Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jack Kirby's Atlas

Jack Kirby created many characters for DC Comics.

One of those was Atlas, done so for the First Issue Special #1 (April, 1975)...

...but, likely even the "King" wouldn't have been able to predict the strange turns his life took over the years!


First Issue Special

Atlas' story started in First Issue Special #1 (April, 1975), by Jack Kirby and D. Bruce Berry, where readers were introduced to "Atlas The Great!".

First, readers see Atlas fell Kargin, the champion of Hyssa the lizard king in a land out of time, then a flashback to Atlas as a boy, as his father was killed by the forces of King Hyssa, and only due to his unnatural strength and ability did Atlas escape.  Being found by Chagra the seeker, who learned the lad got his powers from a shard of the Crystal Mountain (a land Atlas was from).  The two traveled together, as the boy grew into a man, and with his great strength, Atlas also had great heart, saving many villages from various evils, with Chagra there encouraging him on, so Atlas could have a final confrontation with the lizard king, and then take Chagra to the Crystal Mountain.

That's where the only 20th Century produced comic of Atlas ended....



Superman

Atlas' first return was in Superman #677 (August, 2008) starting a four issue run of "The Coming Of Atlas" by James Robinson, Renato Guedes and Jose Wilson Magalhaes (and covers by Alex Ross), where Atlas was torn from his quest and Chagra, and found himself in a land not his own...

....that of modern day Metropolis.


Atlas stops a creature from invading Metropolis, but finds himself at odds with Superman.  For some reason, being near Atlas makes Superman weak, giving Atlas an advantage.  Atlas was brought forward through time and works for General Sam Lane against Superman.  Supergirl comes to Metropolis to help Superman, but fairs no better, and it takes the help of Krypto, Superman's superdog, to finally defeat Atlas in Superman #680 (November, 2008) due to the dog's magical nature (as revealed by Zachary Zatara).

Atlas remained in the 21st century (and Superman titles) for a time after his, having a battle with Steel, meeting fellow Kirby creation of the Guardian (as well as fellow First Issue Special headliner, Codename: Assassin), even meeting Batman in an issue of Justice League of America (#42), as well as dealing with the temporary new protector of Metropolis, Mon-El.


Forager


Atlas' next return was as a part of 2017's Bug! The Adventures of Forager by Michael, Lee and Laura Allred, which follows the adventures of the Forager (a Kirby creation that met an untimely end in Cosmic Odyssey).  This six issue mini-series follows his adventures through time, meeting many of Jack Kirby's characters, including two different Sandman, one Manhunter, OMAC, the New Gods including Mr. Miracle, even the Deadman robot Kirby used in the Forever People....and Atlas and his helper, Chagra (Chagra was even more important to the book than Atlas).

Trying to tell you the plot of this odd story is pointless, so instead, using a phrase Kirby once used...."Don't ask -- Just Buy It"....if you are a fan of Jack Kirby, and an odd continuity between all his characters, seek out this book and wonder of Atlas' adventures could begin anew!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Kirby Covers Detective Comics

While one does not usually associate Jack Kirby with DC Comics, the "King" did do many features for DC, and even got the chance to draw an early cover for Detective Comics, Detective Comics #65 (July, 1942....which was also worked on by Joe Simon and Jerry Robinson, likely Kirby/Simon on the Boy Commandos and Robinson on Batman/Robin) as Batman and Robin welcomed the new creations to Detective Comics.  

Batman had been a bit of a cover hog since his Detective Comics premiere, so this was a big deal.

It was also a little late, as the creation of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby had premiered in the previous issue of Detective Comics #64 (June, 1942).  Young Frenchman Andre Chavard, Dutchman Jan Hansen, Englishman Alfy Twidgett and New Yorker Brooklyn, were helpers of an American fighting unit called the Commandos stationed in Great Britain, who then worked solo missions with their guardian, Captain Rip Hunter.  

