Fantastic Four #3 features the first appearance of the arrogant stage magician, Miracle Man. There are five parts to the story in this comic: “The Menace of the Miracle Man,” “The Monster Lives,” “The Flame That Died,” “In the Shadow of Defeat” and the “Final Challenge. The comic opens up with the Fantastic Four attending the Miracle Man’s show, who ends up embarrassing the Thing by demonstrating his amazing, and seemingly miraculous powers. However, there is more to this magician then there appears. This issue is also the first appearance of the admittedly exceedingly cheesy Fantasti-Car, which I assume even at the time was pretty cheesy. Also making its first appearance the iconic costumes of the Fantastic Four.
The Miracle Man is an interesting villain that really has motives that are not adequately fleshed out beyond just being a bad guy who wants to steal stuff and conquer the human race, which I’m not sure how stealing jewels would further this goal. Probably the only real substantive thing to come out of this book is the increasing friction between the members of the Fantastic Four and whether or not they will be able to stay together. Indeed, this issue is really more about the further character development of the Fantastic Four rather than villain‘s motivation. This issue also demonstrates more innovative aspects of some the Fantastic Four’s powers, particularly Mr. Fantastic‘s. This is the first issue that ends on an apparent cliffhanger.
Overall, is a solid issue, with a fun story. However, it lacks the impact of the first issue and doesn’t have nearly as good of a villain or story as the second issue. Indeed, outside of the Fantasti-Car this issue is really lacking the sci-fi elements of the previous two issues.
- Editor: Stan Lee
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky
- Writers: Stan Lee
- Pencilers: Jack Kirby
- Inkers: Sol Brodsky
- Colorists: Stan Goldberg
- Letterers: Artie Simek