ATOMIC SPACE-DISPLACER

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Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards)

User/Possessors: Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards)

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#32 (November, 1964)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The true nature of the Atomic Space-Displacer is unknown; supposedly, it had enough power to destroy an entire planet (see comments).

 

History:

(Fantastic Four I#32) - The incarcerated Franklin Storm was abducted from his  prison cell by the Super-Skrull. Dr. Storm was sent to the Skrull homeworld in the Andromeda galaxy via a transport ray, while the Super-Skrull impersonated him, then later assumed the guise of the Invincible Man, all in a plot to divide and weaken the Fantastic Four. The next day, following the FF's initial clash with the Invincible Man, Reed ascertained the true identity of their foe, then completed his work on the Atomic Space-Displacer.

    After a second battle which resulted in the defeat of the Invincible Man, Reed revealed their enemy to be the Super-Skrull, then contacted the Skrull's home planet with an Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter to arrange a prisoner exchange. The Super-Skrull was transported back home, and to ensure that the Skrulls kept their word on the agreement, Reed coerced their cooperation with a threat to use the Atomic Space-Displacer on their world if they failed to return Dr. Storm to Earth.

 

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist).

Reed never elaborated on exactly what this device did, only made vague references of "nuclear destruction," and when questioned about the specifics of it, he only replied: "The mechanics are difficult to explain!"; it was never seen again -- such a weapon could have been useful in driving away Galactus (@ Fantastic Four I#48). However, there are a few points I'd like the reader to consider:

  1. Reed only had a few hours to build it -- I doubt that even a super-genius like Reed Richards could create a planet-destroying "doomsday machine" in such a short time.
  2. Reed doesn't strike me as the type of man who would intentionally go through with destroying an entire civilization.
  3. Reed is not reluctant to use bluffing or trickery to defeat the FF's foes (e.g. hypnotizing Dr. Doom to make him believe he defeated Reed with the Encephalo-Gun).

...so maybe the "Atomic Space-Displacer" was only a ruse, and Reed was being so obscure in describing the details of its operation to his team-mates in case the Skrulls were monitoring them. For all we know, this thing was just a new dish-washer that he built for Sue. (Remember, Reed once scared off the Skrulls with some pages from comic books (@ Fantastic Four I#2), so he already knew it wouldn't take a whole lot to put one over on these guys).

And a BIG Thank You to Grendel Prime for the scans!

Profile by John Kaminski.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Atomic Space-Displacer has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#32, p18, pan1 (main image)

p18, pan5 (Reed working on Atomic Space-Displacer)


Other Appearances: None


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 12/05/09

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