They even branch out, having adventures published in World's Finest Comics #8 to #41 in the 1940s, as well as continuing in Detective Comics until #150 (August, 1949), and having their own title which lasted 36 issues (until November-December, 1949).

The Boy Commandos were revived for 2 issues of reprints in 1973, as well as a Super Spectacular, after having a few tales reprinted in the 1970s Mr. Miracle series, as well (which included reprints of the tales of their meetings with Sandman and the Newsboy Legion).


Along the way, they teamed up with Guardian, Newsboy Legion, Sandman and Sandy (a rarity at the time for DC), as well as fighting menaces like Agent Axis and Crazy Quilt.  Members did leave the group, first Alfy, to be replaced by Tex, then Andre, who then had Percy Clearweather take his place. 



All the lads survived well past World War II, Brooklyn growing up to become a cop, Dan "Terrible" Turpin, who met Orion of the New Gods, and the other original lads as well as Rip had a reunion in the Millennium crossover issue of Blue Beetle (which also featured Mr. Miracle and the Manhunters).

Better still, DC has put out two volumes of reprints of their original tales, but we need many more to get the full adventures of these brave, patriotic lads!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Alien Batman

Vicki Vale takes a picture....proving Batman is really an alien from outer space?

That's the basis for the story of "The Alien Batman" in Detective Comics #251 (January, 1958) by Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris.

At this time in Batman's history, it was indeed possible, but...in this case there is a bit of trickery going on.  Brand Ballard and Keener come up with a plot to shake Gotham's faith in the caped crusader, and make make up to trick Vicki into reporting this as truth, so that the police and citizens (and even his closest friends) doubt Batman.  Batman catches the criminals, and Gotham's faith in their hero is restored!


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Flash Facts: The Early Days of Captain Cold

Leonard Snart was a small time thief, thinking himself a big scientist.

He figured that the only way to take out Flash was to take him out cold...like, with absolute zero.

Thus, began the career of one of the oldest of the Flash's villains, Captain Cold.

Here's a look back at his earliest appearances.

Coldest Man On Earth

Leonard Snart came out as a villain in Showcase #8 (May-June, 1957), with a story by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia.

This story had Captain Cold first using his cold gun (a weapon he roughly designed but after using a cyclotron to irradiate the gun, found it able to shoot ice blasts instead) on the banks of Central City, which brought him into conflict with the Flash.

After a few experiments, Captain Cold found he could also create illusions with the gun, when adding liquid helium.  Facing Flash on a nearby lake, Captain Cold attempted to use this new cold gun ability on the Flash, but Barry Allen proved too fast for him!


This tale has been reprinted many times, in the first issues of various Flash Archives, Showcase Presents Flash and Flash Omnibus' featuring the Flash, as well as with other villain origins, in places like the Limited Collector's Edition C-39 (1975), the Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told hardcover of 1990 and tradepaperback of 1992, and in the Flash Vs. The Rogues tradepaperback of 2010.

The Big Freeze

Captain Cold appears next in Flash #114 (August, 1960) by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, waiting for a parole hearing, with Iris West there to testify that he should remain in prison.  Flash also testifies, and this is enough for the parole board to decide to keep Snart incarcerated.

So, Captain Cold escapes using a small freeze unit to allow him to break out of his cell.

Once out, he goes after Iris West, but not to harm her, but to try to convince her to marry him.  Iris, already Barry's fiancee, says no, but Captain Cold then threatens to freeze the entire city.  Flash, adventuring outside the city, breaks the cold barrier, eventually capturing Captain Cold and restoring the frozen Central City to normal.

This tale has been reprinted a few times, like in Wanted, the World's Most Dangerous Villains #8 (June-July, 1973), the second Flash Archive, and in the first Flash Omnibus as well as in the Flash: The Silver Age Volume 1 tradepaperback, which also has all of Barry's Showcase appearances. 


