Fantastic Four Special Edition #1 [1984] – Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race


For some odd reason Marvel published a one-shot reprinting most of the main story from FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #1 [1963]. Not really one of my favourite of the early Kirby FF stories, but it does have its moments, starting with the first few pages showing Namor in Atlantis, in all its grandeur. That looks really good. Then we switch to the FF, with Johnny and Ben and one of their fights, which leads to Reed deciding to take the team on a vacation cruise. Of course that puts them in the sights of Namor, who captures them, sends them back to New York and then leads an invasion of the surface world. Reed is able to come up with a device to repel the invasion by evaporating the water in the invaders’ helmets, and then Namor takes Sue prisoner.


The rest of the team pursue, and the battle continues until Sue is almost drowning, so Namor rushes her to a hospital in New York. His decision leads to his people abandoning him and their city.

As I said, not really a favourite, especially as it’s one of the stories where Sue is pretty much just a designated hostage (I don’t think she uses her powers once in the story). Some of the visuals are good though, especially with the longer page count allowing for a few longer scenes than you usually got at the time.

One page from the original story, recapping Namor’s origin, is edited out, replaced by a longer origin by another artist, so this story now has 36 pages of Kirby/Ayers art, plus the main image from the original cover is reprinted as a credits page inside the front cover.

Published 1984

3 thoughts on “Fantastic Four Special Edition #1 [1984] – Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race

  1. John L

    That “other artist” was John Byrne, who was drawing the FF comic at the time this special edition was published.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

  2. dave

    Is this the story with Kirby’s first use of photo-collage? A full-page underwater scene that can barely be seen, the printing is so bad?

  3. Bob Post author

    No, no collages in this one. The one you’re thinking of was about a year later, FF #33. According to the Kirby Checklist the first collage in a Kirby comic was a few panels in FF #24, a little bit after this this story.


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