Fantastic Four #1: ATOMIC POWER 1

Fantastic Four #1, page 7, panel 8

Fantastic Four #1, page 8, panel 1

Fantastic Four #1, page 8, panel 2


Writer: Stan Lee

Art: Jack Kirby

Uncredited inking by George Klein and Christopher Rule

Uncredited colouring by Stan Goldberg

Uncredited lettering by Art Simek

Stan Lee has a very casual relationship with the possibilities and dangers of nuclear power. For him, nuclear power represents unlimited possibilities, the future within our grasp. Dangers such as radiation and meltdown have mostly been overcome in his mind, and the addition of atomic power to any device, no matter how impractical, instantly makes it stronger, faster and better.

So, of course, it’s great fun to sit here, decades after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and take a look at a more innocent time.

Here, we see that the US Air Force are quite happy to launch nuclear missiles at Manhatten island. Not because there’s an alien invasion spearheaded by an Asgardian god that is determined to subjugate the Earth to the rule of Thanos, the mad Titan. Oh no. Here, it’s because there’s a bloke flying around on fire.

Can we say “massive over-reaction”?

Instead, Reed hurls the missile out to sea where it explodes ‘harmlessly’. Because all nuclear explosions are harmless and completely lack any form of fallout. Just ask the producers of 24

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