Thing and shoots him with Doom’s Cosmic Ray Gun. The Thing is changed back to Ben Grimm and Brogin knocks him out with one punch.

Sue is testing her invisibility powers when Reed sneaks up on her. She is in no mood for games and rebukes him with a force field. Reed is dumbfounded by her rebuff of his amorous advances and leavesthe room. Just then, Phillips arrives as an admirer with a bunch of flowers. The flowers are drugged and Sue turns invisible and tries to run. Phillips follows her every footstep and finishes the job with an ether mist.

Later, Reed follows an FF flare into the streets below. When he hits the ground, a Thing robot and Dr. Doom lock him into an air-tight cage. Doom takes them all to his hideout where he destroys the Thing robot and pays his henchmen for their services rendered with small boxes he says contain five-thousand dollars. When the boxes are opened, all three henchmen are transported to another dimension, where Doom cackles they shall remain until he needs them again. With Sue's help projecting a force-field, Thing breaks his chains and then smashes Reed’s cage as Doom plows a hydraulic battering ram into Thing’s chest. Doom pulls a gun on Sue but Reed mummifies him with a stretching arm. Thing demolishes his battering ram and frees Johnny, chained to the wall by an asbestos cord.

Doom freezes Reed with a weapon concealed in his armor. He freezes a rope and tries to lasso the torch but Thing blocks the toss. Johnny thaws Reed with diffused heat as Doom flies out of Thing’s clutches. He slips through a secret hatch and locks the Fantastic Four inside the room.

All of a sudden, a weird occurence happens. A dimensional rift opens up beneath their feet inside the room,which would transport them into outer space. As Doom has planned for, every twenty-four hours a Solar Wave passes over this room. If there is ionic dust present (which of course Doom has sprinkled liberally) the entire room will be teleported into deep space. The Fantastic Four back away from the dissolving floor as it slowly encroaches toward them. Sue pushes her force field through the wall and pins Doom on the other side, forcing him to know that if the FF goes, so does Doom. Doom throws open the hatch to disperse the dust in a bid to save himself but Thing grabs him and tosses him into the rift caused by the Solar Wave and he hurtles into deep space. The Fantastic Four squeeze through the hatch just as the last of the room dissolves and they escape.

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

--letter pages and house ads provided by Crusher Creel

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #21-30

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #21

FF #22

FF #23

FF #24

FF #25

FF #26

FF #27

FF #28

FF #29

FF #30


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