When Gravity Went Wild

Tired of being defeated on his own, Captain Cold joined with Doctor Destiny and a bunch of individual JLA villains (like Green Lantern's Puppet Master, Martian Manhunter's Getaway Mastermind, Aquaman's Electric Man and Green Arrow's Clock King) in Justice League of America #5 (June-July, 1961) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs in the first major villain team up of Earth-1.

While the villains do keep the heroes busy for a while, they are defeated by the heroes, who then have to deal with Dr. Destiny.

This tale was reprinted in the first Justice League of America Archive and Omnibus, as well as in Justice League of America #39 (November, 1965).

Double Danger On Earth

Snart wasn't done teaming up with villains, as Flash #129 (June, 1962 by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella) showed, but this time it was with James Jesse (a.k.a. the Trickster), but they weren't just facing one Flash, but two!

Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-2, comes to Earth-1 looking for an Arizona meteorite that was absorbing a deadly radiation killing his Earth, and goes to look for Barry Allen (Flash), who is attending a charity party that is a target for both Captain Cold and the Trickster, who, start at odds, but then decide to team-up to take off with the money.

The two Flashes go to find the meteorite, then, work together to stop the two villains before Jay goes back to his own world with the meteorite cure.

This story was reprinted in Flash #178 (April-May, 1968), the first Crisis On Multiple Earths The Team Ups tradepaperback of 2006, in the Flash of Two Worlds hardcover of 2009, as well as in the overstuffed Flash Omnibus #1, all with plenty of other Flash reprints as well....


The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero

This time around, Captain Cold goes it alone in Flash #134 (February, 1963 by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella), but Flash gets some help from his friend, the Elongated Man.

Flash and Elongated Man were helping Dr. Hutson with a problem with his computer, but couldn't find any problems.  Captain Cold broke out of jail, and Flash and Elongated Man go to capture him, but Ralph Dibny stretches out to stop Flash, allowing Snart to escape.  Captain Cold tries again, with Flash and Elongated Man there to stop him, or at least Flash was.  Elongated Man again tries to help the captain, but Flash stops both Ralph and Snart.  Elongated Man is beside himself with guilt, but Barry figures out that the computer was generating a radiation that was preventing it from functioning, and that radiation had infected Ralph, so, ridding them both of it fixed the problem.

This tale was reprinted a few times, including in the 100-Page Super Spectacular DC-22 (November, 1973), as well as in the fifth Flash Archive and second Flash: The Silver Age Omnibus.

If you don't mind black and white tales, it was also done colorlessly in both Showcase Presents the Elongated Man and Showcase Presents the Flash.



The Heat Is On For Captain Cold

Now, Captain Cold gets a new foe, and friend, with Flash #140 (November, 1963 by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella) as readers are introduced to Heat Wave!

Flash is searching for a missing girl for Henry Willens, an attorney who represented her father, who passed recently, so she can receive her inheritance.  Captain Cold has recently escaped again, so Flash quickly catches up to him, but so does a new player, Heat Wave.  The two villains team-up to escape the Flash, but quickly go to war while chasing a "Dream Girl", a TV model, still stopping when Flash shows up...and stops both of them.  Flash then meets this "Dream Girl", who is Priscilla Varner, who happens to be the missing girl.

This tale was reprinted many times, including in DC Special #14 (September-October, 1971), the fifth Flash Archive, the Flash vs. the Rogues tradepaperback of 2009 and the second Flash: The Silver Age Omnibus.



Captain Cold's Polar Perils

Captain Cold goes it alone for the first time in a long time in Flash #150 (February, 1965 by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson).

Police scientist Barry Allen is called into service to escort Ayesha, the Maharanee of Jodapur, during her stay in Central City.  While picking up her jewels, Captain Cold appears to attempt to steal from the jeweler.  Barry secretly changes to the Flash, but is unable to stop Captain Cold.  But, Snart had become infatuated with Ayesha, so he returns her jewels, then escorts her away from a party, where Flash tracks him down, capturing him, then returning the lady to her party.

