Remember to Forget - The Fantastic Four's "Lincoln's Mother" Defense

In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are likely best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.

Today we look at the infamous "Lincoln's Mother" defense for Sue Storm being a member of the Fantastic Four...

This is one of the harder stories to classify as either "Remember to Forget" or "I Love Ya But You're Strange," as I truly love a great deal of the opening story in Fantastic Four #11 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers), as it is all about the Fantastic Four breaking the fourth wall and directly answering letters from fans...

That's an amazing idea by Stan and Jack.


And I even enjoy the idea of Stan and Jack directly addressing the constant nasty letters that they were getting from their young readers complaining about how useless Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl, was. However, HOW they decided to stick up for Sue was less than awesome.

First off, by the way, note that the Thing is in his human form because earlier in the issue, Reed tried out one of his many failed attempts to cure the Thing of his cosmic mutation...

Okay, with that out of the way, let's get to...the Lincoln's Mother Defense!

Reed has just finished relating the FF's origin (this was back in the day where fans would legitimately not know a team's origin if they missed the first issue)...


I am never not amused by how angry Reed and Ben get (that, and, of course, the fact that they have a bust of Abraham Lincoln sitting around their headquarters because, you know, that's what superheroes do). So anyhow, while the attempt to stick up for Sue was sweet, the actual defense was beyond patronizing. "Yeah, she's pretty useless, but she inspires us!" "Why do you want a woman who fights all the time, anyways?" Yikes.

You know the whole thing was kind of BS because less than a year later, in Fantastic Four #22 (by Lee, Kirby and George Roussos), Stan and Jack gave Sue a new force field power, a power that over time has made her one of the MOST powerful members of the team...


So clearly Sue's relatively weak powers weighed on their minds, as well.

That's it for this installment! Feel free to send in a suggestion for a future installment to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

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