Relive T'Challa's historic debut and tag along for his first groundbreaking adventures!

For more than 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. With T’Challa appearing on the big screen this year in both Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” take a look back at over five decades worth of comic book adventures for the King of Wakanda!

The famous Fantastic Four found themselves amazed by the gift of a technologically advanced flying vessel in 1966’s FANTASTIC FOUR #52, a present from the people Wakanda and an invitation to visit their small African nation. Upon landing in a bio-organic mechanical forest, the super hero family fended off a seeming attack by a black-clad individual, only to discover him as T’Challa, the leader of Wakanda and known as their champion, the Black Panther.

In FANTASTIC FOUR #53, the Panther explained to Reed Richards and the others that his country’s greatest asset, the sound-absorbing metal vibranium, existed only within its borders. He further detailed a recent attempt by the evil Ulysses Klaw to steal the metal, a fact then made all-too clear by Klaw’s attack on T’Challa and the FF. The heroes held the poacher off, and Klaw disappeared into his own sonic device.

Fantastic Four (1961) #52

Fantastic Four (1961) #52

  • Published: July 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Hotheaded Johnny Storm wanted to visit his Inhuman girlfriend in FANTASTIC FOUR #54, so T’Challa lent him a Wakandan flying craft to rush to the Hidden Land. There, the Human Torch became embroiled in a dangerous fight against Prestor John and the Evil Eye. T’Challa also gifted Reed with pure vibranium bands in FANTASTIC FOUR #56 to defeat Klaw again and made his first 1967 appearance dealing with yet another flying ship in FANTASTIC FOUR #60 when the team returned to America and Doctor Doom stole the Silver Surfer’s cosmic power to try and take over the world.

Upon an expedition to Panther Island in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5, the Black Panther and his Wakandan soldiers discovered both the intrepid Inhumans and evidence of the Psycho-Man’s underground headquarters. T’Challa joined with the Fantastic Four soon after to turn the tide against the emotion-controlling villain and send him packing back to the Microverse.

Captain America never expected a summons from far-off exotic Wakanda, but one arrived in 1968’s TALES OF SUSPENSE #97 to bring the Black Panther’s plea for Cap to help him against an invasion by mysterious forces.

Cap’s Wakandan flying craft came under attack on his way to the African country in TALES OF SUSPENSE #98, just the first salvo in T’Challa’s war with Baron Zemo and the villain’s orbiting solar ray projector. It took timely assistance from Agent 13 in TALES OF SUSPENSE #99 to turn the tide against Zemo, but Cap and the Panther still fought hard to win the day in CAPTAIN AMERICA #100.

Tales of Suspense (1959) #98

Tales of Suspense (1959) #98

  • Published: February 10, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 28, 2007
  • Penciller: Gene Colan
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After things settled down a bit, Cap called his fellow Avengers back in the States to strongly suggest they consider T’Challa for membership among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #51. When the Panther flew to their New York headquarters to meet the famous team in AVENGERS #52 he discovered a room full of seemingly deceased heroes. It took being arrested and squaring off against the dreaded Grim Reaper for T’Challa to win his spurs as the newest member of the Avengers.

With little time to settle in, the Black Panther found himself at odds with the Magneto-controlled X-Men in AVENGERS #53 and skirmishes with both Cyclops and the Beast. Once the confusion cleared, he stood with his teammates in battle against his old foe Klaw and the new Masters of Evil in AVENGERS #54, and the revelation of stone-cold Ultron-5 behind the scenes of the attack in AVENGERS #55.

Avengers (1963) #52

Avengers (1963) #52

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Panther joined with Captain America to travel back in time in AVENGERS #56 to solve the mystery of Cap’s partner Bucky during World War II, but that stood as only an appetizer for the adventure of meeting the synthezoid Vision in AVENGERS #57. Later, T’Challa helped welcome the Vision into the ranks of the team in AVENGERS #58, as well as find himself baffled by the appearance of newcomer Yellowjacket and the disappearance of Hank Pym in AVENGERS #59.

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Explore the treacherous history of Monster Island!

On January 24, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm return to the site of their very first adventure as founding members of the famous Fantastic Four: Monster Island.

