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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Although the strange creature is now considered to be too young to understand his own actions, this makes him more dangerous than ever!"

- - Journalist, page 9

Thing learns the hard way: sex sells.


Fantastic Four #24
March 1964 • 23 pages

Publication Date: December 9, 1963

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "The Infant Terrible!"

Pages: 23

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

First Appearance: Infant Terrible, Big Joe, "Mom and Dad Terrible"

Villain: Big Joe

Guest Appearance: Alicia Masters

Synopsis: The Fantastic Four are taking publicity photos for 'Life' Magazine. Thing is jealous as the photographers crowd around Sue. He shows off by squeezing a stack of telephone books into a ball but they ingnore him. By the time he's finished the job, the journalists have all gone to a commotion at Times Square. The team follows in the Fantasticar and flies straight into a giant glass bottle! Johnny melts their way out but they find Times Square has been transformed into a giant maze.

Johnny spots a giant spinning top in the street and destroys it with a white-hot fire-ball. Thing punches a giant robot which appears in front of him but the impact creates a second robot. He pounds the robots again and again until the street is filled with a robot army, each new one produced by the Thing'smighty slugs! Reed has an idea: he urges the police to wail every siren in the city and, sure enough, the siren blast dissipates the odd creations.

Sue spots an alien walking amongst the humans in the crowd. He changes a lamppost into a plant and creates an ice cream soda with his antennae. The photographers take shots of the alien and he pushes them away with a force bolt. He pulls a meteor storm out of the sky and the Fantastic Four barely dodge the falling rocks. The alien, whom Reed now deduces is an infant child, slips away during the commotion.

Big Joe - the bigtime mobster - watches this on the news and calls his "boys". The mobsters find the infant alien on the street and lure him into their car with candy and ice cream.

Back at the Baxter Building, Reed broods over their new enounter. An infant with such power could wipe out cities in a tantrum, or shrink the entire population to the size of toys, he thinks. He asks Sue, what if the "enfant terrible" tried to manipulate the sun? The team rushes out to meet the Infant Terrible but Reed stays behind to experiment. Thing calls him a coward as they take off to fight....

A few miles outside the city, the mobsters have convinced the Infant Terrible to steal an armored car and crack it open. The mobsters grab the money but the Infant turns the cash into pigs and mud, and sprouts wings on the bank notes. The baby alien thinks this is all too much fun and laughs to himself.Big Joe is inspired by this, and he asks the alien to enlarge a small diamond. He turns it into a massive, sparkling diamond, which excites the mobsters quite a bit, but then the Infant Terrible turns it into a hatching egg. Big Joe runs out of patience with the Infant Terrible, and starts to threaten him.

The Fantastic Four arrive and the mobsters open fire. Torch melts their bullets and Thing tosses them around. Big Joe drives off but Sue brings the car to a halt with her force field. Thing traps him in a set of tires and Torch welds him in. They confront the Infant terrible and he creates a rock monster to attack them. Meanwhile, Reed is enacting his master-plan by using an ultra-sonic transmitter to lure an alien ship to earth.

The Torch cuts a hole in the ground and Thing pushes the rock creature into it. The Infant Terrible encloses the three in a pliable, fireproof airtight bubble and flies into the heart of Manhattan in a whirlwind. He throws a tantrum that dissolves a helicopter, fires lightning bolts into the street and levitates hats and purses from their owners. A panic breaks out and Alicia Masters is knocked unconscious to the pavement.

Reed flags down the alien ship as the Infant Terrible brings clouds down upon the crowd. Then Reed’s fears are confirmed- the Infant Terrible notices the sun! As he reaches towards the sun,his parents grab the Infant, breaking his concentration. The Fantastic Four are freed from the bubble and manage to rescue Alicia from being trampled. The parents land on the Baxter Building and silently thank Reed before returning to outer space.

--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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