Episode 8: The Torch is missing - and new uniforms! (Fantastic Four #3, part 2) -- April 1962
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the ramifications of another super-powered individual entering the scene. How many more are there, and where are they coming from? Are they all the result of government experiments of sending people into space? Also: when will consumers get access to flying cars?
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 we 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 Miracle 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 captured by the Miracle Man and hypnotized. He has Sue signal the rest of the team (maybe he should have just waited for Sue to do that before he hypnotized her), and when they arrive, they battle. The Fantastic Four gain the upper hand when they 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 likely worried that the Human Torch has left the team.
This episode takes place:
About a month after the events in the comic. The team is searching for the Human Torch, but he is still missing.