|Plot Synopsis: Fantastic Four #40|
Story by Stan Lee pencils by Jack Kirby inks by Vince Colletta.
The true measure of a super-hero is how he or she acts when their powers are gone and they face evil as mere mortals. In "The Battle of the Baxter Building" (billed as ever bit as historically significant as Waterloo, Gettysburg and Dunkirk), the FF must face Doctor Doom bereft of their cosmic-ray spawned powers. Luckily, they have Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, to buy them the time they need to formulate a plan. But will it be in time to stop Victor Von Doom from destroying the city?
Every panel of this book is suitable for framing and could, in and of itself, perfectly typify the Silver Age of Comics at Marvel. There's a one-on-one battle between DD and DD (Daredevil and Doctor Doom that is) in which the Latverian dictator earns a new respect for the scarlet-clad adventurer and begins to suspect there's more to Daredevil than just a costume, his skill and his athleticism. Just a few short months later, Daredevil and Doom would meet again when the mad monarch would steal his body (see Daredevil #37).
Then, there's a titanic and tragic battle between the Thing (who Reed Richards decides must return to his monstrous form for the good of the team) and Dr. Doom. How could such a battle end in defeat for both combatants? How could the FF know their victory would come at such a price?
Jack Kirby begins here to explode the traditional layout pattern, creating larger panels to emphasize dramatic moments such as the transformation of Ben Grimm back into the Thing. And, inked by Vince Colletta, Kirby's characters become living icons of heroic intent. Only Stan Lee could have crafted such a plot in which it is the measure of men, not super-powers, that wins the day.