What starts with a race turns into an adventure involving a race, but I am getting ahead of myself. This issue begins with the three male members of the Fantastic Four engaged in an airborne drag race of sorts, with Torch flying while Thing and Mr. Fantastic fly vehicles. However, things go astray when The Human Torch, ignoring Mr. Fantastics’ advice, pushes himself too hard and plummets into the water below. This leads to a fight over the Nature of the Fantastic Four and Mr. Fantastic being the leader, compared to the dynamic of the Avengers, and Ends with The Torch and the Thing opting to prove themselves and have an adventure of their own.
This leads to a strange letter inviting them to be part of a race. A race that proves to be just for the two of them. Once the race starts, they realize it is a trap, discovering they have no control over their cars andare likely as good as dead. They also recognize that Reed would not have fallen for it.
Originality and Continuity
This story goes out of its way to connect itself with recent adventures in Strange Tales, but ignores the developments that have occurred in Fantastic Four. The most recent issue should have resolved the questions of leadership; or if this one happened to have come first the same can be said in reverse. I suspect in any case what Lee was hoping to do is establish firmly that Mr. Fantastic is the leader in both series, and close a gap that the solo adventures in part create.
Character and Development
In this story The Human Torch and The Thing, learn that they need Mr. Fantastic as a leader, that he should lead the Fantastic Four, that may be a good development save for how it came about. Mr. Fantastic seems so out of character devising this trap, for his own team in order to prove he shoud be leader. but please tell me what you think.
As such the story is not that great, and its message is flat and the development could have been done a different (and better) way. One also has to wonder how Reed pulled off the mascaraed, While he can stretch and change himself, he still looks and sounds the same and should have been recognized by his closest collages. This, while it is a common comic book problem of discusses and something we regularly have to suspend or disbelief for in this case it is a bridge too far.