This small piece of real estate looms large in the history of the Marvel Universe, owing to its role in not only the foundation of the FF, but also to its incredible pedigree of denizens over the years. And next month, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Jim Cheung make their own visit to the isle in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #2!

Though sometimes obscured on maps, Monster Island sits somewhere in the Sea of Japan, a craggy crest of rock and scrubby vegetation haunted by moaning winds and, often times, an air of hopelessness. The island’s surface offers little in the way of landmarks or artificial structures, but underneath that seemingly desolate exterior lays the caverns of Subterranea. Rumor has it that the tunnels stretch across the entire globe, reaching directly beneath the major cities of the world. If any truth to this rumor exists, only the strange beings called Moloids—the blind tunnel-runners of Monster Island—know for certain.

A small army of monsters live as the other permanent inhabitants of the remote location. Over the years, a who’s who of monstrous notables called the island home, including Googam, Gigantus, Giganto, Fin Fang Foom, and the dreaded Tricephalous. The latter owed its creation to the Deviant race, which once occupied Monster Island away from their enemies, namely humans and Eternals.

Perhaps the most infamous of those who lived on the island called himself The Mole Man. Hiding away from the scorn and ridicule of his peers in the scientific community, the diminutive Mole Man used Monster Island as a hideout during his attempted destruction of the surface world, only to be eventually defeated by the newly-formed Fantastic Four. The heroes flew to the island to confront the man who’d become their lifelong opponent, discovering not only adversity, but a place that would forever be etched into their memories.

In later days, The Mole Man allowed the space-faring Adam Warlock and his Infinity Watch to utilize the island as a base of operations, though the little man himself would later receive the world’s recognition as the governmental sovereign of the island. The Watch experienced many adventures at the site, but abandoned it after a relatively short time there.

Today, little information on the island’s current status travels across the ocean to more civilized places. One hopes that The Thing and The Human Torch will not only find what they seek there during their upcoming journey, but also bring back news to the world of who and what still calls Monster Island home.

Book your trip for MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #2, by writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Jim Cheung, on January 24!

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The King concludes his unparalleled run with the Fantastic Four!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

As Kirby 100 winds down to its final few weeks, we’re going to focus in on the King’s last issues and arcs on some of the books he became most well known for. Today, we spotlight FANTASTIC FOUR #102 from 1970 by Jack and Stan Lee which marked the end of an incredible run on the book by these two titans. Few would expect Kirby’s last FF adventure to begin with Johnny Storm and Crystal trying to nurse Ben Grimm back to health as the flu threatened to take out the team. However, they had much greater problems brewing once again with Namor at the center.

While sailing around in an Atlantean Naval patrol ship, The Sub-Mariner spotted a man unconscious on an island overrun by dinosaur-like creatures. The sea king jumped into the fray, beat away the flying attackers and decided to bring this stranger back to the land of the living, not realizing he now had none other than Magneto in tow!

Not long after, The Thing thought he might be losing his mind as he witnessed nearby buildings flying to pieces. As it happened, Magneto had woken up and started messing around with some of Namor’s equipment, allowing him to project his powers all the way to New York City. Back in Atlantis, the Master of Magnetism got the grand tour of his host’s palace, which Kirby took obvious delight in designing. The two human haters then discussed their shared disdain for those who walked the surface world and decided to team up.

Fantastic Four (1961) #102

Fantastic Four (1961) #102

  • Published: September 10, 1970
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 30, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In NYC, Mr. Fantastic explained to the rest of the team that he found the signal behind the disturbances coming from Atlantis. He also said that he had a weapon that could retaliate with a concussion missile that would act as a kind of warning shot. They didn’t intend to use the device, but after Magneto attacked them directly in their home, Grimm jammed the button and shot it off. Knowing what caused the rumblings in Atlantis, the mutant menace decided not to explain this to his host and continued pushing his new partner into declaring war on humanity. Namor moved forward with his retaliation, even agreeing to let Magneto tag along.

This story would continue for the next two issues, but without Jack Kirby. He left Marvel in 1970 and moved over to the Distinguished Competition for a few years before returning later in the decade. For more on the very last issue of FANTASTIC FOUR with new Kirby artwork, come on back for the very last installment of Kirby 100!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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A Fantastic family vacation turns into a wet and wild adventure!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

In their time working together, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby conveyed many lessons to their readers, but one of the primaries included “things aren’t always what they seem.” The duo worked that theme in 1970’s FANTASTIC FOUR #97 on a variety of levels.

