Appearing in "The Fantastic Four"Edit

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Other Characters:




Synopsis for "The Fantastic Four"Edit

  • Synopsis not yet written.


Continuity Notes

  • This issue is considered the start of the Marvel Universe. It was first coined as Earth-616 in Daredevils #7, however as Marvel began incorporating super-hero stories from their predecessors Timely and Atlas Comics, the first appearance of Earth-616 has been retconned back to Marvel Comics #1 which feature the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner.
  • As Marvel has continued to publish stories eventually they had to institute a Sliding Timescale as a means of slowing down the advance of time in the Marvel Universe over the length of publications in real time. This was to prevent ageing their characters quickly as well as updating dated plot concepts, generalizing real life events or dates that are mentioned in various stories. When Fantastic Four #1 was published in 1961, Reed's spaceship is specifically referred to as a rocket, and his intentions for his mission is to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. Contextually, the story was published during the height of the US/Soviet Space Race, which saw both countries competing to see which one could develop manned space flights. Since then, many retellings of the Fantastic Four's origin have changed the details of Reed Richard's space flight, updating concepts so that they were not considered dated more modern readers. Such as:
    • While Fantastic Four #1 implies that Reed was trying to reach the moon, Fantastic Four #2 states that he was attempting to reach Mars. Other stories since then have generalized where his destination was supposed to be.
    • Fantastic Four #197 goes on to state that it was not just cosmic rays that caused the Fantastic Four to get their powers. It states that sunspot activity caused flaring through the Van Allen Belts causing an increase in neutron activity. The combination of this and the cosmic rays caused the mutations.
    • 20 years later in Fantastic Four #236, the origin of the Fantastic Four was updated, it was stated that Reed's experimental ship was intended to travel to the edge of the solar system and while it needed a rocket booster to reach escape velocity from Earth's atmosphere it relied on a Star Drive to reach its destination. This tale also goes on to expand on how the quartet were mutated.
    • Fantastic Four #358 published in 1991 states that the this "Star Drive" was intended to bring them into hyperspace in order to visit other solar systems.
  • The Thing is depicted here with dinosaur-like skin, he maintains this appearance until he eventually he developed his trademark rocky appearance by Fantastic Four #10. Marvel Two-In-One #50 went on to explain that the Thing's form continued to mutate after his initial transformation.
  • Prior to their rocket flight, Reed and Sue were pulled forward in time to the future of C:marvel:Earth-60166 where they met numerous versions of their future selves who were gathered by their Earth-60166 counterparts to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary as seen in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1. When Reed and Sue are returned to the exact moment that they were taken from, they retained no memory of the festivities.
  • Events surrounding this issue have also been expanded outside of retelling how the Fantastic Four got their powers. Fantastic Four: First Family #1 tells what happened to the Fantastic Four from the moment they crash landed and were taken into government custody to Reed Richards beginning to set up the Fantastic Four prior to their battle with the Mole Man. The rest of the series happens between Fantastic Four #2 and 3

Publication Notes

  • The letters page of Fantastic Four #281 credits Art Simek as the inker for this issue. The theories on who actually inked Fantastic Four #1 (and Fantastic Four #2 for that matter) continue to be debated, and will probably never be definitively answered. Many scoff that Art Simek could not have inked either issue, and dismiss the editor's reference in Fantastic Four #281 as Jack Kirby's faulty memory of years gone by. Though it was also backed up by Roz Kirby and Steve Leialoha on the same letters page.


  • This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.[2][3]


  • Marvel and many Marvel fans have often referred to this issue as the start of "the Marvel age of Comics".
  • The Fantastic Four wore blue and white flight suits in the first printing of Fantastic Four #1. All subsequent reprints and flashbacks feature the more familiar purple and blue flight suits.
  • In late 1961, no one in the US really knew how conditions in space would affect a human being, since the first man in space was a Russian, Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961. (The first American, John Glenn, went into space in February 1962.) At the time 'gamma rays' were a real concern that later proved groundless. The 'cosmic rays' in this story were later retconned into a freak confluence of gamma rays, sunspots, and other phenomena.

See Also

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. The first story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
  3. The second story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
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