Okay, so there have been a couple pranks before, but this is the first issue where Johnny mocks Ben and Ben busts stuff up.  Note that Johnny is reading an issue of The Hulk.  Hulk and Thing were pretty similar characters, in that they were the subject of three-panel metamorphoses on a regular basis, they were big, ugly, and strong, etc.  The thing (pun intended) that made Ben a more interesting and versatile character was his familial relationship to his teammates.  The F4 was, after all, the first comic about a superhero family–unless you count Marvel Family, which I don’t.

When you think about it, though, the early versions of Marvel Family were kinda similar: The strong, handsome male lead; the hot chick; the younger hotshot; and the bigger, ugly dude.

Anyway, another thing that made F4 #5 special was …

Yes.  The first appearance of Doctor Doom.  This is the comic where they go back in time and Ben gets to be Blackbeard the Pirate, and loves that he was so powerful and beloved and has a hard time coming back to the present.

It is the single greatest comic book of all time.  At least, according to this scientific evaluation.

Even if I don’t get why Doom is using a Tiger as a weapon.  I mean, by this time the FF had already fought a giant monster that tried to eat New York, The Skrulls, and Prince Namor.  Surely they can handle a big cat?

Sue saves the day in the end…

Oh, one more thing: It’s still in its formative stages, but Thing busts through a floor.

Trust me, there’s only been two instances of it so far, but it’s gonna be a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby trope.

Creators: Stan and Jack!

First appearance: Doctor Doom!
Grade: A+.  Like I said, this is the greatest single issue of all time.

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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