First and foremost, what seemed like a simple vacation for the First Family of Marvel turned into a monster hunt as Reed drove Ben and Johnny around in a borrowed Air-Sea Cruiser in an effort to find out what caused a series of sunken ships in Lost Lagoon. Seeing a humanoid shape in the water, the erstwhile Mister Fantastic thought they figured out part of the problem, but an enormous whale interrupted their search. Fed up, The Human Torch flew back to the nearby beach where Sue actually enjoyed their vacation with young Franklin.

As the teammates met up to try and just enjoy themselves, the action cut away to an undersea cave where the creature revealed itself as a green water-breather who could use some kind of agent to transform himself to look more human. He then swam up to the surface world where he worked a dolphin show at an oceanarium. The fish-man recognized Reed, Johnny and Ben from earlier that day and wondered if they did the same with him as he performed his act. Still driven to figure out the problem at hand, Richards asked the swimmer to help guide them underwater to find the party responsible for the downed ships.

Fantastic Four (1961) #97

Fantastic Four (1961) #97

  • Published: April 10, 1970
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

They seemed to work well together—even though the newcomer didn’t actually speak—until the would-be guide punched his way through the ship’s hull and swam off. The Thing managed to get his friends into another underwater cavern filled with air where they came face to face with their transformed foe for the first time! Though the creature proved strong enough to take Ben on in a fistfight, he made a break for it as soon as the Torch shot off some of his own brand of fireworks.

Moving further into the cavern, our heroes discovered the truth of the matter as they came upon the creature loading water balls onto some kind of spaceship! Reed explained that the alien must have landed on Earth and needed to stock up on H20, taking out any nearby ships just to keep him and his partner safe. Having fulfilled its immediate mission, the extraterrestrial motioned for the adventurers to back away as he entered the ship and blasted off for home! With that, the Fantastic Four could get back to their relaxation time and enjoy some fun in the sun.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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A super-heroic love triangle like no other gets a fantastic start!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Together, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought so much to the Marvel Universe, ranging from heroes and villains to iconic locales and whole races. However, they also established a great deal of relationships that remain relevant to this day. We, of course, know all about the connections between the Fantastic Four and even longtime comrades like the Avengers, but Lee and Kirby also established romantic bonds between characters, including the long and complicated one between Sue Storm and Namor!

It all began in 1962’s FANTASTIC FOUR #4 when Reed and Sue blamed Ben for chasing Johnny off in the previous issue. With one of their own flying solo, the other members of the team split up to track him down. Thing found the Torch working on a car with his buddies, but they fought, Ben changed back into his human form and Johnny ran off. After renting a bed at a men’s hotel in the Bowery, the youngest FF member met a man dealing with amnesia who also happened to be super-strong. After a flame-assisted shave, Johnny quickly realized the mystery man’s true identity: Namor, the Sub-Mariner!

To help jog his new friend’s memory, the Torch dropped Namor into the ocean, which brought all of the Golden Age stalwart’ss memories rushing back. Unfortunately for us surface-dwellers, the Sub-Mariner soon discovered that his underwater home had been ravaged by radioactivity left over from nuclear weapons testing. With that, Namor swore to have his revenge on mankind, even blaming Johnny Storm for waking him up to these atrocities. The Human Torch sent up a flare to get his partners’ attention. At that same time, the displaced ruler of Atlantis plunged the ocean’s depths to rouse a whale-like behemoth called Giganto!

Fantastic Four (1961) #4

Fantastic Four (1961) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As the beast laid waste to New York City, The Thing decided to do the only thing that made sense: he strapped a nuclear bomb to his back and walked straight into Giganto’s maw! The plan worked, destroying the monster in the process. Unperturbed, Namor raised his creature-calling horn to summon more when Sue Storm used her invisibility powers to sneak up and snatch the instrument away. Upon seeing the Invisible Girl’s true form, the Sub-Mariner became instantly smitten. He even offered to spare humanity if Sue agreed to marry him. She quickly rebuked his ridiculous offer, which did not sit well with the arrogant king. At that point, Human Torch turned on the turbo jets, creating a cyclone that carried Namor back out to the ocean so he could cool off.

