Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: Dr. Doom

Users/Possessors: Dr. Doom

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#17 (August, 1963)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Flying Fortress was an immense airship with dozens of compartments, all controlled from a central room. The exterior of the vessel could generate a grappler ray that could snag people off the street, or pull enemy crafts towards it. It was also armed with disintegrator guns which could be programmed to fire upon specific targets based on their atomic structure (such as the Fantastic Four).

Onboard the ship, its defenses included power spheres which were drawn to body heat that could (after surrounding a target by swarming it) exile its target to another dimension; a room containing a powerful turbine that could spin a person out of control; a room containing powerful airjets to spin a target off the ground; a room that could fill with quick-hardening cement; a room with a collapsible floor; and a room with a maze of metal bars. The ship also contained some minor robot servants, escape pods, holographic projectors, force field generators, and devices which could cause electrical systems across the globe to run haywire.

History: (Fantastic Four I#17) - After escaping the Microverse, Dr. Doom made his base aboard the Flying Fortress, and sent out "Followers" to record the Fantastic Four's atomic structure so that they would be unable to breach the ship's defenses. He then set his plan into motion by kidnapping Alicia Masters with the ship's grappler ray, and broadcast a holographic message to the Fantastic Four, warning them that if they tried to rescue Alicia, he would unleash his most terrible inventions upon New York. Doom then sent a recording of his demands to Washington D.C., a list that included being made a member of the President's cabinet. When the President refused, Doom retaliated by causing electrical failures across the globe.

In order to slip past the Fortress' defenses, Reed managed to temporarily turn the Thing back into Ben Grimm, allowing him to slip past the disintegrator beams. The Thing then wrecked the guns so that his teammates could follow him in, and they split up to rescue Alicia. The Human Torch wandered into a room where a powerful turbine spun him out of control, but the Torch blasted the room with his flame, destroying the devices. Mr. Fantastic entered a room which quickly filled with wet cement, but he slipped through it and slid under the door. The room the Thing entered opened up underneath him, but he managed to pull himself out by climbing the side of the trap door.

Doom attempted to destroy the Fantastic Four with his power spheres, but they were fooled by flaming duplicates of the team members created by the Torch. Doom managed to hold off the Thing, Torch and Mr. Fantastic with a force field, but when he went to collect Alicia to use against them, he found that the Invisible Girl had already freed her. Doom activated metal bars which opened from the floor and walls to capture the Invisible Girl, but her teammates entered, and he fled the ship through a trap door.

(Avengers I#1.5 (fb) - BTS) - The ship was taken into the custody of the U.S. Military and impounded for further study at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. While Major Bowman was inspecting the ship, he was ambushed by one of Dr. Doom's Doombots (robot duplicates), and the Doombot disguised itself as Bowman.

(Avengers I#1.5) - The Doombot led the newly-formed Avengers to the fortress, which was seemingly under Doom's control. As their jet-copter neared the ship, the grappler ray was activated, but the Hulk allowed himself to be carried by it, and smashed his way into the ship, with the other Avengers in tow. As the five Avengers split up, the Doombot knocked out the Wasp and took her captive. Hulk entered a room where airjets spun him out of control, while Thor was assaulted by the power spheres, Iron Man was trapped by a robot that began to drain the electricity from his armor, and Ant-Man was imprisoned in a room with the real Major Bowman.

Switching to his Giant-Man identity, Pym smashed out of the room, and with information provided by the Wasp (who was being held in Doom's monitor room), he tracked down the other Avengers. He pulled the Hulk out of the airjet room, but Thor dealt with the power spheres himself by obliterating them with his hammer. The Hulk destroyed the robot plaguing Iron Man, and Thor re-energized Iron Man's armor with his lightning. The Avengers caught up to the Doombot, and the Hulk tore off its head, unaware until that moment that he was dealing with a robot. Suddenly, the ship began to tear itself apart as Doom scuttled the ship, and the Avengers sent Bowman to safety in an escape pod, while they fled the ship under their own powers. The Flying Fortress exploded as they escaped.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.

by Prime Eternal

The Flying Fortress should not be confused with:

Images taken from:
Avengers I#1.5, page 8

Avengers I#1.5 (December, 1999) - Roger Stern (writer), Bruce Timm (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)

Last updated: 04/20/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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