The Menace of the Miracle Man
The book starts off with the Miracle Man floating on stage in a theater. He then points out the Fantastic Four in the audience. Reed is picking at his ear; Sue is nibbling on her edible gloves; Ben is covering his face in a scarf; and Johnny is just sitting there, looking goofy with no flame or anything covering his face, while being proclaimed the Human Torch, making it pretty obvious that he is the Human Torch.
Miracle Man then does some magic! He grows to be a giant! He turns himself to smoke! He fires lightning from his hands! And then he sneers at the Fantastic Four and mocks their childish feats! Ben decides he wants to smash his fucking face in, so the team starts hugging him, but, alas, the Miracle Man welcomes the Thing to the stage! He challenges him to a test of strength: breaking a log. It takes Ben 3 hits to smash his to bits, and Miracle Man simply slices his in half with one finger. Then he tells Ben to hit him in the face. Ben does, and Miracle Man takes the punch without so much as a flinch, proclaiming, “Get that weak shit out of here!” Ben gets so super pissed that he wants to murder him in front of all the witnesses in the theater! Reed and the gang jump to the stage where Reed has enough room to finally give Ben the hug he needs to calm down.
They leave, and Reed says, “It is fortunate for us, and for the world, that the Miracle Man is not a criminal!” Indeed. In the next panel, we see the Miracle Man devising a criminal plot. We then have to wade through a bevy of completely unnecessary dialogue just to find out Sue’s created uniforms for everyone. Johnny, also bored by all the dialogue, turns on the tv to see a monster statue has become a real monster! How fortuitous! It crushes a car and cops show up with fucking bazookas. There’s virtually zero time elapsed, which leads me to believe that they just carry around bazookas in their cop cars. That feels very dangerous to me, but then again, they do have to deal with digging monsters and aliens and statue monsters, so maybe they’re just being proactive.
Before the heavily-armed police can use their military weaponry, the monster vanishes. There’s more unnecessary dialogue, and then we see the Miracle Man has sent a note to the commissioner that says, “I, the Miracle Man, declare war on the whole human race! I intend to conquer the earth!” The team flies around different parts of the city in their flying cars. Reed spots the creature, dives into the window of an apartment building, and uses his Ben Grimm technique of giving him a giant hug. It’s quite effective, and it looks like the good guys have won! Except Reed has actually fallen into Miracle Man’s plan! He knew Reed would go into that exact window, so he waited for him. Not in the same room, mind you. He’s across the street in another window. He had been waiting for him with the most undefeatable of weapons: a brick! Yes, he launches a brick at the head of the man who can fit his entire head through a rivet hole, and it knocks him unconscious! None can stand against the brick! And the monster continues its rampage!
Then the commissioner calls Mr. Fantastic a fucking failure, and it feels great to see him knocked down a peg. The Army shows up with guns to shoot at the monster. They’re oddly devoid of bazookas. Johnny finds the monster and whirls around it, engulfed in flames! Ben and Sue see it from afar and quickly fly to help. They land, and Ben, of course, completely destroys Sue’s hard labors by ripping off the shirt portion of his costume! Then Johnny burns down the monster, and the Army soldiers try their damnedest to rid the world of the menace that is Human Torch by firing their non-bazookas at him, but they are not successful. Then Miracle Man just sprays him with some chemical foam that knocks him out of the sky. Ben tries to fight, but the ground opens up and swallows him. Yeah. Super weird. Sue turns invisible and walks up behind him and slits his fucking throat. Blood pours out of his jugular, and as he collapses, he says, “Who would have known that becoming invisible could be so powerful?!” I’m just kidding. She just fucking hides and hitches a ride with him on his “atomic tank.”
We then see Johnny coming out of the shower. Seriously. Ben’s got his shirt back on for some reason… probably to rip it off again. And Reed’s smoking his pipe. We then get a flash back of their origin story, and Ben cries about his lot in life. They all just bitch at each other, and then it takes us to Miracle Man and his atomic tank. They’re in a junk yard, and a dog can smell Sue, so it barks at her, and Miracle Man figures that out, so he commands her to turn visible, and she does, and then he tells her she must obey him. And his face is green for some reason. And then he tells her to fire off her “4” signal, so he can defeat the Fantastic Four FOREVER! Which… I guess if that was his plan, why didn’t he just do that instead of leaving an unconscious Reed lying helplessly on the ground. He could have used the brick of death on him right then and there.
She shoots her flair! Reed is on the balcony with Thing, who must have just finished ripping off his shirt, because it’s gone again. I’m pretty sad that event was left out of the book. Then they hop in a helicopter instead of their flying cars to find where Sue is! But where’s Johnny? With his sister quite probably in mortal danger, he decided to go hang out at a corner soda fountain with his friends. Luckily, one of his friends sees the “4” in the sky, and Johnny flames on in front of them and quite possibly many other witnesses. Reed and Thing are the first to arrive at the junk yard where Miracle Man has a giant key that turns into a gun, and he fires it at Reed, but Reed just does some fucking sick ass ninja flips before Ben jumps between the bullets and Reed.
Miracle Man runs out of ammo, grabs Sue’s hand, and runs to his atomic tank. Reed just stands there and watches him go. The guys start to hop in their helicopter, but Johnny shows up and says he saw Miracle Man cut the drive cable. I guess Reed was just standing there for a super long time, not doing anything. Maybe he was day dreaming. I don’t know. Also, how did Johnny see Miracle Man do this? And if he could see him doing it, why didn’t he stop him? Maybe throw a fireball, Johnny. Anyway… they chase him in an antique car from the junk yard, but a tire goes flat, so Reed has to turn into a tire to keep going. Sure would be nice to have some flying cars right now. They catch the tank, and Johnny flames on and flies at it and blinds Miracle Man with his super intense flame.
The Thing is about to punch the shit out of Miracle Man, but Reed stops him, because he knows Miracle Man’s power is gone now. They wonder how he could know, and Reed says he’ll explain, but first he tells Sue, “You are yourself again, Susan Storm!” as he snaps his finger. Reed then explains that the Miracle Man actually has no power at all! He’s just a hypnotist! And since we’ve already established that Mr. Fantastic is extremely knowledgeable of hynotism, that he also must know about hypnotism! So somehow, the Miracle Man hypnotized basically the entire city and the Army. Not sure how he did that, but I blame television. Then Johnny gets all pissy and flies off, quitting the team.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with Ben Grimm showing us how he handles a giant hamburger: