ULTRA-SONIC RADIO TRANSMITTER
Classification: Terrestrial technology
Creator: Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards)
User/Possessors: Mr. Fantastic
First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#24 (March, 1964)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter provided a means of communication between Earth and deep space, including the Skrull homeworld in the Andromeda galaxy. The bulk of the broadcasting equipment appeared to be based in the Baxter Building, with the back-mounted portable unit likely relaying the signal back to the Baxter Building.
(Fantastic Four I#24) - In an effort to counter the destruction wrought by the Infant Terrible and gambling that the creature was like a child, Reed Richards utilized the Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter to contact the alien's world, with the ultra-sonic radio beams providing a trail that was followed by the alien's parents to collect their wayward infant.
(Fantastic Four I#32) - Following the Fantastic Four's first battle with the Invincible Man (Super-Skrull, impersonating the kidnapped Franklin Storm), the team returned to their Baxter Building headquarters to regroup. After ascertaining the true identity of their foe, Reed completed work on his Atomic Space-Displacer, then buckled the mobile unit for the Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter on his back, and the entire team went to face the Invincible Man again. Reed activated the Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter and beamed a message to the Skrull homeworld, telling them to return the real Dr. Storm, or the FF would fight the Super-Skrull to the death; he then used it to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Skrulls.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (art).
Since the Andromeda galaxy is approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth, the vast distance involved would render conventional two-way radio-wave communication impossible because of the time delay. I'd say that the instantaneous communication was probably the result of the radio signals being transmitted through sub-space to achieve faster-than-light speed--of course, I do not have the advanced knowledge in astrophysics of Reed Richards to substantiate this theory, so this is purely speculation. (However, if the Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter does work on these principles, then maybe Reed was "inspired" to build it by an incident from his college days, when he inadvertently saw the plans for classmate Victor von Doom's experiment (see "Necrophone"), which also dealt with communications through dimensional warps.)
And a BIG Thank You to Grendel Prime for the scans! Thanks also to Scott Gorman for noting the gizmo's first appearance.
Profile by John Kaminski.
The Ultra-Sonic Radio Transmitter has no known connections to:
Fantastic Four I#22, p17, pan5 (main image)
Fantastic Four I#32, p17, pan1 (mobile unit)
Fantastic Four I#24 (March, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (art)
Fantastic Four I#32 (November, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (art)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 01/11/10
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