The Fantastic Four
The Power and the Pride
Fantastic Four #84-87
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Inker: Joe Sinnott
The Fantastic Four find themselves captives of Dr. Doom in a
small Latverian village where no one is truly free.
summary of these issues at SuperMegaMonkey
This study is of the storyline in Marvel Comics'
Fantastic Four #84-87 (1969),
which includes an homage to the concept of the Village in
The Prisoner, in which the heroic quartet are trapped by
their arch-nemesis Dr. Doom in a Latverian village filled with
his obedient, fearful subjects. Artist Jack Kirby was well-known
to be a huge fan of
The Prisoner, and even wrote and drew an entire first issue
Prisoner comic book for Marvel which was never published
(see my notes about this aborted comic in my study of
I have borrowed the title
"The Power and the Pride" from the final
issue of the story and assigned it as the most
appropriate for the entire 4-issue storyline studied here.
The Fantastic Four is a superhero team in the Marvel Comics
universe, made up of Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), his wife,
Susan Richards (Invisible Girl), Susan's brother, Johnny Storm
(Human Torch), and Benjamin Grimm (the Thing). At the time of
this storyline, Susan Richards has taken a sabbatical from the
team to care for her and Reed's newborn son, Franklin, and her
place on the team has been filled the Inhuman woman named
Crystal, who is currently Johnny's girlfriend.
Fantastic Four #84, "The Name is Doom"
The story opens with the Fantastic Four (FF) leaving the
Himalayan Mountains in a gyrosphere after completing an
adventure of the previous few issues of the comic.
Page 3 describes the country of Latveria ruled by Dr.
existing in the Balkans. The Balkans are the nations of the Balkan
Peninsula of southeast Europe, though Latveria is a fictitious
The Prisoner, the
Village is hinted at being in a few different locations, never
quite confirmed, but none of the locations were in the Balkans.
Rendition of Latveria (from
||Europe with Latveria marked (from
On page 4, a citizen of Latveria attempts to escape the country
via an ancient, hidden tunnel deep within the catacombs of
Castle Doom. He makes it all the way through the tunnel and onto
a rocky, cliff-face shoreline on the open sea. But, Latveria
does not have any borders on the sea according to the official
Marvel Earth map, as seen above! At the time the story was
written in 1968, of course, no such firmly established locations
on the globe had been established for the Earth of the Marvel
The Fantastic Four is given a mission of investigating a
secret army being built up by Dr. Doom in Latveria by
S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage,
Law-Enforcement Division), a fictitious intelligence agency of
the U.S. government.
On page 14, the Thing remarks that he's going to blast one of
Doom's flying weapons back to Yancy Street. Yancy Street is part
of the neighborhood Ben Grimm (the Thing) grew up in in
Manhattan; the street is fictitious, though inspired by the real
world Delancey Street there.
As the Thing gazes out the window of the room he wakes up in in
the primitive Latverian village, he exclaims, "It's like
somethin' outta Ol' King Cole!" This is a reference to the old
British nursery rhyme "Old King Cole", known to exist since at
least the early 18th Century.
As Reed, Ben, and Johnny emerge from their lodgings on page 19,
they are greeted by a large welcoming gathering of the village's
citizens, prompting Reed to exclaim, "It's like something out of
a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta!" W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and
Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) were a popular English writing duo
of operattas (comic operas) in the 19th Century.
On page 19, the mayor of the village is wearing a large,
flower-shaped pin on his lapel, somewhat reminiscent of the
numbered badges worn by citizens of the Village on
On page 20, a small marching band led by a bass drummer is seen
playing in celebration of the FF's arrival in the village. A
similar small band was seen numerous times playing in the
To prove to his teammates that they are prisoners in the village
and not guests, Reed makes an attempt to dash across the village
border and is stopped by a stun blast from an automated sentry
(somewhat similar to the automated Rover guardian of the Village
Fantastic Four #85, "Within This Tortured Land"
On page 3, Ben asks the village security force, "Who d'you
creeps think yer talkin' to--a blasted Yancy Streeter??" Ben is
referring to the Yancy Street Gang, who are known to criticize
and play insulting pranks on him, seeing him as a traitor to his
On page 4, a waiter approaches the FF and tells them their lunch
is ready, provided by their generous sovereign. But, just
minutes earlier (last issue), they were told breakfast
would be served in half an hour!
