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The 100 Greatest Stan Lee Stories Ever Told: #35-31

32. "Within This Tortured Land" Fantastic Four #84-87 (1969)

Towards the tail end of their historic run on the Fantastic Four, Jack Kirby was turning to outside media to influence his story ideas more and more. One of the best examples of this influence was this four-part epic that was inspired by the cult classic TV series, The Prisoner. The Fantastic Four are sent into Latveria by Nick Fury to stop Doctor Doom from completing a powerful robot army. Once there, though, the Fantastic Four are trapped in Latveria without their powers (via hypnosis) and so the heroes (who are without the Invisible Girl, since she is still recovering from giving birth to her first child at the time) are stuck living in a village right out of the Prisoner.

This was an important story arc, as it showed everyone what Latveria was really like under Doom. When the FF gets their powers back, they lead a revolt against Doom, with his oppressed subjects, and we see that Doom is a not some sort of noble tyrant, dude is just a tyrant plain and simple...

What an awesome deus ex machina! One of the best of Lee and Kirby's stint on the series (along with inker Joe Sinnott).

31. "The Origin of Daredevil" Daredevil #1 (1964)

You know you have yourself a great superhero origin when it really has only been tweaked a bit over the years and never outright changed. Bill Everett and Stan Lee delivered a great origin story here with the tale of a bookish boy whose has-been boxer father insisted he always be studious so that his son could go farther in life than him. A boy who is mocked by the nickname "Daredevil" because it is everything he isn't. A boy who risks his life to save an elderly man from being hit by a truck and instead ends up getting splashed by the chemicals himself, which blind him but gives him special senses. A boy who grows up to be a studious young man and a hell of a young lawyer. But when his father, inspired by his son's life, decides NOT to throw a boxing match he was supposed to throw and, well, things go wrong from there...

That is a heck of a reason to become a costumed vigilante. Sadly, Bill Everett could barely finish a single issue of his co-creation (Steve Dikto pitched in to help) and he was soon off of the book. But while and Lee were working together, they came up with a great premise! Including Matt's best friend and law partner, Foggy Nelson, and their attractive secretary, Karen Page, who Matt is instantly smitten with. It's a good cast with a great overall hook.

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