You may have heard about one of Marvel’s earliest superhero groups The Fantastic Four, a creation from the collaboration of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Since they were an established hit, it would only make sense to work them into Marvel’s new title, The Amazing Spider-Man. And this is what we see in the very first issue of the series. Yes, I am talking about Spider-Man vs Fantastic Four.
Imagine you are a teenage kid with no money, and are about to be homeless because your guardian can’t pay the bills. But what if you happened to have superpowers as well? How would you be able to make money with this advantage? This is the premise of Amazing Spider-Man issue 1, volume 1. Our so-called hero Peter Parker considers robbing an armored car, but instead decides to put on a performance like he had done in the past. When he couldn’t cash his check under the name “Spider-Man”, he decides to seek other avenues to make money. (Why didn’t he just ask for the check to be made out to “cash”?)
A new story in the same issue shows Peter considering joining The Fantastic Four. When the elevator fails to work, he decides to get into their building through a window. Somehow he thinks that breaking into their private headquarters would impress them. When he slides into an open window, we begin to see the battle of Spider-Man vs Fantastic Four. Immediately, a plexiglass cage drops from the ceiling and the window behind him snaps shut. Spider-Man merely pulls apart the plexiglass doors on the cage to get out. Mr Fantastic astonishingly is only concerned about him breaking the expensive cage and doesn’t want him to wreck it. The Thing quickly punches Spider-Man in the head, which is countered by being tossed. Mr Fantastic fails to grab Spider-Man with giant hands and gets them caught in webbing. Invisible Girl tries to throw a rope over him but fails, along with Human Torch trying to put a ring of fire around him. Spider-Man manages to out-wit them all.
Mr Fantastic makes himself a giant wall to separate everyone and end the fighting. He demands to know why Spider-Man is there. This is when Spider-Man says that he wants to be a member of The Fantastic Four and was simply putting up a demonstration rather than fighting. He says that he is worth their top salary. The Thing basically calls him an idiot, and Invisible Woman clarifies that they are a non-profit organization. After being accused of being an outlaw, Spider-Man flees. The Invisible Woman feels sorry for him, but the moment had passed.
Seeing Spider-Man vs Fantastic Four is exciting not just because it features some of Marvel’s most iconic characters, but also because of the sparks that fly between them. Peter Parker is a likable but often stubborn protagonist, while The Fantastic Four are a tight-knit group with strong personalities that clash with Spider-Man’s. These tensions are on full display in the confrontation between Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four, as each hero tries to prove their worth and protect their interests. The result is a thrilling battle that showcases the unique strengths and weaknesses of each character.
It’s almost as if Spider-Man vs Fantastic Four is a classic game of rock-paper-scissors, with each character countering one another. The Invisible Woman’s powers are useless against Spider-Man, but he can’t stand up to the strength of The Thing. Mr. Fantastic’s stretchy limbs don’t do much against Spider-Man’s quick reflexes, and Human Torch’s fire doesn’t even singe him. It’s almost comical how each hero tries their best, but ultimately falls short.
So how can you read this comic? Good luck finding a real copy, since it’s one of the greatest landmarks in comic book history and is thus priceless. However, the story has been reprinted many times, for example you can grab Marvel Tales 138 which reprints the entire thing. What do you think of Spider-Man vs Fantastic Four? This is an early battle, however, as Sue Richards develops her powers over time she is able to create force fields that could probably have instantly caved in Spider-Man’s insides. Leave a comment with your thoughts.