Real Name: Reed Richards and Nick Fury

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Mysterious opponent

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm)

Known Relatives: See Mr. Fantastic and Nick Fury

Aliases: "The Mystery Villain" (in story title)

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#127/1 (December, 1964)

Powers/Abilities: The first "Man in the Mystery Mask" wielded a gun which could release a "liquid asbestos" mist to nullify the Human Torch's flame, and a costume with an oxygen supply. He also designed a series of traps for the Thing and Human Torch, including race cars which he operated with remote controls, and an underground cave sealed with a steel door.

The second "Man in the Mystery Mask" possessed a variety of S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons which were still being tested -- these included a flying sky-sled, and a multi-gun which could fire energy blasts, spiked steel balls which grew as they rolled, and foam to snuff out the Human Torch's flame; he wore a costume which could release a smoke-screen, and was also equipped with a short-range teleportation device.

Height: (Richards) 6' 1" (variable); (Fury) 6' 1"
Weight: (Richards) 180 lbs.; (Fury) 221 lbs.
Eyes: (Both) Brown
Hair: (Both) Brown, graying at temples

(Strange Tales I#127/1) - In order to teach the Thing and the Human Torch a lesson about following his orders, Mr. Fantastic adopted the guise of a super-villain. He lured his teammates to a race track to participate in a race against each other, but took control of their cars once they had entered them, and had the cars drive into an underground cavern, where he sealed them inside behind a steel door.

   Reed then appeared to them in his super-villain garb. The Human Torch attempted to attack him, but he snuffed out the Torch's flame with his gun's "liquid asbestos." The Thing charged at him, but he managed to sidestep his attack. By then, the Human Torch had regained his strength and unleashed a blast of near-nova flame to dissipate his costume's liquid asbestos, then contained him within a flaming cage.

   The Thing and Human Torch attempted to make their way out of the cave, but were unable to break down the door... only for the door to open on its own. Reed, having escaped the fiery cage, confronted his teammates and finally unmasked in front of them. He revealed that he masqueraded as a villain only to teach them a lesson, and the three heroes returned home together. 

(Fantastic Four I#154) - Years later, the Human Torch, Thing, and Mr. Fantastic were assaulted in their Fantasti-car by a new villain wearing Reed's former costume. He managed to shoot down the Fantasti-car, and then engaged them in combat, unleashing a variety of awesome weapons against the trio. However, the three members of the Fantastic Four were able to overcome his attacks, and destroyed most of his weapons. He attempted to disappear into a smoke-screen, but was apprehended by Mr. Fantastic, who spread his body out into a net to snare him.

   The heroes then unmasked the villain to discover Nick Fury had been the one attacking them. Nick revealed that he had tricked them so that he could test new S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons in the field, and noted that the weapons he had employed would need more work. He also offered to pay for the damages to the Fantasti-car he had ruined. The Thing was enraged to have been used as a guinea pig, and swung his fist at Fury, but Fury disappeared at the last second using a short-range S.H.I.E.L.D. transporter.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Dick Ayers and Paul Reinman.

Neither Reed nor Fury ever referred to themselves as "The Man in the Mystery Mask."

New images by Ron Fredricks.

Profile by Prime Eternal

The Man in the Mystery Mask should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#154, cover (Main Image - Man in the Mystery Mask [Fury] on sky-sled)
Strange Tales I#127/1, p9, pan1 (Headshot - Man in the Mystery Mask [Richards])
Fantastic Four I#154, p15, pan6 (Man in the Mystery Mask [Fury] shooting foam from multi-gun at Human Torch)
Fantastic Four I#154, p17, pan7 (Man in the Mystery Mask [Fury] firing energy blast from multi-gun to destroy giant spiked ball; Thing (background))

Strange Tales I#127/1 (December, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Dick Ayers (co-plot/pencils), Paul Reinman (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters)
Fantastic Four I#154 (January, 1975) - Stan Lee/Len Wein (writers), Dick Ayers/Bob Brown (pencils), Paul Reinman/Frank Giacoia/Mike Esposito (inks). Glynis Wein (colors), Artie Simek (letters), Roy Thomas (editor)

First posted: 09/06/2004
Last updated: 10/28/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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