I can't believe I spent a whole post rattling on about Fantastic Four #60 and completely forgot about this killer issue which came out a scant five months earlier .
Okay, so it's nothing more than a super-hero slugfest from cover to cover. Since when is that not a good thing? Besides it's a classic Stan & Jack slugfest built on a great premise.
What 'great premise' you say? Why the classic 'jealous super-hero boyfriend finds other super-hero hitting on his chick' premise of course. When the super-hero boyfriend and second super-hero suitor in question are none other than lump lady-killer Benjamin J. Grimm aka The Thing and cosmic-powered Casanova the Silver Surfer you know glorious super-hero hijinks are in store.
Our story begins with the slinky Surfer getting bored with exploring the Earth and deciding to pay a visit the girl who convinced him to save Earth from Galactus - blind sculptress Alicia Masters.
Now as any true believer knows Alicia is the main squeeze of the ever-loving, blue-eyed Thing himself. In true soap opera fashion Ben arrives at Alicia's place just in time to catch her cozying up to the sexy Surfer!
Ben thinks this is highly inappropriate behaviour and challenges his rival to a gentlemanly duel:Okay okay, he gets pissed and punches him through a wall. Pardon me for trying to add some sophistication to the proceedings.
Anyway, with the gauntlet thrown, we're treated to a fabulous, Kirby rendered, issue-long Thing/Silver Surfer throwdown. It shouldn't be much of a fight really though - I mean the Surfer has unimaginable cosmic power and could turn Benjy into a smoking pile of sizzling orange pebbles as easy as pie.
Course Stan being the devilish rascal that he is made the Surfer kind of a pacifist. He doesn't once take the offensive against the enraged Thing, he keeps on the defensive trying not to hurt anyone. Sure it's a noble and admirable attitude but it's hardly a wise one. Especially when you're fighting with a guy who can punt giant freaking boulders at your head:He doesn't draw the line at giant boulder punting though. You hit on Ben's girl and you can expect to have your shiny cosmic surfboard snapped over his knee and a building dropped on your head.
In the end Reed arrives to find Ben searching through the rubble trying to find the Surfer so the clobbering can continue. Reed puts an end to all the nonsense by getting his jerk on - which he loves to do. He threatens his best friend Ben with physical violence, questions his maturity and points out his grotesque appearance:Geez, why does anybody still hang out with that guy?
FF issues just don't get more fun than this. Stan and Jack were at the top of their game with this one. Irascible and rowdy is the way like our Thing - that's what makes him the idol of millions baby.
Just don't hit on his chick - dude'll drop a building on you!