Episode 149: Diabolic Fraud! (Fantastic Four #30) -- September 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the largest fraud every committed: Diablo has conned people, businesses and governments around the world with his phony potions and technology. Now that he has been entombed in his castle in Transylvania, how will the victims of his fraud be made whole from what was stolen from them? Mike believes the answer is lawsuits, but given the scale of the fraud, how long will that take? And who are we suing when the criminal is an immortal hidden away in an isolated castle? Do we even know where the money is being kept?
Behind the comic:
This issue introduces Diablo, who seemed to be inspired by Dracula. But in later continuity, Dracula himself becomes a Marvel character and Diablo builds out his own villainous niche. The issue ends with Diablo being trapped “forever” in his castle, but he ends up being freed by Dr. Doom within four months (just in time for Reed and Sue’s wedding). But that is a story for another episode…
In this issue:
The Fantastic Four decide to go on vacation in Transylvania, traveling in their superhero costumes and somehow becoming lost in the mountains. They stumble across a mysterious castle, and despite being warned by the local mayor that they should not enter this castle which, according to legend, has been the prison of the evil alchemist Diablo for the past 100 years, they decide to waltz in and spend the night. The Thing is bewitched by Diablo in the middle of the night and frees the dreaded immortal sorcerer Diablo, who then becomes the world’s richest person from the sales of miraculous cures, potions, and the like. Reed Richards figures out that Diablo’s miracles are really fakes and frauds, but it is too late for the many victims around the world who fell for Diablo’s worldwide scam. The world declares Diablo public enemy #1, leading armies and also the Fantastic Four to attack Diablo in his stronghold. After a fierce fight, the Fantastic Four is able to take Diablo down and trap him in his castle once more.
Assumed before the next issue:
People are wondering which class action to join in an attempt to get their money back.
This episode takes place:
After Diablo has been defeated… for now.