WEBSITE NOTE: This is the first issue of Fantastic Four (Vol 3)’s returning to its original Vol 1 numbering. Since it is also the concluding issue to a Vol 3 story line this issue is listed as both a Vol 1 and Vol 3 series.
From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 3)
From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 1)
Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) has been captured by a magically souped up Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom). Reed’s been given a chance to fight back by being locked in Doom’s library of magic texts. The challenge is for Reed to figure a way out of his magical prison by learning some magic from Doom’s archive of knowledge. It’s all an effort to humiliate Reed, who despite being a super genius, knows nothing about magic. He tries anyway though. Doom has sent his son Franklin to Hell, currently has his daughter Valeria, and is torturing the rest of the Fantastic Four with his magic. So… he probably should try REALLY really hard.
He stinks way too much at magic though! Luckily, the spirit of Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) shows up to cover for him. Strange has also been incapacitated by Doom, but is able to use a little bit of his magic to assist Reed undetected. First thing they do is teleport out of the library to Strange’s house where Reed has a better chance of learning magic. Reed tries to read the teleportation spell like a mathematical formula and it puts them in the middle of traffic instead of Strange’s home.
See how far learning math will get you? It’ll put you right into harms way. Take heed, children.
Things don’t improve much and time runs out for the two of them. Doom pulls Doctor Strange’s spirit back into his captive body. Reed, still unable to wrap his head around the idea that there might be forces he’ll never understand, cannot cast a single spell successfully. Strange does gift him a tiny gun thing before he is zapped away and says it needs magic words to work.
After a lot of trial and error, Reed figures out the magic words are admitting he’s stupid when it comes to magic. Reed does a lot of self deprecating humor with grand magical results! The freed Fantastic Four then takes on Doom.
He gets cut up by The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm), knocked around by The Thing (Ben Grimm), and even roasted by The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) but Doom still won’t fall. Finally, Reed tricks Doom into admitting that he is not in debt to anyone, which goes against the the deal he made with demons for his new magical power. The demons are real mad they’re not getting credit for Doom’s makeover! They attack Doom and the Fantastic Four jump through their demonic portal to grab Franklin and bring him back.
While retreating back out of the portal, Doctor Doom tries to get Reed to help him escape but Reed will no longer be tricked by Doom. So, Doom makes sure Reed will never forget him. He magically scars half of Reed’s face with grotesque burns.
What I Learned From this Comic:
If magic actually worked like it does for Mister Fantastic, I would be the strongest magician in the world.
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Mike Wieringo
Inker: Karl Kesel
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt