I vividly recall reading this issue when I was a kid. Since the beginning of the series, Jack Kirby had been running a story-line of Ben Grimm in constant desire for a cure to his status as "the Thing". Reed Richards was striving to find a way to rid his friend of the cosmic ray-induced curse, and occasionally the effects of the radiation would spontaneously fade, temporarily allowing him to revert to his human form.
With this story, the team encounters an alchemist who helps Grimm to begin changing back to human form with his chemical concoctions. The early issues of FF had always maintained the Thing as a potential hazard for the rest of the team (and the world at large), but this was the first time that Kirby actually used the plot device of having Grimm turn against his teammates.
This could easily have been a two-part story arc, but Kirby was able to keep it down to a single issue. It would be a little longer before Jack Kirby would begin his multi-issue stories in this title. But when he did initiate them, it began one of the most explosive bursts of creativity ever seen in the superhero genre.
|My copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #30.|