Far from the best meet cute in the history of comics, this initial meeting between Sue and Namor has led not just to further flirtations, but also more than a few alternate realities where the two actually got together and ruled the planet!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Two key characters make their debuts in Annihilus and Franklin Richards!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

After seven years of super-heroics, exploring, and witnessing many a previously unseen wonder, Marvel’s First Family experience something brand new with FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6 in 1968: kids! Stan Lee and Jack Kirby seeded the story the year before in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5 when Reed and Sue learned of her pregnancy.

This issue began with Johnny and Ben barging into Reed’s lab, wondering why he continued working on experiments instead of standing next to Sue in the delivery room. Richards explained that the cosmic radiation that turned them into the FF remained in Sue’s body and could have an adverse effect on the baby. He further exposited that an anti-matter element in the Negative Zone could help save mother and child and wanted to get it on his own. Of course, his two teammates refused to let him fly solo and backed him up. They had no idea that a new threat, one known as Annihilus, had started making life even more dangerous in the Zone!

Kirby showed off his amazing pencil work as he rendered the Negative Zone and then a pair of mindboggling collages to demonstrate just how different this locale looked and felt. Almost immediately, the Zone also proved how dangerous it could be as unseen forces snatched Mr. Fantastic up with a quickness. Soon reunited with his teammates in Annihilus’ jail, Richards and his fellows did their best to survive against giant robot boots, gyro-saws, and sonic sponges. Soon gaining the upper hand, the heroes attacked their captor and made off with his Cosmic Control Rod.

Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6

Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6

  • Published: November 06, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 20, 2009
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Incensed at the effrontery, Annihilus sent monsters after the male FF members who had also stolen his Rail Plane to make their escape. Reed realized he could use some of the Rod’s powers to knock the beasts back, but the trio soon stood stranded in space. After another battle with their new foe, Reed made a deal with the bad guy to trade the Cosmic Rod back in exchange for their Repellor Units, which they used to get back home, but only after Mr. Fantastic siphoned off some of the energy to help Sue and the baby. The gents made it back to the positive world and handed off the energy to help Sue, who had the real hard work to do in giving birth.

Though they spent excruciating time waiting to find out what happened, Reed, Ben and Johnny soon heard the good news from Crystal: it’s a boy! The whole family then made their way into the room to meet the baby, who we’d eventually know as Franklin Richards, a kid powerful enough to create an entire reality for his folks and their friends when it seemed like they’d perished at the hands of Onslaught several decades later!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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The Fantastic Four take on a fiendish foe in Transylvania!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

If there’s a better way to celebrate Halloween than by traveling to Transylvania with Marvel’s First Family, we don;t know it! That’s the basis behind 1964’s FANTASTIC FOUR #30 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! In true FF fashion, the trip acted as a mix of business and pleasure for the team. The vacation began with Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben wandering through a forest that, according to Mr. Fantastic, seemed like it intended to trap them within.

Just as the group reached a clearing with an old, decrepit castle, a group of villagers appeared behind them, warning the heroes not to enter for fear of upsetting Diablo. Led by Mayor Baron Hugo, the party brought the FF back to town where he explained the legend of Diablo to them. A hundred years ago, the villagers had had enough of Diablo’s evil alchemy and sealed him up in the castle itself. While some thought he must surely be dead after a century, others believed the villain had figured out a way to extend his lifespan.

Fantastic Four (1961) #30

Fantastic Four (1961) #30

  • Published: September 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

That night, Ben found himself roused from sleep by a melodious voice that seemed to put him in a trance. It called him to Diablo’s castle and he answered, using his strength to open a massive crypt and free his new master! The next morning, the rest of the Fantastic Four followed Thing’s trail and found him changed. He agreed to work for Diablo for a year in exchange for a new form that left him still orange, but more human in appearance. If Ben followed through, Diablo would give him the rest of the serum to turn him fully human again.

