Fantastic Four #13: Reed's Stretchy Body 21

Fantastic Four #13, page 3, panel 6-8 Story: Stan Lee

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Steve Ditko

Lettering: Art Simek

Casually forgetting that he has already invented a rocket ship pilotable by one man that can easily break orbit, Reed is concerned about winning the space race and beating the Communists to the moon. However, he's seeing it as a solo mission, again forgetting that his best friend is a crack US air force pilot with spaceflight experience.

So, it's no wonder that Ben is not happy at being left out of the plans, making his point rather physically by grabbing Reed and stuffing him into a nearby oversized test tube. I love this visual, with Reed seemingly shrinking to ensure that he fits in the tube.

I mentioned yesterday that Steve Ditko's inks would create some great visuals in this book. In these three panels, we see his influence on The Thing, giving more definition to him than we'd seen with Dick Ayers, whilst still retaining the concept of Ben's skin being hide-like. I love how he gives expression and feeling to Ben's face whilst never letting us see his eyes through great use of shadow.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #13 in our eleventh episode: Red? Yes! Communist? Yes! Russian? No!