This tale was reprinted in the sixth Flash Archive, the second Flash: The Silver Age Omnibus, and in the very recently released Flash Rogues: Captain Cold (which also has his first tale, along with many other later tales collected....).



Cold Thoughts On Team-Ups

After his last defeat, Captain Cold teamed up with other Flash foes (like Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, Heat Wave, the Top and Pied Piper) to form the Rogue's Gallery in Flash #155 (September, 1965) facing a secret villain, and would continue to work with other villains, usually Heat Wave, also helping to found the Secret Society of Super-Villains (with Copperhead and Sinestro).  Feeling a little cold about covering more, someday soon there will be another look at more Captain Cold stories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Batman On Senior Citizens Day


For Senior Citizens Day, a look at when Batman starts to feel his age in Batman #119 (October, 1958), under a cover by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye.

In the story of "Rip Van Batman" by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris, Batman inhales the vapors of a strange plant while chasing a criminal...and wakes up as an old man, with Dick Grayson having taken over as Batman, with a new young man as his Robin.

Holy Rip Van Winkle, Batman! 

Maybe it's time for a nap....

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Batman Vs. The Batmobile

Usually, a man can count on his car, but not so for Batman in this very odd issue of Detective Comics, where Batman faced off against the Batmobile!

What's worse, is that it wasn't only the Batmobile, but all of Batman's crime-fighting weapons he was facing, as Batman and Robin had to deal with the time that "The Outsider Strikes Again" in Detective Comics #340 (June, 1965) by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella.

The Outsider was a villain of Batman's who seemed to have many mind over matter powers, turning all of Batman and Robin's weapons like their Batarangs and Bat-ropes against them, then the weapon would turn to dust after facing the Dynamic Duo.  Luckily, Batman realized that dust could stop the Outsider's control, so had dust bombs ready to counter the Outsider's attacks.

The Outsider was a serialized villain of the Batman's during his "new look" era, running on and off (and mostly off panel) from Detective Comics #334 (December, 1964) to Detective Comics #356 (October, 1966), with his identity being a mystery, but being someone close to Batman. 

Check back, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, and the mystery of the Outsider may be revealed! 


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Batman Meets Black Canary

Batman had been at times a lonely vigilante, but, every once in a while, he was able to get some help, from a fellow member of the Justice League.  Black Canary had accepted many changes in her life, and after joining the JLA, was willing to work with her new teammates.

So, team ups between these two were a great idea, and made for many a fun issue of Brave and the Bold.

Time to take a look at their meetings!

Brave and the Bold 91

Batman's first solo team-up with Black Canary happened in Brave and the Bold #91 (August-September, 1970) as the duo had to deal with "A Cold Corpse For The Collector" by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy.

This issue has Batman dealing with criminal syndicates, with the Collector, a hit man, taking out mob boss Rhymer's men.  Meanwhile, Black Canary was getting use to life on Earth-1, chasing down Larry Lance, the man, who on the alternate world of Earth-2, was her husband (or so she thought, later changes made this....odd).  Still, at the time, Dinah Lance was looking for Larry, who was also looking for the Collector....or, was he?  With Black Canary running interference for him, it is true Larry could purse the Collector unfettered, but, it was also preventing Batman from finding the Collector.  The pair realized...Larry was the Collector, with Lance dying accidentally during a fight with the Batman.  This also helped Dinah realize her old life was gone (and along with her JLA appearances at the time, was also working with Green Lantern and Green Arrow in their title).



Brave and the Bold 100

In fact, Black Canary's return to B&B had her working with Green Lantern and Green Arrow as well as Batman and Robin in Brave and the Bold #100 (February-March, 1972) in a story by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo (under a cover by Nick Cardy) entitled "The Warrior In A Wheel-Chair".

