I was going through my Tabloid collection, and a lot of them are in bad shape, but one I remember fondly was Marvel Treasury Edition #2 (D'74) which reprinted Fantastic Four #6 (S'62) which had the FF battle the Diabolical Duo of Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with Dick Ayers inking.

Namor had been revived in FF #4 and Doom introduced in #5 but this issue really defined them for the rest of the Silver Age and beyond.

  • I like that New Yorkers are still skeptical about the FF's existence, which is understandable since only #2 and #4 took place in public as it were!
  • Page 3 gives readers a cutaway of the FF's Baxter Building HQ complete with private elevator, trophy room, giant map room, observatory and missile launcher!!
  • Reed visits a young boy in the hospital across the street without leaving home, mostly. Here is the first mention of unstable molecules.
  • In a much more important first, we learn of the Yancy Street Gang whose rivalry against the Thing made him more sympathetic.
  • Of course, Ben has to want a challenge for his might, like the Spider-Man did in #3 of his title. Y'know you never saw Batman wish for a stronger opponent!
  • As far as menacing foes go, we see the Savage Sub-Mariner playing with dolphins in view of an ocean liner filled with surface-dwellers that he swore eternal vengeance on!
  • But the Sea Prince's peaceful solitude is disturbed by Doctor Doom who is seeking a patsy ally against the FF.
  • Namor brings Doom to his undersea hideaway, nestled among the ruins of Atlantis. The radioactive ruins of Atlantis, that is. Location, location, location.
  • After serving drinks, Namor listens as Doom makes his pitch as he notices a picture of Sue Storm in Namor's den and rightly gathers that it is she who has tempered the rage of the Avenging Son.
  • Like the Devil tempting Faust, Doom hovers over Namor, constantly reminding him of what he lost and stirring thoughts of retaliation. "Death to the Fantastic Four!"
  • Namor agrees but with the condition that the Invisible Girl is spared.
  • I wonder if Doom related his origin to Namor. "Wait, you went to school with them? Is that what this about?"
  • The Armored Antagonist shows off his ultra-magnetic grabber, a soda can size cylinder that can raise incredibly immense weights and can be dismantled and hidden in Namor's belt buckle. Which is good because he ain't got no pockets!
  • Namor returns to New York City, without harming a single "enemy" though his presence has the populus and police on edge!
  • Meanwhile, the Human Torch discovers that his sister has a portrait of Namor as well! Did they exchange pictures? The two fight like siblings and Reed gets a shock!
  • Ben acts annoyed but part of him probably is enjoying seeing Reed squirm!
  • Of course, while they're arguing about Namor, guess who walks in the room?
  • Sue tries to shield him from the Torch but Namor's not worried. I mean, it's just Johnny!
  • The Sub-Mariner feigns a peaceful visit and is about to take Sue out on the town when the entire skyscraper is launched into space!
  • They say the entire building is empty but really, completely empty? No NYC skyscraper is EVER 100% unoccupied. No janitors, maintainence crews, nightowls, etc. I smell a BIG lawsuit!
  • The FF can only watch helplessly as they are headed to orbit.
  • The Invisible Girl (the prototype Stan Lee girl) can't do anything but faint  and look scared.
  • The Human Torch tries to fly in airless space and is immediately snuffed out (figuratively, not literally. But boy, is he dumb!)
  • Mister Fantastic attempts to stretch to Doom's rocket plane but being is space weakens his powers, so it's a strain but an errant jet blast burns his hands. That's unusual because they're are rarely injuries in these super-battles.
  • The Thing can't get to Doom so he decides to wallop Namor around on principle until Doom chimes in and tells them that they are about to get a lethal sunburn, complete with a quip!
  • With the end in sight, our heroes resign themselves to their fate but Namor has other ideas! Diving into a handy water tank to maximize his power, the One True Sub-Mariner leaps into space and uses a passing meteor swarm to get to Doom's rocket! That's why he was a star in the Golden Age!
  • Namor smashes in but is engulfed by an electric barrage. Fortunately Stan & Jack gave Namor extra powers! Like acting like an electric eel! Which he only did one other time in Strange Tales where he also mimicked a puffer fish! Ah, Early Marvel!
  • Unable to handle Namor's "thunder", Doom abandons ship, grabs on to a meteor and is shot out into space. That was his "Plan B"?
  • Namor returns the Baxter Building to Earth, then destroys Doom's weapons without confronting the FF again.
  • And the FF are now in the position of owing their foe their lives!
  • Namor returns to the sea, his future unknown until Fantastic Four #9!