Grimm sided with the newly released prisoner over his longtime friends, even getting into a fight with his allies! Reed, Sue, and Johnny decided to leave Thing to his new life, but kept an eye on him. So did the rest of the world as Diablo started selling immortality chemicals. At around the same time, Reed discovered that Diablo’s chemicals truly caused more harm than good and Ben realized that he’d been tricked! The rest of the FF didn’t waste any time before attacking Diablo’s castle. He had amassed a small army to help defend his lair, but they couldn’t stand up against the heroes, especially Ben rejoined his teammates!

In the end, Ben Grimm may have turned back into The Thing, but he never would have been able to re-entomb Diablo without the strength and durability that came with that form! In other words, Kirby and Lee offer a spooky story with a nice message about being who you are on this Halloween day!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Can the combined Avengers and Fantastic Four halt a Hulk-Thing fight?

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

An old philosophical question once asked, what happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? Well, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby didn’t answer that one, but they sure dug into what takes place when the Incredible Hulk comes to blows with the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing! The two titans came to blows in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #25 and #26 from 1964 and the very Earth shook! It all started with Thing refusing to take an accidentally discovered serum that could have cured him of his rocky visage because he didn’t know if Alicia Masters would still love him as just Ben Grimm.

Fantastic Four (1961) #25

Fantastic Four (1961) #25

  • Published: April 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Meanwhile, The Hulk wanted peace and quiet after his fight with his old teammates in AVENGERS #3. The group quickly replaced him with Captain America, but still wanted to find their errant ally. The Jade Giant decided to get rid of every trace of Bruce Banner and smashed up his secret lab. He then saw the newspaper about Cap’s return and Rick Jones palling around with him. Feeling jealous and spurned, Hulk decided to hop to New York City and “destroy the Avengers forever.”

With Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually near the old lab looking for Hulk, he jumped right past them and wound up causing such a ruckus that the FF took notice and moved to stop him. With Reed Richards out of commission and both Johnny and Sue Storm quickly felled by the emerald brute, Ben Grimm took it upon himself to stop the rampage. This duo had come to blows previously in FANTASTIC FOUR #12, but this time they tore through buses, buildings, and even the street to clobber one another. Thanks to some help from the Yancy Street boys, the pair wound up fighting underwater and then on boats before moving on to the George Washington Bridge!

Moving into issue #26, Hulk continued to call for the Avengers, but Thing still stood to fight another day, or at least a few more rounds! A battered Human Torch even got back in on the action, but the Fantatsic twosome didn’t stand a chance. Hulk messed them up and then went to Tony Stark’s mansion to visit his old friends.

Fantastic Four (1961) #26

Fantastic Four (1961) #26

  • Published: May 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Hulk tore into the Avengers who gave as good as they got. A rejuvenated Reed Richards soon led his own team to attack Jade Jaws as well, but all those heroes together proved more calamity than anything else. After figuring out how to actually work together, both crews converged on Hulk who had perched himself on a skyscraper construction site. Though the combined might of the Avengers and Fantastic Four could barely stop the rampage, Rick Jones wound up saving the day by tossing an “emergency gamma-ray treated capsule” that Banner had supplied him with months prior.

Hulk ran off, jumping into the water and soon turned back into Bruce, floating along to his next adventure. With that, both teams pledged to work well together in the future and returned to their own lives with an unspoken promise from Kirby and Lee that, when that happened, it would be just as exciting and groundbreaking as this time!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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The Fantastic Four investigates an empty house with startling results!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

New parents have a lot on their mind. From diaper changings and feedings to worrying about all manner of other potential dangers, making mistakes comes with the territory. Now, take all of that and throw in a never-ending train of super-menaces to deal with and you get an idea of where Reed and Sue Richards’ heads resided in FANTASTIC FOUR #8889 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Their son—not yet named in these issues, but eventually called Franklin—had been born not long prior in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6, so after coming home from a mission, they all decided to look at an out-of-the-way home that would offer them privacy and safety. The fact that they didn’t think anything of a strange building in the middle of nowhere that no one had ever lived in and seemed to come out of nowhere should have triggered a few alarms, but let’s blame that new parent baby brain on that.

