Fantastic Four Annual #1: BollocksFish Special

OK, we all know the deal. An unusual quirk of early Marvel-era tales featuring the Sub-Mariner was his penchant for surrounding himself with marine life, all of which have evolved in unlikely and very specific ways. We last took a look examples of his exotic aquatic menagerie back in Fantastic Four #14, and the lead story in Fantastic Four Annual #1 is full of what we have affectionately come to term BollocksFish.

Written by: Stan Lee

Drawn by: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Art Simek

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 10, panel 6

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 10, panel 6

The Archer Fish does exist. True, the normal size is about 5-10cm, not what would appear to be 8-10 feet as shown in the panel, but they do exist. It spews a giant gas bubble a Johnny, extinguishing his flame.

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 11, panel 1

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 11, panel 1

Giant-sized, I can take. Oxygen-filled… maybe, but not at that angle. Magnetic? What the…? It’s not just implausible, it’s completely unnecessary! Of course, Stan has a long history of assuming that magnetic forces attract whatever he wants them to, rather than ferromagnetic metals.

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 11, panel 2

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 11, panel 2

Again, it’s the scale issue here. It is plausible that a fish might exude some form of capturing ‘device’ through its mouth, but after a quick chat with an ex-marine biologist in Facebook, I was unequivocally told to stop wasting her time with crap.

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 12, panels 4-5

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 12, panels 4-5

When I win the lottery, I’m gonna get me a 30-foot long serpent that can pick up TV signals and project them onto a wall.

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 29, panel 3

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 29, panel 3

I’m sorry, Namor… undersea sprocket-fish? As opposed to all the fish that live out in the open air? Oh, and like numerous spores and fungi seen in comics, upon contact with an enemy (as opposed to anyone else), they’ll quickly smother an entire body. Not bad for three small fish that can fit in the palm of Namor’s hand…

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 30, panel 1

Fantastic Four Annual #1, page 30, panel 1

We end on an utterly ridiculous fish. Described in the preceding panel as a huge marine vacuum-cleaner, this fish (look, it has fins!) can generate enough force to disrupt the flight of a human being and drag it inside. I have no idea why such an ability would evolved underwater – does this fish prey on fast-swimming sharks?

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four Annual #1 on our sixteenth episode: The Best Of Annuals, The Worst Of Annuals.

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/ffcast/FF_Episode_16.mp3]
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