In Marvel Treasury Edition #2, Namor's trunks are colored red. Is that true in the original?

Doctor Doom's look is altered from his first appearance to resemble his normal outfit.

We see echoes of the Sub-Mariner/Human Torch rivalry that has been going on since the 40s and the start of a new one with the Thing.

The Reed/Sue/Namor triangle continues full steam ahead here. I wonder if Namor gave her another photo?

To me, this was the issue that "made" the Fantastic Four yet it seemed like a pilot for the Sub-Mariner too!

Of course if Doom was going to send the entire building into space, what did he need the Sub-Mariner for?

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My 1st FF comic was FF ANNUAL #3... which reprinted FF #6 in the back.  WOW.  So even though Subby didn't appear in the lead story, that comic served as my introduction to him.  When I recently re-read all my 60's Marvels (in chronological sequence, for the first time ever), FF #6 struck me as one of the best and most "interesting" portrayals of Namor ever seen in the 60's.  While FF #4 tried to return him to his "roots" (the kind of thing Roy Thomas tended to do WAY too often with almost every character he ever touched), Namor is much more complex in this story.  I really didn't know what to make of him, the first time I read the story.  Baddie?  Hero? Somewhere in between? It's no wonder I took an instant liking to him, despite himself.  Most stories from the 60's (and beyond), he had too much of an "attitude" and made a fool of himself.  But how could you NOT like a guy who swims and plays with dolphins? Or that a "nice" girl like Sue Storm LIKES???

FF #6 is also my FAVORITE depiction of Dr. Doom.  We still know very little about him, so he's mostly a mystery. His ego hasn't gotten completely out of control as it tended to be later.  And Jack Kirby had NOT yet started making his mask "expressive".  DAMN.  I PREFER Doom shoving almost no expression on that mask.  To me, it makes him SCARIER.  Look at that last panel on that early page when Namor first meets Doom.  WOW.

"what did he need the Sub-Mariner for?"

NOTHING. He was SETTING HIM UP.  As Doom put it, Namor didn't realize HE was on the list of people Doom wanted DEAD.

And THIS makes a total, absolute FARCE of every single later story where Doom or Namor EVER, EVER attempted to form an alliance.  If Namor had any brains, this kind of betrayal and attempted murder is NOT something he would EVER have forgotten.  I feel the "Doom teams with Namor" CRAP was one more example of fanboy Roy Thomas trying to be (ahem) "nostalgic". It only worked ONCE. (This may be why I feel the entire run of SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP should never have existed in the first place... the whole book was Roy's idea from the beginning.)

I feel Dick Ayers gives this book a crude, raw, "real world" feel to it, that places the FF squarely in a "real world" New York City setting, a stark contrast to the sterile, clean, optimistic fictional cities of DC at the time. (I understand Joe Sinnott inked the first page-- or two-- before having to give the book back, he found his schedule didn't permit him to continue. It's DIFFICULT to tell in the reprints I have, the line reproduction is so fuzzy.)

I have long felt that FF #1-2 would make a perfect "first" FF movie, if someone could figure out a sensible structure.  FF #1, despite it's "thrown-together" chaotic feel, REALLY works for me.  FF #2, far less so, it feels like it wasn't thought-through enough. I love the 1st Mole Man story, and looking back, find it very odd the '67 cartoon show SKIPPED it, and started with the sequel!

However...  and this is especially true when you consider HOW MANY "2nd" superhero movies have 2 or more villains in them (usually to BAD results), but FF #4-6 would make a PERFECT "2nd" FF movie.  It's got 2 villains, but the story structure is ALREADY THERE.  You'd just have to tell the stories AS WRITTEN (what a concept!!).

Doom the Instigater. Doom the Agressor. Doom the Betrayer. It's struck me how more effective Doctor Doom was in his second appearance than his first! Silly stuff like college days, Blackbeard's treasure and a pet tiger can't compare with hurling a skyscraper into space!

But why even involve the Sub-Mariner? He just had to put his "grabber" in the Baxter Building, not the FF's floors so anyone could have done it! Why add another super-powered variable to the mix?