As Batman is taken out by a sniper's bullet, with only the talented Dr. Hellstrom between health, paralysis or death for the Caped Crusader, Batman's friends had to come to the forefront to stop a shipment of cocaine into Gotham.  None of the leads pans out for any of them, but Batman is about to undergo an operation, when he realizes his doctor is really the druglord, Belknap, trying to finish off the Batman.  The other heroes stop him, and Green Lantern goes to get the real doctor, who finds Belknap's stash in the equipment in the operating room.  After the operation, Batman recuperates, thanking his friends for the help.




Brave and the Bold 107

Black Canary returned to B&B in Brave and the Bold #107 (June-July, 1973) by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo, as the pair dealt with "The 3 Million Dollar Sky".


Plane hijacker Willie Kresh wants 3 million dollars and the release of Monk Devlin.  Batman and Black Canary sneak aboard the flight as a pilot and stewardess to stop the theft, but the plane crashes, with Batman and Black Canary having to stop the crooks, and recover the money from a local bandit.  By luck, the heroes win this one, as the criminals turn on each other, with Willie and Monk killing each other, leaving the money and their corpses to be taken home by the heroes.



Brave and the Bold 141

To see the next team-up of Batman and Black Canary, you had to "Pay -- Or Die", or just read Brave and the Bold #141 (May-June, 1978) by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo (after giving your retailer 35 cents, at the time).

Batman is investigating the deaths of some Gotham businessmen, as Black Canary also has one of her business partner's murdered, so the two team up and find that they all had been in debt to a loan shark by the name of Mr. Longreen.  They then realize that "Longreen" is really a possessor of a "long grin"....the Joker!  Batman then volunteers his butler Alfred to get a loan, so the heroes can track how Joker gets his victims.  Sadly, that way is found...that Joker doses his victims with a slow acting chemical that will cause them to explode if they don't get a cure.  As Black Canary almost finds the Joker in his hideout, she gets captured, making Batman work to save her and capture the Joker instead of saving Alfred.  Joker is overjoyed that he'll get to watch Alfred die, until Batman realizes the cure is in Joker's blood, which he give some of to Alfred via a transfusion.  This saves Alfred, who is none too happy to have Joker blood in his veins.



Brave and the Bold 166

Black Canary's last team up with Batman in B&B was in Brave and the Bold #166 (September, 1980) in "Requiem For 4 Canaries" by Michael Fleisher, Dick Giordano and Terry Austin (all under a stunning Jim Aparo cover, in an issue that also featured the premiere of Nemesis in a separate story).

Batman deals with a breakout at Gotham State Penitentiary, capturing most of the escapees except for the Penguin, who Batman deduces might be headed to Star City in search of his four former henchmen who turned against him.  That is true, as Penguin is beginning a crime spree in Star City, using a canary theme, which is when Black Canary catches wind of his scheme, as Penguin gets his first of 4 victims.  Working with Batman when he arrives, the pair still fail to save the second of Penguin's targets.  Penguin then changes tactics, instead trying to eliminate Batman....by sending Black Canary after him?  Well, to be fair, Penguin had kidnapped Black Canary first, then sent out a look-a-like in Dinah's costume to kill Batman, but he stopped her, and went to Penguin's hideout to defeat the fowl bird....and loan a scantily clad Black Canary his cape until she can get her costume back, earning Batman a kiss for his chivalry.

It's Black Canary's occasional attraction to Batman that might explain why Batman/Green Arrow team-ups are sometimes less cordial, though, to be fair, Black Canary has also had problems with Batman's paramour, Catwoman.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Superman Exposed On Candid Camera

Smile!  You're on Candid Camera...

...this phrase (and the TV Show, hosted by Allen Funt) premiered on CBS on August 10th, 1948, but even Superman almost got caught by it...

....as this cover by Curt Swan and George Klein of Action Comics #345 (January, 1967) shows!

