This issue is the second part of what will prove to be the Fantastic Four’s first three-issue story. Which is only worth mentioning because stand-alone issues are so rare these days, as rare as multiple-issue stories were back then, it seems. It’s interesting to chart the development of comicbook plot-length from something that could be enjoyed in a single sitting, to something that now, in most cases, requires a six-month commitment, and considerably more cash.
I wish there were more to say, specifically about this issue. All that happens in it is that the FF are fighting the Frightful Four in an abandoned house somewhere in New Jersey. There’s nothing about it that smacks of greatness, or even much effort on the part of the creators. Kirby’s pencils here are slightly blunted by Vince Colleta’s unfamiliar pen strokes, and Lee’s plot is unambitious, and the characters lack motivation. They are all only reflexive in their actions, from Ben who half-heartedly swats at his former teammates, to read who spends a fair deal of this issue trapped in a cocktail shaker, and The Wizard who captures The Torch only to put him under the Id Machine, as he did The Thing in the last issue.
Good points? It’s fun to see Reed hold five antagonists at bay merely by inflating his body, if you don’t find that ridiculous, and the women are allowed negligible roles in the plot as Sue is the only hope for the FF’s deliverance when she runs off with the jarred Reed, and Medusa effects the Fright-Four’s apparent victory towards the end of the issue. It’s not much, but it’s more than they’re usually allowed.