Possible answer: He lied about sparing the Invisible Girl so if he were planning her death too, then he may have known about Namor's feelings for her. Their conversation confirmed it. Thus if he succeeded in killing her, the Sub-Mariner would go after him in a savage rage, so it's in his benefit to eliminate the Avenging Son at the same time!

I only recall Namor "teaming" with Doom in a couple of issues of Sub-Mariner during the Silver Age but he had amnesia when he did! And Doom tricked and betrayed the Prince of the Deep several times during the run of Super-Villain Team-Up.

But then Magneto tried to use the Sub-Mariner in X-Men #6 with the Scarlet Witch instead of Sue Storm and Doom tried to form an alliance with the Wall-Crawler in Amazing Spider-Man #5!!

"Possible answer: He lied about sparing the Invisible Girl so if he were planning her death too, then he may have known about Namor's feelings for her. Their conversation confirmed it. Thus if he succeeded in killing her, the Sub-Mariner would go after him in a savage rage, so it's in his benefit to eliminate the Avenging Son at the same time!"

Funny, this NEVER occured to me all these years. But it makes perfect sense, and adds a 2nd reason for Doom wanting Namor out of the way... the 1st being, he saw Namor as a potential rival for world domination. And that would not do.

Later, when Doom crossed paths with Rama-Tut, he got rid of him thru the simple ruse of suggesting that they MIGHT be related (which was pure B***S***!!!). At least, that's how I interpret the scene.

Ironically, if Doom had kept his word not to kill Sue, AND, not betrayed Namor, Namor woujld have had no reason to go after Doom.  (Of course, you CAN'T trust bad guys!)  Further, if Doom hadn't trapped Namor with the FF, they MIGHT NOT HAVE ESCAPED that death-trap!  (Isn't that always the way with villains? Hoisted on his own petard.)

The Fantastic Four were NOT going to escape. It was the Sub-Mariner, whom Doom involved, that saved them.

And I guess Doom didn't think that the Mole Man, the Skrull Cows and Miracle Man were any threat to him!

Marvel Treasury Edition #2 was a seminal comic book in my collection, too.

I never saw MTE #1 EVER but #2 was like a primer for a young reader. Not only was there the Doctor Doom/Sub-Mariner story but--

  • The first and at the time only Impossible Man appearance but he returned the following year, I think.
  • "A Visit With the Fantastic Four" that retold the FF's origin, gave background info on Reed and Ben including their WWII service which would cause problems later and broke the fourth wall so Reed and Ben could chastise the readers for griping that Sue didn't do enough. This probably inspired Stan & Jack to give Sue her forcefield powers.
  • And of course The GALACTUS TRILOGY and the coming of the Silver Surfer. Perhaps the greatest FF epic of all time and it took me years to find out that they cut out about twelve pages of it!!

FF #11 was also reprinted in FF ANNUAL #3. So for me, the Galactus story was the nly one I hadn't read before.  I had no idea that the entire thing was ALSO reprinted in MGC... those I missed.  Just as well, the covers were awful.  But then, getting Romita to do the Treasury covers wasn't the smartest move in the world, either...

There was such a strong effort to show the Sub-Mariner as, if not a super-hero, certainly heroic but conflicted. Yet he continued to be the enemy in Fantastic Four, The Avengers, The X-Men, even in Daredevil to an extent. This seem to culminate in Fantastic Four Annual #1 but he was not the villain in FF #33. Was that before or after his solo series in Tales To Astonish began?

All those were before the ASTONISH series.

I had a page at the SA Marvel site set up to show this... but since the site's down...

FF #4, 6, 9, 14

STRANGE TALES #107

FF ANNUAL #1

AVENGERS #3, 4

FF #27

X-MEN #6

STRANGE TALES #125

FF #33

AVENGERS #16 (cameo)

DAREDEVIL #7

TALES TO ASTONISH #70-up

Thanks Henry! I forgot about Strange Tales #107 or as I knew it as Human Torch #7. That was a cover!

Very nice, Henry. IIRC, Super Villain Team-Up #3 was the last actual team-up of Namor and Doom. After that for the rest of the series' run, Doom manipulated, controlled and humbled the Sub-Mariner (and the Avengers, the Shroud, the Red Skull, the Champions, Magneto, etc!)

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