> Reprinted in: Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 6  •  Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 2

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Man! If ya gotta live in the jungle, this sure is the way ta do it! There must be a lotta dough in Black Pantherin' !"

-- Thing, page 2

Let's see Legolas take this fella down!


Fantastic Four #53
August 1966 • 20 pages

Publication Date: May 10, 1966

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2

I: Feature Story: "The Way It Began..!"

Pages: 20

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Joe Sinnott
Letters: Sam Rosen

First Appearance: Klaw, Territorial Patrol, T'Chaka (in flashback)

Villain: Klaw

Guest Appearance: Black Panther, Wyatt Wingfoot, Territorial Patrol, T'Chaka

Origin: Klaw, Black Panther

Marvel Milestones: First Vibranium

Gadgets & Technology: "Elaborate Stereo Music System - complete with Tape Recorder!", Sound Blaster, Sensa-Scope, Master Sound Converter, Klaw's Wyatt Wingfoot, Force Glove

Synopsis: (continued from FF #52)

The Black Panther has organized an enormous feast for the Fantastic Four. The traditional tribal dress and tribal dances stand in sharp contrast to the technological wonders the Panther keeps in his private quarters. The Fantastic Four naturally question how this csme to be. While the Black Panther relays his strange tale, two members of the neighboring country's Territorial Patrol are attacked by a giant crimson gorilla and then another giant crimson elephant. They rush towards Wakanda, where they hope to get answers to this mystery, as well as refuge from the attacking creatures.

As the Black Panther shares the story of his origin, he begins with the Panther's father, the Wakandan chieftain T'Chaka and his sacred Vibranium mound. Vibranium is a rare natural element that absorbs vibrations, making it virtually unbreakable. Life was happy until an evil scientist named Klaw arrived. He had come for the Vibranium and mercilessly gunned down the Wakandan tribe to get it. After witnessing his father, T'Chake, become a victim in the carnage, the young native was next in lineage to take the name of the sacred Black Panther, and even though he was only a young boy, he sought revenge. The Panther became a one man army, turning Klaw's Sound Blaster guns back against him and destroying Klaw's hand in the process, driving his men away in fear.

As the Panther grew older, he became a chieftan himself. He sold a small portion of vibranium and amassed a massive fortune. He also built his technological jungle to hone his fighting skills and now that he has fought the Fantastic Four to a standstill, he has proven he is ready to face Klaw once again. Just then, the crimson gorilla attacks the Panther's village! It seems to be composed of pure energy as it absorbs the sniper's blasts and redirects it right back at the snipers. The Fantastic Four and the Black Panther join forces against it. Johnny's flames do nothing but when Thing lands a solid punch, the gorilla disappears with a sonic boom! Reed realizes the creature is made of pure sound, and they presume it must be the work of Klaw.

The Black Panther uses the distraction to sneak into Klaw's nearby lair. The scientist has replaced his broken hand with a Force Glove, a type of sound cannon he can aim from his arm, and has also created a Master Sound Converter that can change sound into living matter. This machine created the gorilla and the elephant and now forms a panther to fight its namesake. The Black Panther overcomes this construct and Klaw turns it back into sound. He turns his sound weapon on Black Panther but the Panther overloads his circuits. Klaw's entire lair explodes as the Black Panther escapes.

The sound creatures disappear when Klaw's Sound Converter is destroyed, and the Panther rejoins the Fantastic Four and Wyatt Wingfoot. With his father avenged, "the Black Panther will stalk no more". But the FF speak up and they tell the Panther that the world has great need of his skills. He should continue to fight for justice, they plead with him, and the Panther agrees.

Meanwhile, Klaw lies among the ruins of his lair, his plans destroyed. Thinking he only has one alternative, he dives into the sound device and converts his own body into living sound.

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

--letter pages and house ads provided by Crusher Creel

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #51-60 and Annual #4

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #51

FF #52

FF #53

FF #54

FF #55

FF #56

Ann #4

FF #57

FF #58

FF #59

FF #60


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