Synopsis for “The Coming of… Sub-Mariner!”
The Human Torch has quit the team. Reed, Sue, and Ben use the Fantasti-Car to search the city for him. Johnny, though, has gone to Swanson’s Garage to work on cars. Ben, on a hunch, goes to the garage.
Unable to use his flame because of the gasoline around him, Johnny faces an angry Ben without his power. Ben backs him into a corner, but before the Thing can hit Johnny, he changes back to his old, human form. Johnny uses the distraction to leave the garage, flame on, and fly away. Ben immediately changes back to the Thing.
Johnny goes to the Bowery to find accommodations. Once in his bunk he reads a 1940s comic about the Sub-Mariner. Another guest of the establishment notices what he’s reading and says, “We got a stumble-bum right here who’s as strong as that joker was supposed to be!” He hands the bearded “stumble-bum” a phone book and tells him to tear it in half. The man refuses. The others attack him but get swatted away. The man complains that he can’t remember anything: “Why have I spent the long years here, in a fog, with my mind a blank??” Johnny says, “Flame on!” ignites one finger, and burns off the man’s beard. He looks just like the Sub
Johnny carries the man out to sea and drops him into the water. Back in his native element, the Sub-Mariner remembers who he is. He goes to his home, Atlantis. It lies in radioactive ruins, a casualty of atomic testing. The Sub-Mariner returns to New York and tells Johnny that he will retaliate by destroying the human race.
The rest of the FF, back at the Baxter Building, see Johnny’s flare rise from the waterfront. They take the Fantasti-Car to meet him and learn about the Sub-Mariner’s revival. Out at sea, the Sub-Mariner finds Giganto, “the largest living thing in all the world,” and the horn that can rouse him. He leads the creature towards New York, which begins an evacuation. The army bombards Giganto, without effect. The Thing comes up with a daring plan: strap a nuclear bomb to his back, get inside the monster, and leave it there to destroy it. While Giganto takes a nap, Ben carries the bomb down its gullet.
With seconds to spare, Ben makes it out of the monster’s maw. The Sub-Mariner threatens to use the horn to summon more creatures. An invisible Sue grabs the horn and runs away with it. The Sub-Mariner tackles her. She becomes visible. “If you will be my bride,” says the Sub-Mariner, “I might show mercy to the rest of your pitiful race!” She responds, “How can I make such a choice?” He threatens again to use the horn. Sue says, “I—I’ll do anything—I’ll become your bride!” Johnny, though, forms a tornado that pulls the Sub-Mariner into the air and drops him in the ocean. The horn falls to the bottom. The Sub-Mariner swears, “I’ll be back!”