You're all familiar with this classic scene, right? (click on the "play" arrow)
Yeah, so was I...the first time I saw it! Let me explain.
As I've said ad nauseum, I'm a Fantastic Four fan from way back. So much so, that when my 14 year-old self watched that scene in the summer of 1980, I immediately recalled a similar sequence from Fantastic Four #142 (1974). So similar, in fact, that I've often wondered if a certain bearded, plaid-wearing movie mogul might have read that same comic book and (either consciously or sub-consciously) incorporated that sequence into his famous sequel.
Here, I'll let you be the judge. The set-up: Reed Richards, recently separated from his wife Sue, shows up to attend a 10 year college reunion, accompanied by substitute F.F. member Medusa. Written by Gerry Conway and masterfully illustrated by Rich Buckler (pencils) and Joe Sinnott (sublime inks), the alumni are then escorted into the dining room...and into one of the most unforgettable "villain reveals" in my collection (click on the panels for a larger view).
So...what do you think? A dining room trap laid by a masked, heavily armored and cape-wearing arch-villain, greeting his "guests" with sinister mock formality? Coincidence...or influence?
Well, whatever it is, it's certainly a worthy addition to The Highlight Reel.
P.S. Of course, nothing in the world of entertainment is entirely original. Everything has been influenced by something that came before it...even the Dr. Doom panel. Doom's wide-eyed, frightening expression recalls Lon Chaney's terrifying facial expression from The Phantom of the Opera's classic reveal scene, nearly 50 years before F.F. #142. Again...what do you think?