Things were so much easier in the old days.
Unlike the recent Secret Invasion by the Skrulls, which required an 8-part series and multiple tie-ins to defeat, it didn't take much to repel the first invasion of the shape-changing aliens back in Fantastic Four #2 (1962).
Posing as the defeated Skrull agents who'd been impersonating them, the Fantastic Four visited the Skrull mothership to convince its commander to call off the invasion. What did ultra-genius Reed Richards use to strike fear into the Skrulls? Expose them to the common cold virus? Show them a mighty super-weapon of his own invention? A giant projected illusion of Earth's spaceship armada? The Ultimate Nullifier?!!?
Nope. He used panels from sci-fi comic books...specifically from titles Marvel was still publishing!
(click on the panels for a larger view)
1. Whose comic books were those, anyway? You could assume they belonged to young Johnny Storm (who's just a teenager at this point in time), but the fact that Reed was even aware of the images suggests the comics might have been his! Personally, I think Ben Grimm was comic book reader, since the vaguely subliminal nature of each F.F. member's powers suggests Ben was familiar with the grotesque array of Marvel Monsters, and may have,in effect, become one when the cosmic rays did their thing. Sue? Come on...girls don't read comics (KIDDING!!!). As you can see from the final panel, she seemed more concerned about her hair than silly old comics, anyway.
2. How do you get promoted to the position of Skrull Armada Commander without being able to tell the difference between drawings and photos?
3. Those are some big, honkin' comic book panels Reed "clipped".
4. So, which (if any) actual comics were those images taken from? Using my vast Marvel Monster knowledge (and the Grand Comics Database), I didn't see any Journey Into Mystery covers that matched Reed's monster images...but several Strange Tales and Tales to Astonish covers did have some candidates:
The Red Monsters: These guys seem to be a combination of Rommbu from Tales to Astonish #19 (1961) and one of the red "Space Beasts" from the cover of Tales to Astonish #29...although the latter wasn't published until March of '62 (but may have been on the drawing board).
The Giant Ants: The closest thing I could find to a giant ant army were the covers of Strange Tales #73 (1960), featuring Grottu, King of the Insects or Krang the Unbelievable from Tales to Astonish #14 (1960)... although neither of them appear to be as large as the ants in Reed's clipped panel.
The Orbiting Space Mine: I got nothin'...though I have to say, I hope somebody at the Pentagon gives it some thought.
5. How did the Fantastic Four resist bursting out into loud, bawdy laughter at the toolish idiocy of the Skrull commander? Their poker faces in the final panel are amazing!
6. Despite the jaw-dropping desperation of Reed's last-ditch ploy, it nonetheless demonstrates one of the many practical uses for comic books (besides scaring off potential friends): Alien Invasion Preventer! Keep a few handy just in case!