For us, though, we get to see “The King” do his thing, designing a domicile that would make Frank Lloyd Wright’s places look tame in comparison. The more the Fantastic Four and Crystal—a member of the squad at that point—looked around, the more they realized that something might be up. Still, they decided to buy the place and start moving in. They started regretting the purchase a bit when Reed tried drilling some holes so Sue could hang pictures and the security system shot stub bolts and trapped him in a clear jar. Still, not fully wary of the purchase, they continued to unpack.

Fantastic Four (1961) #88

Fantastic Four (1961) #88

  • Published: July 10, 1969
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Unbeknownst to the new tenants, the build actually came from a surprise source, one who kept an eye on things while the Richards’ moved in: Mole Man! He’d been using the place to send out a signal that would make everyone on the surface world as blind as him! After robbing the FF of their sight and revealing himself at the end of #88, Mole Man really pressed his advantage in the following issue. Far more used to fighting in the dark than his opponents, the villain easily dodged their attacks!

However, Mole Man underestimated how much Reed and Sue loved each other and how fiercely they’d fight any foe to keep the other safe. After Mr. Fantastic wound up on the wrong end of the villain’s staff, The Invisible Girl lashed out, knocking off his glasses and exposing his overly sensitive eyes to light they could not handle. Enraged at the attacks on his friend and his sister and with sight renewed, Human Torch took off and melted Mole Man’s staff. As the subterranean tyrant blamed everyone but himself for his crimes, Johnny Storm corralled him and then, essentially, told him to stop being so whiny and take responsibility for himself.

With the immediate threat out of the way, the team could concentrate on reviving Reed, who seemed out for the count, but soon regained consciousness after The Thing administered mouth to mouth and CPR. In this story Lee and Kirby presented a thrilling tale that keeps you involved at every turn while also giving Jack plenty of room to play when it came to designing a house that just about any fan would love to visit—though maybe without the booby traps!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Daredevil teams up with the Fantastic Four to take on Doctor Doom!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the Fantastic Four in their 1961 debut issue, none of the characters exactly wanted their cosmic ray-granted abilities. Sure—Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Girl, The Human Torch, and The Thing eventually used their powers to save the world, but they likely would’ve chosen to give them up in the early days.

So what happened when they actually lost their powers just a few years later in 1965’s FANTASTIC FOUR #39 and #40? In the previous story, the team barely escaped a nuclear blast set off by the Frightful Four—and after floating in the ocean for 24 hours, a Navy submarine picked them up so they could convalesce aboard the vessel. Soon, however, they admitted to themselves and each other that in the chaos, they’d lost their powers!

Fantastic Four (1961) #39

Fantastic Four (1961) #39

  • Published: June 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After returning to New York, Reed immediately got to work, attempting to scientifically replicate their powers—while hoping that their enemies wouldn’t find out about their defenselessness. Despite his efforts, Richards failed with his experiments.

As the evil Doctor Doom raged against his longtime opponents—and planned an urgent attack—the Fantastic Four’s lawyer, Matt Murdock, agreed to meet them at a mysterious warehouse. There, he witnessed (via his special sensory abilities) the group practicing with their new power-replicating equipment. Then, during the meeting, Doom began his assault. In the smoke and confusion, Murdock changed into his fighting togs and offered his services as Daredevil!

As Doctor Doom set up in the Baxter Building, using Richards’ own weapons against the heroes, the group split up to take on the villain from different angles. And as Doom obsessed over tracking down the Four, the Man Without Fear snuck in a window and got the drop on the Latverian.

Fantastic Four (1961) #40

Fantastic Four (1961) #40

  • Published: July 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
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Daredevil held his own against Victor von Doom for a long enough time that the Fantastic Four were able to catch up—though still without powers, they still threw themselves into battle. While his teammates distracted Doom, Richards grabbed the Stimulator—a weapon they used against the Skrulls in FANTASTIC FOUR #37—and zapped Ben, Johnny, Sue, and himself.

The device reawakened their powers, allowing the team to join the fight full-force. The battle between Ben Grimm and Victor von Doom threatened to knock down the entire Baxter Building—if not New York City itself—and ultimately The Thing crushed Doom’s plans for conquest. Though the villain still managed to escape thanks to his diplomatic immunity as ruler of Latveria!

Having regained their powers, the team—and especially Grimm—didn’t celebrate, but at least knew they could defend themselves the next time their enemies came calling.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Kirby klassics! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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