Episode 63: Fantastic Four no more! The End of an era? (Fantastic Four #15) -- June 1963

  
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In this episode:

In this episode, Mike and Ed discuss the break up of the Fantastic Four. What does it mean for a superhero team to “break up”? What will they do next? Has there been a hand-off of responsibilities? Does this explain why the Fantastic Four were not involved in the last alien invasion that was right on their doorstep?

In this issue:

Reed Richards summons his teammates to their headquarters for an urgent mission. He has learned that the top mobsters in the country have headed to New York for something big. Meanwhile, the Thinker meets with the same mobsters to explain how he intends to declare himself the ruler of New York. The mobsters do not believe him, citing the Fantastic Four and the threat they pose to their criminal schemes. The Thinker brushes away their concerns as he explains how he has set into motion a scheme to deal with the Fantastic Four once and for all. For you see, he has laid in motion an incredibly complicated plan to cause the Fantastic Four to break up. And his plan works, leading the Fantastic Four to all do different things, i.e. the Thing becomes a wrestler, Mr. Fantastic is hired by a top company, the Human Torch joins the circus, and the Invisible Girl becomes a star on Broadway. The Four remain broken up for some time, but they all come to the conclusion that they’d rather be part of their original team of adventurers as the Fantastic Four. And so they get back together and return to New York, whereupon they learn that the Thinker has taken over their headquarters. They try to retake their headquarters, and their attempts are originally rebuffed. At one point, an artificial life form created by the Thinker, the Living Android, battles the Four to a standstill. Eventually, Mr. Fantastic outthinks the Thinker by doing something so out of the ordinary as to completely disrupt the Thinker’s plans. Victory for the Four!

Assumed before the next episode:

The world remains shocked by the breakup of the Fantastic Four.

This episode takes place:

After the Fantastic Four have broken up, and before they get back together.