Pencilling: Jack Kirby
Inking: Dick Ayers
Uncredited Lettering: Art Simek
Today's post is an entire page. It had to happen at some point, I just figured it would be a heck of a lot further down the line.
After several hints, including a copy of The Incredible Hulk appearing in an earlier story, we get our first true confirmation that Marvel comics, publishers of many magazines including the Fantastic Four, exist in the very fictional universe that they have created. Doctor Doom himself bursts into the offices of Stan and Jack, interrupting the plotting of their story to put into motion his plan for revenge.
There are a couple of ways to look at this scene. The first is that Jack had already completed several pages of a completely different story, possibly featuring the Puppet Master (hence the focus on Alicia and her statues on the previous page) before the original plot was junked to bring back Doctor Doom.
The second is that Stan and Jack deliberately created several generic pages of runaround action to give credence to the idea that Doctor Doom genuinely interrupted their work.
I'll let you decide which one to go with.
In an interesting move, neither Stan nor Jack's face is ever seen inside the book. Knowing what we now know about Stan's public persona, the thought of him being happy with his face being constantly hidden rather amuses me.
Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #9 on our seventh episode: Don! Don! Don! Don-Don-Don! Don-Don-Don!