In "The Day Candid Camera Unmasked Superman's Identity" by Leo Dorfman and Al Plastino,  Superman helps Allen Funt play a prank on Perry White, by making the Daily Planet disappear.  But, like all pranksters, Superman messes himself up, as Perry plans with Allen, setting up a false robbery, and accidentally catching Clark Kent changing to Superman! 

This causes Clark some headache, until he shows he's wearing Batman's pants, claiming to be pulling a prank on Allen Funt!


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Spider-Man Meets Mr. Fantastic And Invisible Girl Of The Fantastic Four

With the return of Reed and Sue Richards this week as a part of the Fantastic Four, now's a good enough time to see how Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl (as she was at the time, only more recently being the Invisible Woman) met up with New York's favorite wall-crawler, the amazing and spectacular Spider-Man!

Stretching Out

First up is Mr. Fantastic, who worked solo with Spider-Man first in Marvel Team-Up #17 (January, 1974) with "Chaos At The Earth's Core" by Len Wein, Gil Kane and "Everybody" (inkers Sal Trapani, Frank Giacoia and Mike Esposito).

Due to events of the previous issue, Spidey headed to the Baxter Building for help, finding a lonely Mr. Fantastic there (the team had recently split up in the FF's own title).  Spidey relays to Reed his problem....that he was fighting a villain called the Basilisk, and the original Captain Marvel got trapped within the Omega-Stone and disappeared.  Spidey hoped Reed would help him find Cap and the stone, which he does, locating them in the center of the Earth.  The two take a Fantasti-Car there, where they are captured by Mole Man's Moloids.  Taken to their leader, Mole Man explains his plan to use the power of the Omega Stone to crack the Earth....but the heroes break free, fight Mole Man, and then the Basilisk as well (who followed the heroes looking for the stone).  Within the stone, Captain Marvel finally touches his nega-bands, which switches his body with that of Rick Jones, and without Cap's Kree energies powering it, the stone shrinks in size and frees Rick.  The Mole Man/Basilisk battle unleashes a lava flow, one taking the Basilisk away with the stone, the other trapping Mole Man, and Spidey, Reed and Rick leave in the Fantasti-Car, with Rick explaining his situation outside the mine shaft, turning into Captain Marvel, who flies away.

The Human Torch appears in the next issue (meeting the Hulk, one of Johnny's many non-Spider-Man team-ups), while Sue and the Thing's time while the Fantastic Four are split is covered in Fantastic Four #142 (and some THING tells me that the Basilisk will return sometime later as well...).



She's Not There

While the Thing and Human Torch have a few team-ups with Spidey, finally the Invisible Girl gets a solo shot in Marvel Team-Up #88 (December, 1979) when "A Child Is Waiting" by Chris Claremont, Sal Buscema and Eduardo Barreto.

Covering a society luncheon as photographer Peter Parker, Spidey sees Hank "Yellowjacket" Pym, Janet "Wasp" Van Dyne and Sue Richards, the Invisible Girl.  Sue gets distracted by a phone call, which Peter overhears, finding out the call was from Alicia Masters (the Thing's girlfriend), and that a group of thugs had kidnapped Sue's son, Franklin, from Alicia.  Sue heads to Alicia's, where the thugs call, informing Sue how to steal from the crime family Maggia, so that she can pay to get her son back.  Spidey follows, coming up with a plan to thwart the kidnappers.

The Invisible Girl still takes the money from the Maggia, then follows the kidnappers instructions to go to Yankee Stadium during a double header, where she keeps Spider-Man invisibly next to her, so that he can trail the pick-up man.  He does this, and follows the man out of the stadium, changing to Peter Parker as Sue can only keep him invisible for so long.  Peter follows him to near their headquarters (with Sue following him via one of his trackers), changing back to Spider-Man after he thinks he lost him (but Sue saw where he went).  The two work together to save Franklin from the kidnappers, then the Maggia thugs who came to retrieve their money, with Spidey being able to turn them all over to the police as Sue and Franklin disappear.

