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

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Hold it, stringbean! Maybe you didn’t dig me before! I’m workin’ for Diablo now!"

- - The Thing, page 6

Alright, alright! I’ll say it....."The Thing and I." Happy now?!?!?!


Fantastic Four #30
September 1964 • 22 pages

Publication Date: June 9, 1964

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1

I: Feature Story: "The Dreaded Diablo!"

Pages: 22

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Chic Stone
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Diablo, Baron Hugo

Villain: Diablo

Guest Appearance: Baron Hugo

Origin: Diablo

Marvel Milestones: First apperance of "Transition" Thing

Gadgets & Technology: Protecto-Dome, Stun Shower

Synopsis: In a somewhat odd way to spend a vacation, the Fantastic Four are lost in a dense European forest when they stumble upon an old castle. They are inspired to go investigate, but suddenly, a local named Baron Hugo halts their path. This is the castle of Diablo, he says, and if they will stay the night at his estate, Hugo will tell them the legend of thatterritorial menace.

As Baron Hugo puts up the FF for their stay, he tells them of the one who resided in the castle long ago:Diablo was an evil alchemist. Angry villagers had sealed him within his castle but no one knows what potions of immortality Diablo had created, and they worry he could still be alive today!

The Thing goes to bed in Hugo’s castle that night but a strange voice awakens him. He is drawn across the forest and back to Diablo’s castle, beckoned by the voice. He is irresistibly pulled to a massive door that seals up a crypt, and he pulls it aside with his mightystrength. Diablo is free!

The next morning, the Fantastic Four follow their absent teammate's trail to Diablo’s castle. Diablo greets them with the Thing. Ben has undergone a transformation, becoming close to human while still retaining his mighty strength. Diablo has promised to transform the Thing back to Ben Grimm permanently if he will serve him for one full year, and the Thing agrees. Reed initially fights this decision by Ben, and tries to forcibly convincehim to come back with them, but the Thing fights back. The Fantastic Four leave Thing there but Reed slips away with one of Diablo’s chemical beakers so he can study the power they are up against.

It isn’t long before the world hears of Diablo. He turns a desert into a garden and creates an unbreakable Protecto-Dome that guards against missile attacks. All this activity makes Diablo a sought-after person by governments around the world. But Reed, in a lab provided by Baron Hugo, discovers Diablo’s potions are fakes- dangerous fakes!

Ben sees Diablo paying mercenaries but becomes woozy as he goes to investigate. He takes one look in the mirror and it confirms his fears- he has reversed into the full shape of the Thing once more. He has been duped by Diablo. He charges at his former master, but Diablo is ready with a sleeping potion, andknocks him out.

The world learns only too rudely about the temporary nature of Diablo’s alchemical potions and turns against him. The Human Torch flies to Diablo’s castle but finds it heavily armed. Guided missiles chase Johnny through the air and he eludes them by flying past a nearby mountain peak. The soldiers prepare a Stun Shower- a hose that sprays a chemical foam to douse flames- but the Invisible Girl is on the scene, and she knocks the hose from the soldier’s hands and sprays the troops with the chemicals. Diablo rots the hose with his potions but Sue turns Diablo invisible. As his armies rushaway in a panic, they threaten to trample him since they cannot see him.

The invisible Diablo hides inside the castle as Johnny and Sue approach. They search for Diablo inthe catacombs and Reed joins them, slithering through the cracks in the stones. They find Thing sealed in a glass capsule which resists Johnny’s flame. Diablo arrives and they rush him. He disappears from their grasp and knocks them out with fumes concealed in his garment.

The Fantastic Four are all placed in similar capsules to confine them. Suddenly Thing wakes up and smashes through his prison, created with Diablo's faulty chemicals. He stomps the floor and it knocks Diablo to the ground.The master villain gets up and tries to run away, but the Thing blocks the exit with a boulder and after mashing a suit of armor into a ball, hurls it at Diablo. Diablo escapes into his dungeon and Thing jams the door in so hard after him, the entire castle collapses!

The Fantastic Four are freed as the crumbling castle smashes their capsules. They escape and Johnny welds the rubble into one seamless pile. Diablo is entombed but the Fantastic Four have one problem remaining: they are lost in the forest once again!

--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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