Fantastic Four #21: Reed's Stretchy Body 49

Fantastic Four #21, page 7, panel 2 Written by: Stan Lee

Drawn by: Jack Kirby

Inked by: George Bell

Lettered by: Art Simek

The Ayres era is over, and we start a seven issue run of inking by George Roussos, credited as George Bell. We were big fans of Roussos's inking at the start of his brief run, although that opinion would change as time went on.

Issue 21 is also the debut appearance of the minor villain, The Hate-Monger, revealed in a rather hilarious final twist to be Adolf Hitler (later stories would retcon this to be a robot double, which is only slightly more believable). Clad in a Klan-esque costume, Hitler has a hate ray which promotes aggression and... well... hatred in those it hits. Almost immediately, the Fantastic Four are targeted and spend several panels beating each other up.

This panel features a nice twist on the classic 'Reed restraining Ben' pose, with Reed dressed in his civilian clothing (made from unstable molecules, naturally). What I like is the way that the suit is clearly loose-fitting, refusing to tighten as it stretches out.

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #21 on our twenty-first episode: Powered By Hateful Hate From A Hate Raygun, with special guest host David Wynne.