A Family Gathering

Next up, Spidey works with the whole Fantastic Four and then some in Marvel Team-Up #100 (December, 1980) by Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Bob Wiacek, "And Introducing - Karma! She Possess People".

This tale introduces Karma, Vietnamese mutant Xi'an Coy Manh, who uses her power to possess people first on Spider-Man, to try to free her brothers and sister from captivity....then, after finding out he was not such a menace as he battles the Fantastic Four, regrets her action, but ends up helping Spider-Man against her brother, Tran, who has the same powers, and uses the Fantastic Four against them.  Karma eventually defeats her brother, and frees her other siblings, with the Fantastic Four turning them over to Professor X of the X-Men, so he can help the young mutant.

This issue also has a second story, wherein Black Panther meets Storm (both now, and in a flashback to when they were young in a story by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Bob McLeod.



Two In One

Spidey and Mr. Fantastic work together again in Marvel Team-Up #132 (August, 1983) facing "The Common Denominator" by J. M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema and Mike Esposito.

Captain America foe, Everyman, attacked his uncle, Reed Richards, in the Baxter Building, having had his powers restored in the mental hospital he was staying in by the doctor who was treating him.  Everyman steals Mr. Fantastic's intellect.  Spider-Man shows up after Everyman starts stealing the lifeforce of people around the Baxter Building, going inside to help Reed.  The two battle Everyman, with Reed eventually regaining his intellect as they make Everyman realize he was killing everyone in the crowd to battle them.  Everyman escapes, and Reed promises to find who had been influencing his nephew, Larry Ekler.



Feeling Alone

This team-up continues in Marvel Team-Up #133 (September, 1983) with "The World According To...Faustus!" by J. M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema and Mike Esposito.

Mr. Fantastic wants to find whoever was hurting Larry "Everyman" Ekler, but declines Spider-Man's help.  Spidey leaves, promising Reed that he'd gladly be there if he needs him.  Reed tracks down where Larry was being treated, and takes the Fantasti-Car to the institute, which is being run by Dr. Faustus (a foe of Captain America, who is working for the Secret Empire, and relating to his mother his plan to defeat the Fantastic Four....but is a little upset that only Mr. Fantastic has come).  Reed uses his stretching abilities to save Spider-Man, who seemed to come to help, attaching himself to the Fantasti-Car, but falling as they arrived.  Reed is also suffering from headaches, which he thinks is a side effect of Everyman's attack.  The heroes encounter the Human Torch, who says he just escaped the institute, and that the doctor his holding Ben, Sue and Franklin as well.  This puts Reed in a panic, when he and Spidey go inside, and find the Thing shackled, who says Sue and Franklin are further in.  Reed leaves Spidey to care for Johnny and Ben, and goes to look for his family. 

The other three quickly join, no matter their depleted condition, and find the Invisible Girl in shock, where Reed tries to find out where Franklin is.  Then, Doctor Doom appears with Franklin, mocking Mr. Fantastic, and taking off his mask...to reveal he is Reed Richards!  The villain then has the rest of the FF killed, traumatizing Reed, who goes to console Franklin, who pulls a gun and shoots his father, who falls unconscious!

How...bizarre.  Except that this is when Dr. Faustus reveals himself, as he tells Reed and his mom of his plan, to introduce these androids to confuse Mr. Fantastic, and, with this "Spider-Man" being one of Faustus' henchmen (who was really on the grounds, not on the Fantasti-Car).  Dr. Faustus touts his victory to his mom, but Mr. Fantastic was only feigning unconsciousness, as he had figured out the plan, and defeats Faustus, looking up to where he was talking too, but....finding no one there (as Faustus had likely only imagined his mom there, showing the doctor had a need to heal himself).



Of course, Spider-Man also had individual team-ups with the Human Torch and the Thing, but "Four" now, those fantastic tales are something we can look back at in the future.