Episode 7: There are more of them (Fantastic Four #3, part 1) -- March 1962
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the ramifications of a new super-powered individual. How many more are there? Is the Fantastic Four our protection against others of their kind? Is this an acceptable trade-off? How long is the Fantastic Four’s leash?
In the actual comic:
The Fantastic Four are popular celebrities, and they are enjoying their status. They fly across town in their Fantasticar to take in a show by the Miracle Man, a performer who demonstrates amazing powers for the crowd - he can change size at will, turn into gas, shoot lightning from his fingertips, and take on the Thing. The Four do not know what to make of him as they fly home over the city (sidebar: when will get flying cars?)
The Miracle Man then, strangely, declares war on the human race, and the Four are called into action. They fight a giant monster that the Miracel Man has brought to life, and then take the fight to the Man himself, who snuffs the Torch’s fire out with chemical foam and causes the earth to swallow the Thing.
Reed thinks hard about the problem, but does not do anything. Meanwhile, the Invisible Girl locates the Miracle Man, but before she can alert her teammates, she is hypnotized by the Miracle Man. He has Sue signal the rest of the team (maybe he should have just waited for Sue to do it before he hypnotized her), and when they arrive, they battle. The Fantastic Four gains the upper hand when the temporarily blind the Miracle Man. Reed then lets everyone know that he figured out that the Miracle Man did not have any magic powers - he was merely a clever hypnotist, and a master of mass illusion.
We can think of many other ways the Miracle Man could have used his incredible, but not magical or miraculous, powers than picking a fight with super-powered heroes, but that is neither here nor there.
In any event, Johnny Storm is unhappy with how he has been treated by his teammates (he is a teenager and a bit of a sulk), and quits the team.
Assumed before the next episode:
The public is still fascinated by the Fantastic Four, and are likely digesting the ongoing news that super-powered heroes and villains are becoming a daily fact of life.
This episode takes place:
Just after the events of this issue, i.e. the Fantastic Four have taken down the Miracle Man, and the Torch has quit the team.