> Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 7

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"There's something about Santini - - that makes me mistrust him! But, I can't say anything to Reed - - a woman's intuition is hardly concrete evidence!”

-- Sue Richards, page 17

Reed in his radioactive suit, unaware he's working with an impostor!


Fantastic Four #68
November 1967 • 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee • Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Jack Kirby • Inks: Joe Sinnott

Title: "The Mission: Destroy the Fantastic Four!”

First Appearance: Dr. Santini, Blackie, Joe

Villain: Mad Thinker (disguised as Dr. Santini)

Guest Appearance: Alicia Masters, Crystal, Dr. Santini, Blackie, Joe, Yancy St. Gang

Gadgets & Technology: Hypno-Lenses, Chemico-Molecular Analyzer, Molecu-Board, Mesa Ray

Innovation: Johnny Storm's car club

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ads: Ad #1

Synopsis: The FF, along with Crystal, visit Alicia Masters in the hospital, where she is convalescing from her fantastic voyage into the Enclave (see FF #67.) Seeing Alicia gets Ben all worked up over his state as the Thing, and he once again pushes his friend Reed to find a cure for him.

In a secret chamber, an ominous villain oversees the abduction and captivity of the world-famous chemist Dr. Santini, who had been captured on his way to meet with Reed Richards. After being hypnotized, Santini reveals that he was coming to help cure the Thing. Reed works with Ben to find a chemical cure for him, telling him that Santini will shortly arrive to help. To get Ben's mind off his glum thoughts, he goes to find Sue and engage her in some good-natured horseplay. It seems to work, but only for a short time, as Ben's thoughts drift back to his uneasy feelings over being the Thing.

Johnny and Crystal are trying to have a good time at a car club, but a bully named Blackie drives Johnny up the wall, and the Torch decides to give him a hot foot. Crystal is fed up with the violent antics and shuts them down with a well-orchestrated blast of wind. Back at the Baxter Building, Ben is back in a good mood, and he and Reed and Sue take off for lunch. None of them can know, however, that the unknown stalker is building a costume that will allow him to perfectly mimic Dr. Santini, to gain entry into Reed Richard's lab. He travels to the Baxter Building and greets the FF, and not soon after they are jumping into the attempt to cure Ben Grimm, with "Santini" promising that after he's done with him, Ben Grimm will be a "completely different man."

Reed and Santini throw themselves into their research, with Reed noting that Santini is far more careless than he expected the man to be. Ben takes a walk through the streets, so lost in deep thought that he doesn't even notice that the Yancy St. gang are harassing him. Reed seems to think that there's something strange about Santini, but Ben comes back on the scene and the conversation switches back to his cure. They bathe Ben in a chemical solution and give him a heavy dose of Mesa Rays. Finally, they strap him into a Molecu-Board for the final process of the cure. But Reed notes that Santini is fudging with the controls on the machine, and before he can stop him, Ben is assaulted with the rays fired by Santini. He busts out of the confines of the Molecu-Board and goes into a crazed and hateful rage, threatening the life of Reed Richards for turning him into a monster. "Santini" stands back and laughs....

(continued in FF #69)

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--letters pages and house ads provided by Karl Mattson

Issues Reprinted
Fantastic Four #61-71, Annual #5

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


FF #61

FF #62

FF #63

FF #64

FF #65

FF #66

FF #67

Ann. #5

FF #68

FF #69

FF #70

FF #71


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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