On page 5, Dr. Doom is seen sitting in an ovoid chair,
surrounded by a round, high-tech electronic desk as he observes
the FF walking through the village. The chair even lowers itself
to a room below on page 6! This is similar to Number 2's office
On page 7, Dr. Doom wonders aloud to his chief scientist, a
former Nazi called Hauptmann, what his long-dead Führer would
have given for an army such as his? This obviously refers to
former Nazi leader and German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler,
ironically still secretly alive in the Marvel universe, his mind
transferred into a succession of cloned bodies since the end of
WWII and operating generally as the super-villain called the
On page 13, the FF are rendered unconscious by sedatives
secretly added to their food or beverage, just as occurred to
Number 6 a time or two in
On page 14, the FF are subjected to hypnotic programming, again
occurred to Number 6 a time or two in
Fantastic Four #86, "The Victims"
On page 2, two village residents are seen riding in a
small, motorized vehicle similar to a Mini-Moke, used as
taxis in the Village throughout episodes of
As Dr. Doom's robot army advances on page 3, one of the
villagers begs for protection from the FF, saying, "You're the
Fantastic Four...the only ones to battle Dr. Doom and still live
to tell of it!" Actually, by the time this story was written, a
number of other super-heroes and teams had successfully survived
battles with the good doctor: Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and the
Avengers, to name just a few. Of course, Doom, as the absolute
dictator of Latveria, has likely kept information about his own
failures and defeats from his subjects.
The FF's super powers which had been blocked from their use by a
couple of sessions under Dr. Doom's hypno-persuader device are
already beginning to return as the robot army attacks, even
though it has seemingly only been a matter of hours (if that)
since the last hypno-session. Nor are the FF terrified of the
thought of violence as they were immediately after their last
session. It seems that Doom's device is not very potent at all!
On page 10, Ben jokingly tells Johnny to, "Sing it again, Tiny
Tim!" This is a reference to the American singer called Tiny Tim
(Herbert Khaury, 1932-1996), who was at the height of his
popularity when this story was written.
On page 15, when Reed comes to Ben's aid against an attacking
robot and identifies himself to his groggy friend, Ben responds,
"Well, I didn't think ya wuz Spiro Agnew!" Agnew (1918-1996) was
the Vice President of the United States under Richard Nixon from
Page 16 reveals that Dr. Doom has two gigantic cylinders of
explosive material underneath the village, which he uses to blow
up the entire hamlet in an attempt to destroy the FF after they
defeat his robots. This may be a nod to the underground
missile/rocket hidden underneath the Village that blasts off and
triggers an evacuation of the Village in the final episode of
The Prisoner, "Fall
Fantastic Four #87, "The Power and the Pride"
On page 1, Ben refers to the fleeing villagers who have been
victimized by their monarch, Dr. Doom, as "poor shnooks".
Schnook is a Yiddish term that is a more affectionate
way of calling someone a schlemiel.
On page 3, Ben hurls a gigantic chunk of the village's clock tower
towards Castle Doom, shouting, "Geronimo!!" This is an American
exclamation made by a person about to make a big jump.
On page 5, Dr. Doom shouts at Hauptmann, "Silence, you
snivelling jackanape!!" The term "jackanape"
is properly "jackanapes", and refers to an impertinent person.
On page 6, Dr. Doom announces what will be his pièce de
résistance against the FF, his own concerto played on a
piano rigged for hyper-sound.
Pièce de résistance
is French for the main dish of a meal and has come to
additionally mean the most noteworthy feature of an object or
On page 18, the FF bust into a gallery of stolen artworks in
Castle Doom. One of the statues seen here appears to be a
representation of the four-armed Hindu god Shiva.
Passing through the art gallery, Ben laments, "Not even one
pin-up of Raquel Welsh (sic)!"
Raquel Welch is an American actress and was a worldwide sex
symbol in the late 1960s-70s.
Prisoner Episode Studies