Today is World Puppetry Day, so, it is time to give a little love to the Fantastic Four villain, the Puppet Master, a somewhat tragic villain, or at least he became as his story unfolded.
Puppet Master premiered in Fantastic Four #8 (November, 1962) in a story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, where the villain used a special radioactive clay to control the minds of others, all the while caring for his blind stepdaughter, Alicia Masters.
Puppet Master did menace the Fantastic Four again, using Namor against them, but then worked against the Human Torch and the Thing, later in conjunction with the Mad Thinker, as part of deadly duo, turning the two friends against each other to further his own nefarious plans.
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Puppet Master also worked against the Sub-Mariner early in his career, making Namor seem more violent than he really was. But, the Puppet Master, real name Philip Masters, had regrets, as he had split with the Mad Thinker, and tried to undo the damage he had done as he was the one who blinded his own stepdaughter, Alicia.
Still, the Puppet Master would fall back on his old ways, using his skills to put other heroes against the Fantastic Four, or even having to deal with the Thing for help around Christmas as the Puppet Master came to see his stepdaughter for the holiday.
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Sadly, Philip Masters couldn't escape his evil ways, returning again and again to face the Fantastic Four, while he did evidence concern for Alicia.