Annuals used to be a big deal, and perhaps no comic has made better use of them than the early Fantastic Four annuals. Whereas prior to FF Annual #1, these were usually oversized reprint digests with a couple new pin-ups, Stan and Jack turned them into events where major stuff happened—essential reading, but fairly self-contained for new readers.
In the third annual, we got a wedding. And you know the bride’s gonna be anxious when the title of her wedding story is “Bedlam at the Baxter Building!”
It all starts with Doctor Doom reading about their wedding in the “Daily Press.” Interesting how, despite the interconnectedness of the Marvel comics by this point, he’s reading the Press and not the Bugle.
Anyway, he decides to mark the occasion by getting all the big name villains to attack on the day of the wedding: Red Ghost and the Super Apes, Mandarin, Executioner and Enchantress, Mole Man and the Moloids, Black Knight, Electro, Minotaur, Beetle, Kang, etc.
Watcher also shows up and butts in. Because what’s the point of his vow of noninterference? None. I mean, there is no point to it. Because he only seems to show up when he wants to interfere.
There’s also lots of guests to help the FF, like The X-Men, Nick Fury, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc.
There’s also an appearance by Patsy Walker (who was still just a model at that point, not yet the superheroine Hellcat), and mentions of Millie the Model (who had not previously been part of Marvel Universe continuity) and, of all people, Irving Forbush!
It’s a great issue if what you want to do is see Jack Kirby draw the Marvel Universe all fighting together.
And Stan and Jack appear in the last panels…
Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Firsts: May we now present, Mrs. Susan Richards!
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.